Weakness and strength training in persons with poststroke hemiplegia: rationale, method, and efficacy

J Rehabil Res Dev. 2004 May;41(3A):293-312. doi: 10.1682/jrrd.2004.03.0293.


Several converging lines of contemporary evidence suggest that weakness presents a more serious compromise to movement function in poststroke hemiplegia than spasticity. This review examines the clinical and functional phenomena of weakness in poststroke hemiplegia, currently available evidence identifying physiologic substrates contributing to weakness, and reports of early investigations involving high-resistance training targeted at improving strength and the transfer of strength to improvements in functional capacity. Based on this information, we describe some unsolved problems and indicate some likely lines of development to increase our knowledge regarding how resistance training can be included in effective stroke rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Movement Techniques
  • Hemiplegia / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Motor Neurons / physiology
  • Muscle Weakness / etiology
  • Muscle Weakness / physiopathology*
  • Muscle Weakness / rehabilitation*
  • Recovery of Function / physiology
  • Recruitment, Neurophysiological / physiology
  • Stroke / complications*