Lower limb muscle performance during a closed chain single leg squat and a squat jump in people with leg weakness after stroke: A comparative study

Genevieve Tolé, Gavin Williams, Anne E. Holland, Ross A. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Objective: To determine if the intention to perform an exercise at speed leads to beneficial alterations in kinematic and kinetic components of the movement in people with post-stroke hemiplegia. Design: Comparative study. Setting: Subacute metropolitan rehabilitation hospital. Participants: Convenience sample of patients admitted as an inpatient or outpatient with a diagnosis of stroke with lower limb weakness, functional ambulation category score ≥3, and ability to walk ≥14metres. Methods: Participants performed a single leg squat exercise on their paretic and nonparetic legs on a leg sled under three conditions: 1) self-selected speed (SS), 2) fast speed (FS), 3) jump squat (JS). Measures of displacement, flight time, peak concentric velocity, and muscle excitation (via electromyography) were compared between legs and conditions. Results: Eleven participants (age: 56 ± 17 years; median time since stroke onset: 3.3 [IQR 3,41] months) were tested. All participants achieved a jump during the JS, as measured by displacement and flight time respectively, on both their paretic (0.25 ± 0.16 m and 0.42 ± 0.18 s) and nonparetic (0.49 ± 0.36 m and 0.73 ± 0.28 s) legs; however it was significantly lower on the non-paretic leg (p < 0.05). Peak concentric velocity increased concordantly with intended movement speed (JS-FS paretic: 0.96 m/s, non-paretic: 0.54 m/s; FS-SS paretic 0.69 m/s, nonparetic 0.38 m/s; JS-SS paretic 1.66 m/s, non-paretic 0.92 m/s). Similarly, muscle excitation increased significantly (p < 0.05) with faster speed for the paretic and nonparetic vastus lateralis. For gastrocnemius, the only significant difference was an increase during nonparetic JS vs. SS and FS. Conclusions: Speed affects the kinematic and kinetic components of the movement. Performing exercises ballistically may improve training outcomes for people post-stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Impairment
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Keywords:
  • mobility
  • plyometric
  • rehabilitation
  • resistance training
  • Stroke

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