Effects of strengthening and stretching exercise programmes on kinematics and kinetics of running in older adults: a randomised controlled trial

J Sports Sci. 2016 Sep;34(18):1774-81. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2015.1137343. Epub 2016 Jan 25.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of strengthening and stretching exercises on running kinematics and kinetics in older runners. One hundred and five runners (55-75 years) were randomly assigned to either a strengthening (n = 36), flexibility (n = 34) or control (n = 35) group. Running kinematics and kinetics were obtained using an eight-camera system and an instrumented treadmill before and after the eight-week exercise protocol. Measures of strength and flexibility were also obtained using a dynamometer and inclinometer/goniometer. A time effect was observed for the excursion angles of the ankle sagittal (P = 0.004, d = 0.17) and thorax/pelvis transverse (P < 0.001, d = 0.20) plane. Similarly, a time effect was observed for knee transverse plane impulse (P = 0.013, d = 0.26) and ground reaction force propulsion (P = 0.042, d = -0.15). A time effect for hip adduction (P = 0.006, d = 0.69), ankle dorsiflexion (P = 0.002, d = 0.47) and hip internal rotation (P = 0.048, d = 0.30) flexibility, and hip extensor (P = 0.001, d = -0.48) and ankle plantar flexor (P = 0.01, d = 0.39) strength were also observed. However, these changes were irrespective of exercise group. The results of the present study indicate that an eight-week stretching or strengthening protocol, compared to controls, was not effective in altering age-related running biomechanics despite changes in ankle and trunk kinematics, knee kinetics and ground reaction forces along with alterations in muscle strength and flexibility were observed over time.

Keywords: Running; ageing; biomechanics; clinical trial; exercise.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Joints
  • Lower Extremity
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Muscle Stretching Exercises*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Pelvis
  • Range of Motion, Articular*
  • Resistance Training*
  • Running / physiology*
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Task Performance and Analysis