Neuromuscular Economy, Strength, and Endurance in Healthy Elderly Men

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Cadore, EL, Pinto, RS, Alberton, CL, Pinto, SS, Lhullier, FLR, Tartaruga, MP, Correa, CS, Almeida, APV, Silva, EM, Laitano, O, and Kruel, LFM. Neuromuscular economy, strength, and endurance in healthy elderly men. J Strength Cond Res 25(4): 997-1003, 2011-Declines in muscular strength resulting from reduced neural activity may influence the reduction in aerobic capacity in older men. However, there has been little investigation into the relationship between muscular strength and economy of movement during aerobic exercise in elderly subjects. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the possible relationship between strength, aerobic performance, and neuromuscular economy in older men. Twenty-eight aged men (65 ± 4 years old) were evaluated in dynamic (1 repetition maximum test), isometric strength (maximal voluntary contraction), and rate of force development. Peak oxygen uptake, maximal workload, and ventilatory threshold were determined during a ramp protocol on a cycle ergometer. Throughout the same protocol, the neuromuscular economy (electromyographic signal) of the vastus lateralis was measured. Significant correlations were found between muscular strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and neuromuscular economy (r = 0.43-0.64, p < 0.05). Our results suggest that cardiorespiratory capacity and economy of movement are associated with muscular strength during aging.

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