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Effect of different stretching volumes on functional capacity in elderly women.

Keywords: Aging , Articular range of motion , Physical fitness.

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The study aimed to analyze the effect of two different durations of stretching exercises, 90 or 180 seconds, on the functional capacity (FC) of elderly women. Forty-three older women were assigned into three groups: inactive Control Group (CG, n. = 14), Training Group with three sets of 30 seconds (TG90, n. = 15) and Training Group with three sets of 60 seconds (TG180, n = 14). The TG90 and TG180 groups attended the university for 16 weeks, three times a week. The training protocol consisted of seven different static stretching exercises, performed in an active way. The CG attended the university only in periods of evaluations. Evaluations of the FC components and the Global Functional Fitness Index (GFFI), from the three groups, were both conducted before, and after 8 and 16 weeks of experiment, using a motor tests battery. The two-way ANOVA showed significant group x time interaction for the components flexibility, muscle strength and aerobic endurance, and for the GFFI values (p <0.05). The Scheffé post hoc test pointed difference between the two training groups and the CG, with no difference between TF90 and TG180. There was also improvement in the general classification of GFFI for the TG90 and TG180, which went from “fair” to “good”, while CG remained classified as “fair.” It was concluded that the two durations of stretching exercises were equally effective in improving flexibility, muscle strength, aerobic endurance and levels of FC in elderly women.


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