PhD Scientific Days 2024

Budapest, 9-10 July 2024

Health Sciences I.

Effects of Eccentric Overload Resistance Training on Muscle Quality, Balance and Cost of Walking in Older Individuals


MOHAMED EMAM1, Mehmet Akman2, Beáta Csizmadia2, András Hegyi2, Péter Annamária2, János Négyesi2, Bálint Kovács2, Gyula Gyebnár3, Orsolya Kiss3, András Horváth3, Tibor Hortobágyi2
1: Semmelweis Univesrity
2: Hungarian University of Sports Science
3: Semmelweis University

Text of the abstract

Introduction: Normal aging leads to declines in neuromuscular and mobility functions, including a ~60% decline in maximal voluntary force by age 70, accompanied by a ~25% reduction in muscle volume and quality (sarcopenia). Aging also affects tendon properties, contributing to functional capacity reductions in walking speed and balance.
Our study aims to determine the impact of resistance training, eccentrically-biased one on muscle-tendon function and associated changes in walking economy.
● Participants: Approximately 60 individuals aged 60 and over will participate in a three-year study, randomized into two groups :
● Group 1: (Concentric contraction) 5 sets of 12 repetitions; Group 2: (Eccentric contraction)
5 sets of 10 repetitions, a 40% overload.
Exercises include bilateral seated leg press, knee extension, and ankle press under metronome control.
• Measurements: We plan to measure before and after training: maximal voluntary force, passive elastic properties, muscle thickness, whole leg muscle content, metabolic cost of transport during walking, single leg calf-raise test, and whole-body kinematic and kinetic gait analysis.
Results: We anticipate that eccentric overload resistance training will positively impact muscle-tendon properties, potentially reducing the cost of transport during walking. This expectation is based on existing data suggesting that resistance training, especially eccentrically-biased training, improves tendon stiffness, facilitating more efficient force transfer and reducing the cost of transport during gait. Additionally, increased sliding capacity between adjacent Achilles sub-tendons may enhance biomechanical function during walking.
Discussion & conclusion: The findings of this study hold significant implications for exercise prescription in aging. To reduce age-related declines in neuromuscular and mobility functions. Eccentric overload resistance training emerges as a potential intervention to enhance muscle-tendon properties, thereby positively impacting walking economy. The potential association between improved measures of muscle-tendon function underlying improved walking economy provided novel options to prescribe exercise in aging and improve quality of life.
Funding: This study is funded by Semmelweis University.