Date of Award


Document Type

Access Controlled Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

James Hokanson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Katherine Polasek. Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Peter McGinnis, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of three different lower extremity resistance training programs in developing functional strength in college-age females. The three resistance training programs were differentiated by the contractile modes involved: eccentric, concentric, or combined eccentric and concentric. Ten college-age females were randomly assigned into one of three resistance training groups or a control group. The control group did no resistance training. Participants in the resistance training groups completed two resistance training sessions per week for eight-weeks. During each resistance training session the participants completed three sets of 6-8 repetitions of a standing back squat exercise. Participants in the eccentric group only lowered the weight during each repetition. Participants in the concentric group only lifted the weight during each repetition. Participants in the combined eccentric and concentric group executed a complete squat by lowering and raising the weight during each repetition. A modified stair ascent was used to assess functional strength before and after the 8-week resistance training program. The maximum percentage of body weight that a participant was able to carry up 60 steps was the measure of functional strength. Participants carried the additional weight in a weight vest and ankle weights. The participants in the resistance training groups significantly increased the percentage of body weight carried between the pre- and post-assessment by 13%, p = 0.003. The weight carried by the control participant did not change between the pre- and post-assessments. This supports the notion that resistance training programs have a transfer of training effect to functional strength. However, the gain in functional strength was not significantly different between the three resistance training groups.