Strength Training in Older Adults: The Benefits for Osteoarthritis

Clin Geriatr Med. 2010 Aug;26(3):445-59. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2010.03.006.


This review summarizes the findings of randomized controlled trials of progressive resistance training (PRT) by older people with osteoarthritis (OA). A significant benefit was found in lower-extremity extensor strength, function, and pain reduction. Across all 3 outcomes, the estimated effect size was moderate, which contrasted with trials of PRT in non-OA-specific groups of older adults where a large effect was found in strength but a small effect on function. This suggests that strength training has strong functional benefits for older adults with OA. Older adults with OA benefit from a strength-training program that provides progressive overload to maintain intensity throughout an exercise program.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle Weakness / etiology
  • Muscle Weakness / physiopathology
  • Muscle Weakness / therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis / complications
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy*