High intensity strength training improves strength and functional performance after stroke

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2000 Jul-Aug;79(4):369-76; quiz 391-4. doi: 10.1097/00002060-200007000-00009.


Objective: To evaluate the effects of a progressive resistance strength training program on changes in muscle strength, gait, and balance in older individuals 1 yr after stroke, seven individuals were recruited who were greater than 60-yr-old, 1 yr after stroke, living at home, and able to follow verbal commands.

Design: Subjects participated in a 12-wk 2x per wk resistance training program at 70% of 1 repetition maximum.

Results: Lower limb strength improved 68% on the affected side and 48% on the intact side during training, with the largest increases observed for hip extension (affected side: 88%, P < 0.01; intact side: 103%, P < 0.001). Repeated chair stand time decreased 21% (P < 0.02). Motor performance assessed by the Motor Assessment Scale improved 9% (P < 0.04) and static and dynamic balance (Berg balance scale) improved 12% (P < 0.004). Progressive resistance training in individuals 1 yr after stroke improves affected and intact side lower limb strength and was associated with gains in chair stand time, balance, and motor performance.

Conclusions: These results support the concept that strength training is an appropriate intervention to improve the quality of physical function in older community dwelling stroke survivors.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Depression
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement
  • Physical Fitness
  • Postural Balance
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*