Strength & weakness


Interventions that involve repetitive practice improve strength and function after stroke

The loss of strength after stroke is a common and important impairment. Some people who have had a severe stroke can lose as much as 50–70% strength in the affected arm and leg (Andrews & Bohannon 2003; Horstman et al. 2008). This loss of strength can result in profound disability […]


How many times per week should an older person perform resistance training? “More is more” versus “less is more”

Current recommendations for physical activity state healthy adults should: 1) engage in moderate aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes per week and 2) perform resistance training (i.e. strength training) for all major muscle groups at least two times per week (World Health Organization, 2010). However, according to recent reports […]


Older people maintain their strength and balance after a busy day

Previous studies have shown that repeatedly working muscles until fatigue results in reduced strength, sensation, walking and balance control in older people (Helbostad et al. 2007, 2010; Kent-Braun, 2009; Pline et al. 2005). However, these extreme protocols are unlikely to accurately reflect an older person’s daily activities and likely miss the […]


Combining functional exercises with resistance training increases muscle size and improves function in young adults with cerebral palsy

Sizes of leg muscles in young adults with cerebral palsy can be reduced by up to 50% compared with typically developing people (Shortland 2009). The reduced muscle size may be caused by the effects of cerebral palsy itself, reduced muscle use, treatments that are directed at the muscle (such as […]


Resistance training after stroke improves strength but not necessarily function

Muscle weakness is the largest cause of disability after stroke (Canning et al 2004). Stroke survivors have levels of muscle strength that are about half of that of people who have not had a stroke (Dorsch et al 2016; Horstman et al 2008). Thus, it is important to identify interventions that […]


Motor Impairment Blog’s most popular posts

Over the past 4.5 years, researchers from all over the world have written non-technical summaries on their research for the Motor Impairment Blog. Consequently, the Blog contains a rich archive of information on topics such as muscle strength and weakness, falls and balance, sensation, pain, motor control, and research methods. […]


Jars of jam and muscle weakness in the morning 2

It’s 6AM. Last night, you missed dinner and you’ve woken up early because your body is ready for a feed. You stumble from your bedroom into the kitchen. You open the fridge and search for your favourite jar of jam. It’s nowhere to be found. Your partner finished it (without […]


Drinking cold water improves exercise tolerance in multiple sclerosis

During physical activity or exposure to hot environments, individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) can experience heat intolerance, which leads to the rapid onset of fatigue. The underlying cause of this deterioration, known as Uhthoff’s phenomenon among MS researchers, remains unknown (Opara et al. 2016).   Due to Uhthoff’s phenomenon, individuals […]


Keep an eye on exercise supervision

As we get older, we lose muscle size and strength and become more vulnerable to injury (de Souto Barreto 2009; Fried et al. 2005). Each year, 1 in 3 individuals over 65 has a fall (Yoshida 2007), which often leads to fractures, hospital admissions and mortality. Strength and balance exercise […]


What happens to our nerves during fatiguing exercise? 2

Motoneurones are nerve cells in the spinal cord that, when they fire, enable us to make muscle contractions and perform movements. Right now, for example, the motoneurones that control your eye muscles are firing as you move your eyes to read this text.   When we exercise or perform strenuous […]