ISSN: 1899-1955
Human Movement
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3/2017
vol. 18
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Effects of an eight-week stepladder exercise protocol on lower limb muscular strength of apparently healthy young adults

Oladapo Michael Olagbegi
1
,
Babatunde Olusola Adegoke
2
,
Candice Jo-Anne Christie
1
,
Olufemi Samuel Bolarinde
3
,
Joseph Adeiza Jegede
3

1.
Department of Human Kinetics and Ergonomics, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
2.
Department of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
3.
Department of Physiotherapy, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Nigeria
Online publish date: 2018/02/26
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Purpose
Backward descent of stairs is associated with improved muscle strength and reduced joint stress, but the effect of back­ward ascent of stairs on lower limb muscle strength has not been reported. This study compared the effects of forward and backward stair climbing on lower limb muscle strength in apparently healthy young adults.

Methods
The total of 31 young volunteers were allocated to either forward or backward stair climbing group (n = 16 and 15, respectively). Dynamic quadriceps and hamstring muscle strength was assessed in addition to thigh girth at baseline and at weeks 4 and 8 with the use of the repetitive maximum method and tape measure, respectively.

Results
Between baseline and week 8, muscular strength in both groups (quadriceps: 14.4 ± 3.6 to 16.4 ± 3.4 kg; 14.0 ± 2.9 to 15.3 ± 2.7 kg; hamstring: 12.2 ± 3.2 to 13.4 ± 3.2; 11.7 ± 2.5 to 12.9 ± 2.7 kg) increased significantly (p < 0.05) while the increase in thigh girth was not significant (p > 0.05). The groups were comparable in all three measures post intervention.

Conclusions
Forward and backward stair climbing protocols are effective for improving the dynamic strength of the hamstring and quadriceps muscles of apparently healthy young adults. Thus, either protocol could be used for the improvement of lower limbs dynamic muscle strength.

keywords:

stair-climbing, strength-training, quadriceps, hamstring

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