Strength & weakness


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? 1

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 […]


Interview: Prof Nicholas Taylor on strength training and mobility in young people with cerebral palsy

In young people with cerebral palsy, strength training increases the forces that their muscles produce. But does that mean that strength training helps young people with cerebral palsy walk better? Professor Nicholas Taylor talks about strength training and mobility in young people with cerebral palsy.      


Plasticity of lower-limb motoneurons after spinal cord injury

Several neuromodulatory strategies have been used to improve leg function in individuals with spinal cord injury. These strategies include: electrical stimulation of the lumbar spinal cord (Harkema et al. 2011), operant conditioning of spinal reflexes (Thompson et al. 2013), and magnetic stimulation of a part of the brain that controls […]


Training pays off…even for the untrained hand 4

Training improves task performance due to improved motor control through practice. Intriguingly, training with one limb can improve task performance with the other, untrained limb. This phenomenon is known as interlimb transfer or cross education, and it is important for rehabilitation when the most affected limb cannot engage in training […]


Training for muscle endurance after stroke

Previous research supports the use of resistance training as a safe and effective exercise intervention for disabled stroke patients (Lee et al. 2010; Pak & Patten 2008). Although resistance training programs for stroke typically target improvements in maximal muscle strength, gains in muscle endurance (i.e. the ability to sustain submaximal […]


Strength training improves the nervous system’s ability to drive muscles 2

Imagine that the New Year has just begun. You’ve made a resolution to improve your physical fitness. In particular, you want to improve your muscle strength. You’ve heard that people with stronger muscles live longer and have less difficulty standing, walking, and using the toilet when they get older (Rantanen […]


Neural mechanisms related to the reduction in muscle force after stretching

Stretching routines are commonly performed before exercise, and they are often included in rehabilitation programs. One of the most common types of stretching is static stretching.  Static stretching involves lengthening the muscle, then holding it at a lengthened position for several seconds. For example, if you bend over to touch […]


Why does motor performance decline with aging?

Populations in many countries are aging as the proportion of people over 65 years is projected to increase over the next 30-40 years. Aging however, is accompanied by a reduced ability to perform daily tasks such as walking, rising from a chair and climbing stairs, ultimately impacting independence of living. […]