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The purpose of this study was to examine age-related differences in muscle performance in women divided into young (YW, 20–39 years, n = 29) middle-aged (MAW, 40–59 years, n = 33), and older (OW, ≥60 years, n = 40) age groups. Methods: Hand grip strength, vertical jump performance, and knee extensor (KE) strength (0 deg/s, 60 deg/s, and 240 deg/s), speed of movement (SoM; at 1 Nm, 20%, 40%, and 60% isometric strength), and endurance (30-repetition test at 60 degs/s and 240 deg/s) were assessed. Computed tomography-acquired muscle cross-sectional area (mCSA) was measured and included to determine specific strength (KE strength/mCSA). Results: Hand grip strength was similar across groups, while jump performance declined with age (YW and MAW > OW, p < 0.001). KE strength declined significantly with age (all conditions p < 0.01), while specific strength was similar across groups. SoM was significantly higher for YW and MAW compared to OW (both p < 0.01). An age × velocity interaction revealed YW KE endurance was similar between conditions, whereas MAW and OW displayed significantly better endurance during the 60 deg/s condition. OW displayed impaired KE endurance at 240 deg/s (vs. YW and MAW, p < 0.01) but improved at 60 deg/s (vs. YW, p < 0.01). Dynamic torque decline increased with age (YW < OW, p = 0.03) and was associated with intramuscular adipose tissue (r = 0.21, p = 0.04). Conclusions: Performance declines were most evident among OW, but few performance deficits had emerged in MAW. Interestingly, strength declines disappeared after normalizing to mCSA and endurance appears to be velocity-dependent.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.





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