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Article Title

STRENGTH AND STEP ACTIVITY AFTER ECCENTRIC RESISTANCE TRAINING IN THOSE WITH INCOMPLETE SPINAL CORD INJURIES

Abstract

Whitley Stoneǂ1, Sandra Stevensǂ2, Dana Fullerǂ2, & Jennifer Caputoǂ2. 1University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri. 2 Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Individuals with spinal cord injuries often experience general weakness in the lower extremities that undermines daily step activity. PURPOSE: Investigate the efficacy of eccentrically biased resistance training on lower extremity strength and physical activity of individuals with spinal cord injuries. METHODS: Individuals with long-standing incomplete spinal cord injuries (N = 11) capable of completing a 10 meter walk assessment trained two times per week for 12-weeks on a lower body eccentric resistance training machine. All participants who completed the familiarization period finished the training. It was hypothesized that the outcome variables (eccentric strength, isometric strength, and daily step physical activity) would improve as a result of the training intervention. RESULTS: Eccentric strength (F (1.27, 12.71) = 8.42, MSE = 1738.35, H-F p = .009) and isometric strength (F (1.97, 19.77) = 7.10, MSE = 11.29, H-F p = .005) improved as a result of the training while daily step activity did not change (F (2.00, 18.00) = 2.73, MSE = 216,836.78, H-F p = .092). CONCLUSIONS: Eccentric resistance training improved eccentric and isometric strength. These physiological adaptations may translate to improved gait mechanics, but further study is required to identify this potential crossover effect.

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