Explosive resistance training increases rate of force development in ankle dorsiflexors and gait function in adults with cerebral palsy

Henrik Bitsch Kirk, Svend Sparre Geertsen, Jakob Lorentzen, Kasper Bygum Krarup, Thomas Bandholm, Jens Bo Nielsen

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Alterations in passive elastic properties of muscles and reduced ability to quickly generate muscle force contribute to impaired gait function in adults with cerebral palsy (CP). Here, we investigated if 12 weeks of progressive and explosive resistance training (PRT) increases rate of force development of ankle dorsiflexors (RFDdf), improves gait function and affects passive ankle joint stiffness in adults with CP.Thirty-five adults (age 36.5; range: 18-59 years) with CP were non-randomly assigned to a PRT or non-training control (CON) group in this explorative trial. The PRT group trained ankle dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, leg press, hamstring curls, abdominal curls and back extension 3 days/week for 12 weeks, with 3 sets per exercise and progressing during the training period from 12-6 RM. RFDdf, 3-D gait analysis, functional performance and ankle joint passive- and reflex-mediated muscle stiffness were evaluated pre and post.RFDdf increased significantly following PRT compared to CON. PRT also caused a significant increase in toe lift late in swing and a significantly more dorsiflexed ankle joint at ground contact and during stance. The increased toe lift amplitude was correlated to the increased RFDdf (r=0.73). No other between-group differences were observed.These findings suggest that explosive PRT may increase RFDdf and facilitate larger range of movement in the ankle joint during gait. Explosive PRT should be tested in clinical practice as part of a long-term training program for adults with CP.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association
Volume30
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2749-2760
ISSN1064-8011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

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