Bone health, muscle properties and stretch-shortening cycle function of young and elderly males

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Musculoskeletal Neuronal Interactions


International Society of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions


Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research




Rice, P. E., Needle, A. R., Leicht, Z. S., Zwetsloot, McBride, J. M. (2019). Bone health, muscle properties and stretch-shortening cycle function of young and elderly males. Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions, 19(4), 389-395. Available here


The aim of this study was to examine bone, muscle, strength and stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) performance in young and elderly individuals with an ankle model to elucidate potential effects of ageing that have been suggested to influence fall risk. Moderately active young (n=10; age=22.3±1.3 yrs) and elderly (n=8; age=67.5±3.3 yrs) males completed a peripheral quantitative computed tomography scan on the dominant lower leg, maximal voluntary isometric plantarflexions (MVIP) and SSC tasks: a countermovement hop and drop hops from three different heights. Bone stress-strain index at 14% of the lower leg and muscle density, muscle cross-sectional area and muscle+bone cross-sectional area at 66% of the lower leg were all significantly greater (p≤0.05) in younger males than elderly males. Younger males also had significantly greater rate of force development and peak force during the MVIP when compared to the elderly. Younger males achieved significantly higher forces, velocities and hop heights during all SSC tasks than elderly males. Such information provides support for greater specificity in exercise interventions that prevent lower leg morphological and functional decrements in the ageing population.

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