April 18, 2019: Ask older adults how they're doing and a frequent response is: "I'm slowing down." In fact, older adults commonly struggle with diminishing ability to generate force and movement at a higher velocity particularly in their legs.
Studies indicate that muscle power correlates, to a high degree, with functional status—maybe even more so than the correlation of muscle strength or muscle mass to functional status. In other words, in the aging process, muscle power declines earlier and faster than does muscle strength.
In this episode, physical therapist James Eng discusses how older adults—whether they’re healthy or mobility-impaired—can benefit from something called high-velocity training. “ It’s sometimes abbreviated HVT and also is referred to as power training.” Not only is it effective, he says, but, in the hands of a skilled practitioner, it’s very safe.
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James Eng, PT, DPT, MS, is a board-certified geriatric clinical specialist. He has held multiple positions in practicing physical therapy, including a role as director of geriatric residency. He is currently an associate professor in the school of physical therapy at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, and continues to work with older adults on a part-time basis. His research interests focus on functional mobility in the elderly.