Skeletal muscle fatigue and endurance in young and old men and women

B Lindstrom, Jan Lexell, B Gerdle, D Downham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of increasing age on skeletal muscle fatigue and endurance were assessed in 22 healthy young (14 men and 8 women; mean age, 28 +/- 6 years) and 16 healthy old (8 men and 8 women; mean age, 73 +/- 3 years) individuals. All subjects performed 100 repeated maximum dynamic knee extensions at 90 degrees.s-1 (1.57 rad.s-1) using an isokinetic dynamometer (Cybex II). Peak torque was recorded during every contraction, and for each individual the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), the fatigue rate, the endurance level, and the relative reduction in muscle force were determined. MVC and endurance level were significantly lower in old men and women, but there was no discernible difference in relative muscle force reduction and fatigue rate between young and old individuals. We conclude that thigh muscles of older individuals are weaker than those of younger individuals, but relative to their strength, older individuals have similar properties as younger individuals with respect to muscle fatigue and endurance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)B59-B66
JournalJournals of Gerontology. Series A: Biological Sciences & Medical Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Geriatrics


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