Power Training and Balance in Older Adults
Researchers in Australia and Massachusetts say that low load, high velocity power training can improve balance and reduce fall risks in aging subjects.
From the abstract:
“Age-related decline in muscle power may be an early indicator of balance deficits and fall risk, even in nonfrail adults. This study examined the dose-dependent effect of power training on balance performance in healthy older adults.
One hundred twelve community-dwelling healthy older adults (69 ± 6 years) were randomized to 8–12 weeks of power training at 20% (LOW), 50% (MED), or 80% (HIGH) of maximal strength, or a nontraining control (CON) group…”
The researchers concluded:
“Power training significantly improved balance performance in participants who underwent power training compared to controls. Low intensity power training produced the greatest improvement in balance performance…
Power training improves balance, particularly using a low load, high velocity regimen, in older adults with initial lower muscle power and slower contraction. Further studies are warranted to define the mechanisms underlying this adaptation, as well as the optimum power training intensity for a range of physiological and clinical outcomes in older adults with varying levels of health status and functional independence.”
Orr R, de Vos NJ, Singh NA, Ross DA, Stavrinos TM, Fiatarone-Singh MA. Power Training Improves Balance in Healthy Older Adults. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 61:78-85 (2006)