Strength Training Effectiveness Post-Stroke (STEPS)


Phase 2 Results N/A

Trial Description

The purpose of this study is to determine if treadmill training with body weight-support (BWST) is more effective at improving walking in individuals post-stroke than a resisted leg-cycling exercise program. In addition, we want to determine if training programs that combine leg strength training to treadmill walking provide an additional benefit to post-stroke walking outcomes.

Detailed Description

Impaired walking ability is a hallmark residual deficit that contributes to post-stroke walking disability . Impairment in lower extremity muscle strength is a significant contributor to decreased walking speed after stroke. No studies have combined task-specific locomotor training in combination with lower extremity strength training programs designed to improve post-stroke walking outcomes.
Participants will include individuals who are ambulatory, but walk slower than 1.0 m/sec and are at least 6 months post unilateral stroke.
Participants are stratified by initial comfortable walking speed (moderate >0.5 m/sec; severe <= 0.5 m/sec) and randomized to one of four exercise pairs: 1) body-weight supported treadmill training (BWST) and locomotor-based strength training (resistive cycling task, LBST), 2) BWST and LE muscle-specific strength training (MSST), 3) BWST and upper extremity ergometry (SHAM), and 4) LBST and SHAM. Training will occur 4 times per week for 6 weeks (24 total sessions). Exercise type in each exercise pair is alternated daily.
Primary outcomes include comfortable and fast overground walking speed, and distance walked in 6-minutes measured at baseline, after 12 and 24 treatment sessions and at a 6-month follow-up.



Trial Design

  • Allocation: Randomized
  • Masking: Single Blind
  • Purpose: Treatment
  • Endpoint: Efficacy Study
  • Intervention: Single Group Assignment


Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary walking speed (meters/second)
Primary walking distance (distance walked in 6-minutes)
Secondary Lower extremity Fugl-Meyer
Secondary Berg Balance Score
Secondary Lower extremity torque
Secondary Stroke Impact Scale
Secondary SF-36