Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Kinesiology, Biophysical Studies



Major Advisor

Scott A. Conger, Ph.D

Major Advisor

Shawn R. Simonson, Ed.D


Tyler N. Brown, Ph.D


The purpose of this study was to compare functional strength and power output in older adults who completed plyometric training in an AlterG treadmill compared to older adults who completed traditional resistance training. Methods: Twenty-three older adults were randomized to a strength (SG), plyometric (PG), or control group (CG). SG and PG exercised 3x/week for 8 weeks while CG performed no exercise. Measures of a timed sit-to-stand, stair climb, estimated maximal muscular strength, and isokinetic power were taken at pre and post testing. A repeated measures 2x3 (time x group) ANOVA was used to determine if there was a significant main effect. A one-way ANOVA was run on the differences in pre and post and post-hoc analysis with the Bonferroni adjustment using pairwise comparisons then determined differences. Results: PG was significantly faster than CG in the chair sit-to-stand (p = 0.013), stair climb time (p = 0.002), stair climb power output (p < 0.001), leg extension (p = 0.009), and lunge (p = 0.03). PG was significantly more powerful at all 3 velocities in both flexion and extension compared to SG and CG (p < 0.001) with the exception of 60°/sec extension. Conclusion: Eight weeks of plyometrics in an AlterG Treadmill can significantly improve performance of a chair sit-to-stand task, improve the time to climb a flight of stairs, significantly increase muscular strength in the leg press, leg extension, single leg lunge, and significantly increase isokinetic knee flexor and extensor power in older adults. In this study, the PG was able to increase muscular strength at the same rate or better than the SG without performing any resistance training. Also, the PG outperformed SG in functional tasks. To the author’s knowledge, this is the first plyometric training study focusing on older adults. Results suggest that plyometrics, if modified and performed in a safe environment, can increase muscular strength and power and improve functional abilities in older adults.