Comparison of power training vs traditional strength training on physical function in older adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Review written by Dr Mariana Wingood info

Key Points

  1. Among community-dwelling older adults, compared to traditional strength training, power training is associated with moderate improvements in power, small improvements in physical function, and no differences in strength, muscle mass and size, and gait speed.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Muscle power continues to emerge as an essential component of maintaining function, therefore it is not surprising that research is illustrating the need to incorporate power training into an older adult’s strengthening program (1). When addressing impaired muscle power, one may address either the force or the velocity deficit (1). For a strengthening exercise to be considered a power exercise, it must have a fast concentric phase followed by a controlled eccentric phase (1-3). For additional details on how to prescribe power exercises, see Box 1 (2,3).

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The objective of this paper was to systematically review power training versus traditional strength training and measures of physical function in community-living older adults.

Muscle power continues to emerge as an essential component of maintaining function in community-dwelling older adults.
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Compared to traditional strength training, power training had higher associations with improved power and physical function in older adults.

METHODS

  • Design: Systematic review
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