Int J Sports Med 2002; 23(2): 112-119
DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-20130
Training and Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

The Effects of Strength Training, Cardiovascular Training and Their Combination on Flexibility of Inactive Older Adults

I. G.  Fatouros1 , K.  Taxildaris1 , S.  P.  Tokmakidis1 , V.  Kalapotharakos1 , N.  Aggelousis1 , S.  Athanasopoulos1 , I.  Zeeris1 , I.  Katrabasas1
  • 1Democritus University of Thrace, Dept. of Physical Education & Sport Science, Komotini, Greece
Further Information

Publication History

May 31, 2001

Publication Date:
13 February 2002 (online)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of aerobic training, strength training and their combination on joint range of motion of inactive older individuals. Thirty-two inactive older men (65 - 78 yr) were assigned to one of four groups (n = 8 per group): control (C), strength training (ST), cardiovascular training (CT), and combination of strength and aerobic training (SA). Subjects in the S, A, and SA trained three times a week for 16 weeks. ST included 10 resistance exercises for the major muscle groups at an intensity of 55 - 80 % of 1-RM and CT included walking/ jogging at 50 - 80 % of maximal heart rate. Body weight and height, physical activity level and maximal oxygen uptake (VO˙2max) were measured before the training period. Isokinetic (60 and 180 deg × sec-1) and concentric strength (1-RM in bench and leg press) were assessed prior to and at the end of the training period. Hip flexion, extension, abduction, and adduction, shoulder extension, flexion, and adduction, knee flexion, elbow flexion and sit-and-reach score were determined before and at 8 and 16 weeks of training. There were no differences between groups in V˙O2max, body weight, and height (p < 0.05). ST and SA but not CT and C increased isokinetic and concentric strength at the end of the training period (p < 0.05). ST and SA increased significantly (p < 0.05) sit-and-reach performance, elbow flexion, knee flexion, shoulder flexion and extension and hip flexion and extension both at mid- and post-training. CT increased (p < 0.05) only hip flexion and extension at post training. Results indicate that resistance training may be able to increase range of motion of a number of joints of inactive older individuals possibly due to an improvement in muscle strength.


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