Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

The comparison of maximal and endurance strength of quadriceps femori in trained and untrained elderly

Perparim Ferunaj, Harald Tschan



The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in knee extensor maximal and endurance strength in elderly. Sixteen healthy elderly served as subjects, eight of them trained , age 61.0±8.9 yrs; height, 170.6±6.8 cm; weight, 71.8±11.7 kg [mean ± standard deviation] and eight untrained 61.4±8.1 yrs, height 174.6±7.4 cm; weight 83.9 ±14.2 kg. Maximal strength in single leg extension exercise was measured unilaterally with the dominant leg until the subjects reached their 1 Repetition Maximum (RM) covering the full Range of Motion (ROM). Muscular endurance was obtained with a load of 75% of 1-RM for 3 consecutive sets, with 2 min rest periods till failure. Load at 1 RM was lower in absolute terms in untrained, but not significant, while the relative 1-RM test was significantly lower in untrained subjects (0.20 vs. 0.25 kg load/kg body weight) (p< 0.05). The number of repetitions and amount of weight lifted performed of all 3 sets was higher in trained subjects, but not significant. In the trained group both repetitions and the load managed in the third set was significant lower compared with the first two sets. The result that maximal force output is more affected compared to muscular endurance in these subjects might be due to the habitual use of quadriceps femoris muscles during activity of daily living in both trained and untrained elderly.


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