Effect of lower-body rehabilitative training on upper-body strength in elderly women

Poster Presentation
Paper ID : 1864-12THCONG
Oral / Poster Presentation File: 1864-12THCONG.jpg 
1University of Bojnord,Iran
2Research Group of Sport Injuries, Sport Sciences Research Institute of Iran
Strength transfer from the lower to the upper body limbs has been recently termed as the Bottom-Up Rise Strength Transfer (BURST). Few studies exist investigating the BURST effect specifically in elderly. The purpose of this study was to investigate the BURST effect induced by rehabilitative exercise training in elderly women compared to controls.
Twenty three healthy elderly women (age=56.50±5.21 years; mass=66.88±7.62 kg; height=1.55±0.05 cm) were randomly assigned to one of the 12 weeks rehabilitative exercise training group (RT) (4 weeks of training without Traband and 8 weeks with Traband, 5 days per week) or no-intervention group (Control). The strength assessment was recorded at three time points of baseline, 8-week, and 12-week. The familiarization/learning effect was estimated and subtracted by MVC force recordings to obtain with an accuracy of 1 Newton. Data were analyzed by a between subject repeated measures ANOVA at a significance level of 0.05.
MVC force significantly increased in flexor muscles of both left and right elbows (p≤0.05), both hands (p≤0.01) and Erector Spinae muscles (p≤0.01) following rehabilitative exercise training in the lower body. MVC forces did not change at any upper body muscles of the control group. Strength transfer to upper body limbs further increased after 12 weeks of training comparing to 8 weeks in RT.
Rehabilitative exercise training in lower body limbs although improves MVC on lower body limbs it further provides a great stimulus for increasing the upper body limbs as well. The findings of this study demonstrated the BURST effect induced by lower body rehabilitative training for the first time in elderly women. Lower body rehabilitative training can stimulate muscle adaptation in the upper body of elderlies. The BURST effect demonstrated in this study can be of particular interest to rehabilitative specialists, as it has therapeutic implication for individuals with unilateral motor deficits, or those suffering from problems with one of their upper and/or lower limbs, e.g. conditions induced by stroke, immobilization etc… and specifically in elderly individuals.