My research focuses on the influence of aging, disuse, fatigue, and resistance training on skeletal muscle and nervous system function. This research involves collaboration between undergraduate and graduate students as well as other faculty in a team setting that emphasizes critical thinking and hands-on experience. We use several laboratory tools to comprehensively investigate neuromuscular properties such as muscle strength, muscle explosiveness, skeletal muscle size, skeletal muscle quality, and muscle activation.

Research Assistance

There is the potential for students to join our team as a volunteer. Academic credit may be earned through ES 3398: Internship in Exercise Science or BIOL 4400: Directed Study. If sincerely interested in assisting with research, contact me at

Select Publications (* indicates student first-author)

Ha, P.L.*, Dalton, B.E., Alesi, M.G., Smith, T.M., VanDusseldorp, T.A., Feito, T., Hester, G.M. (2021). Isometric vs. isotonic contractions: Sex differences in the fatigability and recovery of isometric strength and high-velocity contractile parameters. Physiol Rep.

Smith, T.M.*, Hester, G.M., Ha, P.L., Olmos, A.A., Stratton, M.T., VanDusseldorp, T.A., Feito, Y., Dalton, B.E. (2020). Sit-to-Stand Kinetics and Correlates of Performance in Young and Older Males. Arch Gerontol Geriatr.

Hester, G.M., Ha, P.L., Dalton, B.E., VanDusseldorp, T.A., Olmos, A.A., Stratton, M.T., Bailly, A.R., Vroman, T.M. (2020). Rate of force development as a predictor of mobility in older adults. J Geriatr Phys Ther.

Olmos, A.A.*, Stratton, M.T., Ha, P.L., Dalton, B.E., VanDusseldorp, T.A., Mangine, G.T., Feito, Y., Poisal, M.J., Jones, J.A., Smith, T.M., Hester, G.M. (2020). Early and late rapid torque characteristics and select physiological correlates in middle-aged and older males. PLoS One.

Olmos, A.A.*, Stratton, M.T., Ha, P.L., VanDusseldorp, T.A., Bailly, A.R., Feito, Y., Mangine, G.T., Poisal, M.J., Jones, J.A., Dalton, B.E., Smith, T.M., Hester, G.M. (2019). Neuromuscular function of the plantar flexors and predictors of peak power in middle-aged and older males. Exp Gerontol. 125. 110677.

Hester, G.M., Magrini, M.A., Colquhoun, R.J., Barrera-Curiel, A., Estrada, C.A., Olmos, A.A., Bailly, A.R., Ha, L.P. DeFreitas, J.M. (2019). Cross-education: Effects of age on rapid and maximal voluntary contractile characteristics in males. Eur J Appl Physiol. 119(6) 1313-1322.

Research Equipment

Biodex Dynamometer

- Measures strength and velocity for various muscle groups during isometric, isokinetic, and eccentric muscle actions


Digitimer Constant Current Stimulator

- Electrically stimulates the nerve or muscle for the study of involuntary contractions to determine muscle (peripheral) and nervous system (central) changes


- Provides measures of skeletal muscle size and quality


Portable Force Plate and Wireless EMG

- Measures ground reaction forces and muscle activation during practical movements (chair rise, jumping)

force place and trigno

Biodex Balance

- Measures postural stability and provides fal risk index during static and dynamic tests

Biodex balance