Stretching and Multicomponent Training to Functional Capacities of Older Women: A Randomized Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Dec 21;19(1):27. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19010027.


Background and purpose: The real benefits of stretching when used as training for the older adult population and for developing other physical capacities are still uncertain. Thus, the objective of the present work is to investigate the effects of stretching training combined with multi-component training on the physical capacities of physically inactive older women.

Methods: Women aged 60 to 70 years were randomized into three groups: multicomponent training (MT), multicomponent training combined with flexibility training (CT), and control group (CG). Both training interventions were carried out for 14 weeks, with two weekly sessions. Participants were assessed for agility, muscle strength (sitting and standing and elbow flexion/extension), and cardiorespiratory fitness (6-min walk).

Results and discussion: Multicomponent training with flexibility presented a very large effect on the variables of strength, agility, and aerobic fitness, while multicomponent training had a medium effect on agility and a large and very large effect on muscle strength variables. This is the first study in the literature to analyze the effect of flexibility training, associated with multicomponent training, on other physical capacities.

Conclusions: The results of the current study suggest that adding flexibility training to a multicomponent training program generates additional benefits to the development of other physical capacities.

Keywords: aging; exercise; functional performance; older adults; physical fitness.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness*
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength
  • Physical Fitness*