Maximal muscle power, defined as the maximum rate at which work can be applied, reflects both the force a muscle can produce and velocity at which it can apply that force. This article systematically reviewed all studies reporting maximal muscle power of the affected and unaffected limbs after stroke. Medline and EMBASE were searched (inception to 16 July 2012) and the reference lists were scrutinized. Cross-sectional studies, longitudinal studies and intervention trials reporting baseline data were included. From 2216 citations, six (n = 171) met the inclusion criteria. Our findings showed explosive muscle power is low in both the affected and unaffected limbs of stroke patients and may also be associated with poorer walking performance. As low power is responsive to training, these observations support a rationale for using exercise to improve power and highlight the need for intervention studies to investigate the effect of power training on the physical function of stroke patients.
- muscle power
- physical fitness