Slower Walking Speed in Older Men Improves Triceps Surae Force Generation Ability
Stenroth, L., Sipilä, S., Finni Juutinen, T., & Cronin, N. (2017). Slower Walking Speed in Older Men Improves Triceps Surae Force Generation Ability. Medicine and Science Sports and Exercise, 49(1), 158-166. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001065
Published inMedicine and Science Sports and Exercise
DisciplineBiomekaniikkaGerontologia ja kansanterveysGerontologian tutkimuskeskusHyvinvoinnin tutkimuksen yhteisöBiomechanicsGerontology and Public HealthGerontology Research CenterSchool of Wellbeing
© 2016 American College of Sports Medicine. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by LWW. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Purpose: Older adults walk slower than young adults, but it is not known why. Previous research suggests that ankle plantarflexors may have a crucial role in the reduction of walking speed. The purpose of this study was to investigate age-related differences in triceps surae muscle–tendon function during walking to further investigate the role of plantarflexors in the age-related reduction of walking speed. Methods: Medial gastrocnemius and soleus muscle fascicle lengths were measured using ultrasound imaging during walking from 13 young (25 ± 4 yr) men at preferred walking speed and from 13 older (73 ± 5 yr) men at preferred speed and at the young men’s preferred speed. Muscle–tendon unit lengths were calculated from joint kinematics, and tendinous tissue lengths were calculated by subtracting muscle lengths from muscle–tendon unit lengths. In addition, ground reaction forces and electromyographic activity of medial gastrocnemius and soleus were measured. Results: In both medial gastrocnemius and soleus, it was observed that at preferred walking speed, older men used a narrower muscle fascicle operating range and lower shortening velocity at the estimated time of triceps surae peak force generation compared with young men. Fascicles also accounted for a lower proportion of muscle–tendon unit length changes during the stance phase in older compared with young men. Significant differences in triceps surae muscle function were not observed between age groups when compared at matched walking speed. Conclusions: In older men, walking at preferred speed allows triceps surae muscles to generate force with more favorable shortening velocity and to enhance use of tendinous tissue elasticity compared with walking at young men’s preferred speed. The results suggest that older men may prefer slower walking speeds to compensate for decreased plantarflexor strength. ...
PublisherLippincott Williams & Wilkins; American College of Sports Medicine
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Cronin, Neil J. (2007)
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