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Physiotherapy as Primary Prevention - Muscle Power Training for Seniors

Physiotherapy as Primary Prevention - Muscle Power Training for Seniors

Physiotherapy as Primary Prevention - Muscle Power Training for Seniors

This course includes
1:00:12 of Course Material (View)
Patient Exercises (View)
Lifetime access after purchase
Certificate of completion
This course was recorded in June 2019


The problem seen with physiotherapy and power training is not the use of therabands for treatment or the general 3x10 exercise prescription. The issue does not lie with the number of sets, reps or even load being used in training for that matter. Rather, the key is found in the meaningful effort being put into those sets.

This session will be of relevance to physiotherapists, students, and researchers in that it will present information based on recent evidence regarding the development of power training programs for older adults.

In addition to the review of the evidence, the presenter uses his research and clinical experience to highlight the multitude of ways power training can be effectively and practically done in older adults, based on the needs of the client.


Session Content

The purpose of this online physiotherapy course is to present evidence supporting the use of long-term, whole-body resistance training with a focus on enhancing power output in older adults.

This session will highlight the impact of power training on physical function and resilience and will demonstrate a need for a shift in the approach used by physical therapists from a reactive to a preventative focus.

The format for this proposed 60-minute session will be primarily lecture, however, time for select exercise demonstrations and small group discussion will be reserved to enhance attendee engagement.


Learning Objectives

In this course, we will:

  1. Discuss the role of muscle power in the performance of daily activities in older adults;
  2. Describe how power-type training can be used to prevent declining physical function and enhance physical resilience;
  3. Debate the shift in focus that physical therapists need to adequately address power needs as part of a comprehensive physical training program.



This session will be of interest to clinicians, researchers, and students who are engaged or interested in best practice approaches to designing exercise training programs for older adults.


Description of Supporting Evidence

The role of whole-body strength and power training has, up until recently, been underappreciated in clinical practice and guidelines for exercise prescription in older adults.

Recent research, however, has demonstrated that:

  • Muscle mass, strength, and power are highly significant independent predictors of mortality, morbidity, and quality of life.
  • Power training improves clinically significant outcomes related to physical function, physical resilience, and performance.
  • Power training using non-traditional modes of loading can be as effective as traditional weights and training methods for enhancing power, making this type of training accessible outside the clinical and gym settings.


Conclusions and Implications

The physical therapy profession is at a crossroads in terms of its focus on the delivery of exercise-based interventions. There is enough evidence that long-term programs which encompass multiple physiological adaptations including strength and power are most appropriate for enhancing the performance of older adults in the completion of daily activities and functional tasks, as well as in dealing with life stressors with resiliency.

Based on the available evidence, and the current level of skill in this type of prescription in the profession, a shift in approach is needed to optimize the health and performance of our aging population.

Physical therapists are in a prime position to lead this shift.



This presentation will highlight the current evidence around power-type resistance training to prevent declining mobility and enhance the resilience of our aging community. Based on this evidence, this session will also demonstrate how the physical therapy profession, with a shift in focus, can be leaders in the delivery of practical programs for enhancing power outcomes.

This course was recorded at the Canadian Physiotherapy Association 2019 Forum in Charlottetown, PEI.

The instructors
Canadian Physiotherapy Association

As the vital partner for the profession, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) leads, advocates, and inspires excellence and innovation to promote health. CPA’s goal is to provide exceptional service, valuable information and connections to the profession of physiotherapy, across Canada and around the world.

Scotty Butcher

Dr. Scotty Butcher is an Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at the University of Saskatchewan and co-founder of Strength Rebels. He holds a BSc PT and MSc Kin from the University of Saskatchewan and a PhD in Exercise Physiology and Experimental Medicine from the University of Alberta.He is certified as a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-RCEP), is a CrossFit Level 1 trainer (CF-L1), and is formerly certified as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS); the latter of which he has formally relinquished.

Scotty teaches exercise physiology, prescription, and rehabilitation to physical therapy students and has published several peer reviewed articles and two book chapters related to exercise testing and prescription. Currently training as a powerlifter, he has a passion for strength training and translates this to promoting quality exercise training and rehabilitation practices for clinicians and students. His focus in research, teaching, and clinical work is on the hybrid rehabilitation/strength training approach, and shares his views through blogging and vlogging.

Course Material included in this course
  • Lessons
  • Welcome and Slides
  • Resistance and Power Quiz
  • Power Training for the Elderly
  • Power Training For The Elderly Quiz
  • Comparing Power and Strength Training Pt.1
  • Comparing Power and Strength Training Pt 1 Quiz
  • Comparing Power and Strength Training Pt.2
  • Comparing Power and Strength Training Pt 2 Quiz
  • Practical Power Methods
  • Practical Power Methods Quiz
  • Q&A
  • What's Next?
  • References and Additional Resources from the course
  • Feedback
Patient Exercises included in this course
  • Deadlift - Band
  • Deadlift - Dumbbell
  • Shoulder Press in Standing
  • Kettlebell Squats
  • Squat to 90 Degrees
  • Push-Ups from Knees
  • Push-Ups from Toes
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