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Astronaut exercise prescriptions promoting health and fitness on earth

Effects of flywheel resistance training vs. concurrent aerobic and resistance training on skeletal muscle size and function in stroke patients

Östersund Rehabcentrum Remonthagen

Project in brief

In individuals suffering from stroke, the associated impairment in muscle strength, is much more prominent for concentric than eccentric muscle actions. Further, conventional strength training with weights, performed by stroke patients, elicits quite modest improvements in muscle function. Given the inherent features of YoYo™ technology, offering eccentric overload, and potentially a more robust stimulus for "proprioceptive training", initially the current study investigates whether this unique resistance exercise paradigm could be effective in rehabilitation of chronic stroke patients, suffering from lower limb functional impairment. Twenty patients (i.e. >6 mo post stroke) perform the closed chain YoYo™ Leg Press (involving knee- and hip extensors) using the impaired limb, 2 x wk-1 for 8 wk. Each exercise session consists of 3 sets of 7 coupled concentric and eccentric actions calling for maximal effort. Before, shortly after and 12 mo after training, patients will be tested by means of in vivo muscle strength, and a wide range of functional tests correlating with daily activities.


Expected Outcomes

This study will provide unique sets of data providing insight about neural mechanisms controlling adaptations to resistance exercise. While potentially aiding in designing exercise rehabilitation programs following stroke, this information should be a valuable asset in fine-tuning exercise prescriptions for astronauts in Orbit.


Research Group

The main areas of our research focus on motor control in health and disease (including rehabilitation of stroke patients) and acquired brain injury, and in particular mild traumatic brain injury.


Research in the field

  • Hedlund M, Sojka P, Lundström R and Lindström B. Better preserved torque-angle relationship during eccentric compared to concentric contractions in patients with stroke. Isokin Exerc Sci 20: 129-140, 2012.
  • Hedlund M, Sojka P, Lundström R and Lindström B. Insufficient loading in stroke subjects during conventional resistance training. Adv in Physiother 14: 18-28, 2012.
  • Norrbrand L, Pozzo M, and Tesch PA. Flywheel resistance training calls for greater eccentric muscle axctivation than weight training. Eur J Appl Physiol 110: 997-1005, 2010.


Principal investigator:

Peter Sojka, Ph.D., MD