OWNHILL WALKING TO IMPROVE LOWER LIMB STRENGTH Pallicca A.1, Pallicca P.1, Fattorini L.2, Pittiglio G.1, Rodio A.1 1 Department of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Cassino, Via Sant’Angelo località Folcara,03043 Cassino (Fr), Italy 2 Department of Human Physiology, University of Rome“La Sapienza”, P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy a.pallicca@unicas.it INTRODUCTION Eccentric training can significantly increase muscle strength. There is a physiological decay of strength and muscle tissue with age. The aim of the study was to identify whether a simple activity as walking downhill improves strength and resistance to fatigue in the muscles of the lower limbs. During this type of activity the eccentric component plays a decisive role. The study was performed in the laboratory using a treadmill with slopes ranging from -20% to +20%. There is a double benefit as a result of this motor activity, a valid tool in the physiological decay due to aging and maintains or improves people’s health through an aerobic activity. METHODS Seven female students were subjected to the evaluation of the amount and type of motor activity performed six months prior to the experiment, using a recognised questionnaire, the Short Form 36 (SF36); body composition assessment; force measurements through the calculation of Maximum Voluntary Contraction (MVC), the resistance time at 60% of MVC, Squat Jump (SJ), Counter Movement Jump (CMJ) e Continuous Jump Bent Legs (CJb). Each subject was then required to walk on the treadmill at a speed for which the energy expenditure is minimal (optimal speed on the slope given). The duration of the exercise was 30 minutes, three times a week for 6 weeks. RESULTS Among all parameters studied, only the Maximum Voluntary Contraction and the Squat Jump showed statistically significant results (p <0.05). Maximum Voluntary Contraction increased in right leg from 289±58 N to 340±40 N and left leg from 270±33 N to 338±49 N. While Squat Jump increased from 48±4 cm to 50±4 cm. Regarding the resistance time of 60% of MVC, Counter Movement Jump and Continuous Jump Bent Legs there were no statistically significant results. CONCLUSION Walking downhill a slope equal to -20% on a treadmill induces improvements in the muscle strength in the lower limbs. This type of motor activity can be used as a strategy to counter the physiological decay due to aging, in addition beneficial effects of aerobic training on health status are well known. REFERENCES Fridèn J, Seger J,Sjostrom M, Ekblom B. Adaptative response in Human Skeletal muscle subjected to prolonged eccentric training. Int. J. Sports Med. 1983;4:177-83. Manno R. Strength ability in aged people. Ital J Sport Sci 2004;11:16-22. Minetti AE, Optimum gradient of mountain paths. J. Appl. Physiol. 1995;79:1698-1703

DOWNHILL WALKING TO IMPROVE LOWER LIMB STRENGTH European Congress of Adapted Physical Activity (EUCAPA) In conjunction with The Finnish Congress of Adapted Physical Activity.

RODIO, Angelo
2010

Abstract

OWNHILL WALKING TO IMPROVE LOWER LIMB STRENGTH Pallicca A.1, Pallicca P.1, Fattorini L.2, Pittiglio G.1, Rodio A.1 1 Department of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Cassino, Via Sant’Angelo località Folcara,03043 Cassino (Fr), Italy 2 Department of Human Physiology, University of Rome“La Sapienza”, P.le Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy a.pallicca@unicas.it INTRODUCTION Eccentric training can significantly increase muscle strength. There is a physiological decay of strength and muscle tissue with age. The aim of the study was to identify whether a simple activity as walking downhill improves strength and resistance to fatigue in the muscles of the lower limbs. During this type of activity the eccentric component plays a decisive role. The study was performed in the laboratory using a treadmill with slopes ranging from -20% to +20%. There is a double benefit as a result of this motor activity, a valid tool in the physiological decay due to aging and maintains or improves people’s health through an aerobic activity. METHODS Seven female students were subjected to the evaluation of the amount and type of motor activity performed six months prior to the experiment, using a recognised questionnaire, the Short Form 36 (SF36); body composition assessment; force measurements through the calculation of Maximum Voluntary Contraction (MVC), the resistance time at 60% of MVC, Squat Jump (SJ), Counter Movement Jump (CMJ) e Continuous Jump Bent Legs (CJb). Each subject was then required to walk on the treadmill at a speed for which the energy expenditure is minimal (optimal speed on the slope given). The duration of the exercise was 30 minutes, three times a week for 6 weeks. RESULTS Among all parameters studied, only the Maximum Voluntary Contraction and the Squat Jump showed statistically significant results (p <0.05). Maximum Voluntary Contraction increased in right leg from 289±58 N to 340±40 N and left leg from 270±33 N to 338±49 N. While Squat Jump increased from 48±4 cm to 50±4 cm. Regarding the resistance time of 60% of MVC, Counter Movement Jump and Continuous Jump Bent Legs there were no statistically significant results. CONCLUSION Walking downhill a slope equal to -20% on a treadmill induces improvements in the muscle strength in the lower limbs. This type of motor activity can be used as a strategy to counter the physiological decay due to aging, in addition beneficial effects of aerobic training on health status are well known. REFERENCES Fridèn J, Seger J,Sjostrom M, Ekblom B. Adaptative response in Human Skeletal muscle subjected to prolonged eccentric training. Int. J. Sports Med. 1983;4:177-83. Manno R. Strength ability in aged people. Ital J Sport Sci 2004;11:16-22. Minetti AE, Optimum gradient of mountain paths. J. Appl. Physiol. 1995;79:1698-1703
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