Influence of skill and exercise training parameters on locomotor recovery during stroke rehabilitation

T. George Hornby*, Jennifer L. Moore, Linda Lovell, Elliot J. Roth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Research findings from the fields of motor learning and exercise physiology suggest specific training parameters that can be manipulated during physical rehabilitation profoundly influence skilled task performance. This review details the rationale for some of these training variables and their application in selected intervention studies focused on improving walking function in patients poststroke. Recent findings Basic and applied studies have shown that the amount, intensity, and variability of specific task practice applied during rehabilitation interventions can affect recovery of walking poststroke. Many studies detailing the effects of conventional, therapist, and mechanically assisted interventions may incorporate some of these training parameters but minimize others, and their relative contributions may influence walking outcomes. Specific patient factors, such as the stroke acuity and degree of impairments, appear to influence the relative contributions of these training variables, and different patient subgroups may benefit from greater emphasis on specific parameters. Summary The present findings suggest these training parameters should be considered when evaluating or implementing physical interventions directed toward improving locomotor function poststroke. More work is needed to understand their optimal combinations to maximize walking outcomes in patients with different levels of impairment poststroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-683
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 13 2016


  • Dose
  • Locomotion
  • Physical therapy
  • Walking recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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