PhD Scientific Days 2024

Budapest, 9-10 July 2024

Health Sciences I.

Enhancing Mobility in Aging: Investigating the Effects of Resistance Training on Muscle-Tendon Function and Walking Economy- A Proposal


Beáta Csizmadia1, Mehmet Akman1, Mohamed Emam2, András Hegyi1, Péter Annamária1, János Négyesi1, Bálint Kovács1, Kiss Orsolya3, Tibor Hortobágyi1
1: Hungarian University of Sports Science, Department of Kinesiology, Budapest, Hungary
2: Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
3: Semmelweis University – Heart and Vascular Center, Budapest, Hungary

Text of the abstract

Introduction: Normal aging is characterized by declines in neuromuscular and mobility functions, including reductions in maximal voluntary force generation and muscle volume, leading to sarcopenia. Additionally, aging affects tendon properties, with decreased stiffness being a common observation. Such changes could affect walking economy by altering the storage and release of elastic energy during gait. The decline in walking economy: older individuals require roughly 20% more metabolic energy to walk compared to younger ones. Despite successful walking training interventions, reducing the age-related increase in metabolic cost remains unexplored.
Resistance training, particularly with an eccentric overload, shows promise in mitigating age-related declines in muscle-tendon function. To our knowledge, there is no study that has examined the impact of such resistance training on walking economy outcomes.
Aims: This study aims to investigate the effects of resistance training comprising concentric and eccentric loads on muscle-tendon function, elastic energy storage and associated changes in the cost of walking in older adults. Unlike previous studies, this research incorporates examination of both muscle and tendon elements and evaluates functional outcomes.
Methods: Participants are randomly assigned to three groups focusing on concentric overload, eccentric overload and an active walking group. Before and after the intervention, muscle strength, tendon properties, body composition, and metabolic cost of transport during walking, will be assessed. Statistical analyses will determine intervention-induced changes, with the primary outcome being the cost of walking.
Expected Results: The central hypothesis is that eccentric overload resistance training will positively impact muscle-tendon properties and improve elastic energy storage, thereby reducing the metabolic cost of transport during walking.
Conclusion: Findings from this study could provide valuable insights into effective strategies for maintaining mobility and functional independence in aging populations. This comprehensive investigation addresses gaps in the literature and underscores the importance of resistance training in healthy aging.
Funding: No external funding.
Keywords: aging, resistance training, eccentric overload, muscle-tendon function, elastic energy storage, cost of walking