[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 6 months of walking training on muscle strength, muscle thickness and tendon stiffness on various parts of the lower limbs in the elderly. Subjects were assigned to training (n=35) and control (n=10) groups. Maximal isometric torque (MVC) and muscle thickness for knee extensors (KE), knee flexors (KF), dorsi flexors (DF) and plantar flexors (PF) were measured. Tendon stiffness for KE and PF was measured using ultrasonography while subjects performed isometric contraction. No significant changes occurred in any measured variables in the control group. In the training group, muscle thickness increased significantly for KF and DF, but not for PF. For KE, significant increases of muscle thickness at the proximal and medial sides were observed, although mean relative increase of the eight measured sites for KE was not significant. MVC increased significantly for KF, DF, and PF, but not for KE. In addition, tendon stiffness for KE and PF did not change after training. These results indicated that walking training brought about increments of muscle thickness and strength in most of the lower limbs in the elderly, but it did not result in any changes in tendon stiffness.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 03/2008; 18(1):31-9. · 3.17 Impact Factor