A new study showed that adults over the age of 90 improved their strength, power, and muscle mass after 12 weeks of strength training. The study, which was recently published in Age, involved 24 people between the ages of 91 and 96 years with 11 of the individuals in the experimental group and 13 in the control group. Two days a week over a 12-week period the participants performed multicomponent training, which included a program of different exercises designed for them that combined strength training and balance improving exercises.
The results of the study showed that the improvement in strength, muscle mass, and power was reflected in an increase in walking speed of the participants, an improvement in balance, and a greater capacity to get out of their chairs, as well as a notable reduction in incidence of falls and a significant improvement in muscle power and mass in the lower limbs.
Lead author of the study Mikel Izquierdo- Redín, PhD, explains, “the training raised their functional capacity, lowered the risk of falls, and improved muscle power. In addition to the significant increases in the physical capacity of frail elderly people, the study has shown that power training can be perfectly applied to the elderly with frailty.”
Izquierdo- Redín states, “From a practical point of view the results of the study point to the importance of implementing exercise programmes in patients of this type, exercises to develop muscle power, balance and walking.” He believes, “it would be beneficial to apply exercises of this type among vulnerable elderly people to prevent the impact of aging, improve their wellbeing and help them to adapt to the society in which they live.”