Addressing muscle performance impairments in cerebral palsy: Implications for upper extremity resistance training

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Study design:

Case study and literature review.


Muscle performance consists of not only strength but also muscle power, rate of force development, and endurance. Therefore, resistance training programs should address not only the force-generating capacity of the muscle but also the ability to produce force quickly.


To discuss the National Strength and Conditioning Association's resistance training guidelines for youth as specifically related to optimal dosing for muscle strength versus muscle power. Dosing parameters of frequency, volume, intensity, duration, and velocity are discussed independently for strength and power.


We describe how resistance training principles can be applied to the upper extremity in CP through a case study. The case describes an individual with spastic CP, who has a severe motor disability and is non-ambulatory, but has been able to perform resistance training focused on speed, power, and strength.


Recommendations to optimize the dosing of this individual's resistance training program are made.

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