Effects of flywheel training with eccentric-overload on standing balance, mobility, physical function, muscle thickness and muscle quality in older adults

Mathew Hill*, Matthew Roberts, Mike J Price, Anthony David Kay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hill, MW, Roberts, M, Price, MJ, and Kay, AD. Effects of flywheel training with eccentric overload on standing balance, mobility, physical function, muscle thickness, and muscle quality in older adults. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2021-This study investigated the effects of a 6-week eccentric overload flywheel training program on vastus lateralis (VL) and gastrocnemius medialis (GM) muscle thickness and muscle quality (echo intensity), mobility (Timed Up and Go [TUG]), physical function (sit-to-stand), and balance (postural sway) performance. Nineteen subjects were assigned to either a flywheel training group (n = 11, age = 66.4 ± 5.2 years) or a control group (n = 8, age = 65.9 ± 3.8 years). The flywheel group underwent twice weekly squat and calf raise exercises for 6 weeks with outcome measures assessed before and after training or a time-matched control period. Throughout the training, subjects were instructed to contract as fast as possible with maximal effort during the concentric phase and to maximally resist the pull during the eccentric phase. The alpha value was a priori set at p < 0.05. Statistically significant (p < 0.05) mean (SD) increases in right and left VL (7.6-9.6 ± 7.7-9.8%) and GM (8.6-8.7 ± 6.4-11.5%) muscle thickness and a reduction in VL (10.2-11.3 ± 5.9-7.9%) and GM (11.7-11.9 ± 5.6-9.6%) echo intensity were accompanied by faster TUG time (13.7 ± 7.0%) improved sit-to-stand performance (17.8-23.5 ± 7.6 - 13.4%) and reduced postural sway (29.7-42.3 ± 13.2-24.2%) after 6 weeks of flywheel training. There were no differences in any outcome measures between the treatment and control group at baseline (p > 0.05). Overall, we observed substantial gains in muscle thickness and muscle quality, in addition to enhanced physical function, balance, and mobility performance among older adults after flywheel training, which may have important implications for preserving the functional capacity of older adults. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.]
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Early online date11 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jun 2021

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