Does strength training inhibit gains in range of motion from flexibility training in older adults?

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995 Oct;27(10):1444-9.


Thirty-one untrained men between the ages of 50 and 74 (61 +/- 6 yr, mean +/- SD) were studied to compare the effects of strength and flexibility (SF) training, flexibility only (FO) training, and no training (inactive control group) on shoulder and hip range of motion. Fourteen of these subjects volunteered to participate in an SF training program three times per week for 10 wk. Ten others participated in an FO training program during this same time period, and the remaining seven subjects agreed to serve as an inactive control group by not participating in any regular exercise. The SF training consisted of a 3-min warm-up on a stationary bike, approximately 30 min of heavy resistance strength training, and about 10 min of static stretches performed before and after each training session. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), percentage of body fat, and muscular strength (three-repetition maximum and peak isokinetic torque) were assessed before and after training for the SF group. Shoulder abduction, shoulder flexion, and hip flexion were measured with a universal goniometer in all groups before and after the training period. The FO training consisted of the identical warm-up and stretching exercises used in the SF training but without strength training. The results indicate that the FO group increased its range of motion in shoulder abduction to a significantly greater extent than the SF group (P < 0.001), and none of the changes in range of motion for the SF group was significantly different than the changes in the control group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / anatomy & histology
  • Aged
  • Bicycling
  • Body Mass Index
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Hip Joint / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Range of Motion, Articular*
  • Rotation
  • Shoulder Joint / physiology*
  • Weight Lifting*