Resisted Exercise Training of Institutionalized Older Adults for Improved Strength and Functional Mobility: A Review

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A number of studies have investigated strength training interventions for the institutionalized older adult. These interventions have ranged from flexibility/active range of motion exercises, progressive walking programs, low to high intensity strength training, repetition of functional tasks, low to high equipment technology, isometric and dynamic muscle contractions, to general calisthenics. Intervention durations ranged from 4 weeks to 3 years. Frequency ranged from twice per week to several short sessions per day, with the majority of programs meeting three times per week. High intensity, individualized strength training using machines has been shown to produce dramatic strength gains. Group-based strength training programs using inexpensive equipment have also produced significant improvement in muscle strength and functional mobility. Safety of the strength training protocols used has been demonstrated, and the effects of immobility for this population of older adults have been suggested to pose greater health dangers than the exercise intervention.

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