Senior Researcher/ Yliopistotutkija

Current activities: Member of the Faculty Council. Member of NeuroMuscular Research Center advisory board. Associate Editor of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Scientific editor of PhD theses in Sport Sciences. I have also taken a lead role in developing MEG-compatible voluntary force and reflex measurements for the lower limbs and continue to develop research on physical activity and central nervous system functioning.

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-6804-0741 profile


2008-2012 PhD (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

2006-2008 MSc (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)

2000-2003 BSc Hons (Leeds Metropolitan University, England)


Title of Docent in Exercise Physiology at the University of Helsinki, 23.4.2018


Research Interests

Neural and muscular adaptations to resistance training

Acute neuromuscular fatigue

Influence of aging on neuromuscular function and adaptability

Neural control of force production


Contact information

NeuroMuscular Research Center

University of Jyväskylä

Viveca 223, P.O. Box 35

40014 Jyväskylä, Finland

Tel: +358 408054906



Career summary

After completing my BSc studies, I worked as a part-time lecturer and research assistant at Leeds Metropolitan University (2003-2004) and then worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Franklin Pierce University (USA) from 2005-2006. I returned to academia in 2006 to complete my MSc and PhD at the University of Jyväskylä. I was a visiting Post-doctoral researcher at Edith Cowan University, Australia in 2013 investigating different forms of resistance training. Since returning to JYU I have been Principal Investigator in externally funded projects (Ministry of Education and Culture and Academy of Finland), as well as being part of the research team for numerous other projects related to resistance training and aging in particular. I am one of the initial researchers to integrate the opportunities afforded by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Research into my research interests (listed above).



Selected publications

Walker S, Taipale RS, Nyman K, Kraemer WJ, Häkkinen K. Neuromuscular and hormonal responses during constant and variable resistance loadings. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 43(1):26-33, 2011.

Walker S, Davis L, Avela J, Häkkinen K. Neuromuscular fatigue during dynamic maximal strength and hypertrophic resistance loadings. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, June, 22(3):356-362, 2012.

Walker S, Häkkinen K. Similar increases in strength after short-term resistance training due to different neuromuscular adaptations in young and older men. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28(11):3041-3048, 2014.

Walker S, Blazevich AJ, Haff GG, Tufano JJ, Newton RU, Häkkinen K. Greater strength gains after training with accentuated eccentric than traditional isoinertial loads in already strength-trained men. Frontiers in Physiology, 7:149, 2016.

Walker S, Haff GG, Häkkinen K, Newton RU. Moderate-load muscular endurance strength training did not improve peak power or functional capacity in older men and women. Frontiers in Physiology, 8:e743, 2017.

Ahtiainen JP, Walker S, Peltonen H, Holviala J, Sillanpää E, Karavirta L, Sallinen J, Mikkola J, Valkeinen H, Mero A, Hulmi JJ, Häkkinen K. Heterogeneity in resistance training-induced muscle strength and mass responses in men and women of different ages. AGE 28:10, 2016 DOI 10.1007/s11357-015-9870-1

Van Roie E, Walker S, Van Driessche S, Baggen R, Coudyzer W, Bautmans I, Delecluse C. Training load does not affect detraining’s effect on muscle volume, muscle strength and functional capacity among older adults. Experimental Gerontology, 98:30-37, 2017.

Moura BM, Sakugawa RL, Orssatto LBR, Lima LAP, Pinto RS, Walker S, Diefenthaeler F. Functional capacity improves in-line with neuromuscular performance after 12 weeks of non-linear periodization strength training in the elderly. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. ePublished ahead of print, 2017.

Vanderka M, Longova K, Olasz D, Krcmar M, Walker S. Improved maximum strength, vertical jump and sprint performance after 8 weeks of jump squat training with individualized loads. Journal of Sport Science and Medicine, 15: 492-500, 2016.

 Fernandez-Lezaun E, Schumann M, Mäkinen T, Kyröläinen H, Walker S. Effects of resistance training frequency on cardiorespiratory fitness in older men and women during intervention and follow-up. Experimental Gerontology, 95:44-53, 2017.

 Turpela M, Häkkinen K, Haff GG, Walker S. Effects of different strength training frequencies on maximum strength, body composition and functional capacity in healthy older individuals. Experimental Gerontology, 98:13-21, 2017.

 Kekäläinen T, Kokko K, Sipilä S, Walker S. Effects of a 9-month resistance training intervention on quality of life, sense of coherence, and depressive symptoms in older adults: randomized controlled trial. Quality of Life Research, 27:455-465, 2018.

Piitulainen H, Seipäjärvi S, Avela J, Parviainen T, Walker S. Cortical Proprioceptive Processing Is Altered by Aging. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. 10:147, 2018.

Walker S, Avela J, Wikgren J, Meeusen R, Piitulainen H, Baker SN, Parviainen TM. Aging and Strength Training Influence Knee Extensor Intermuscular Coherence During Low- and High-Force Isometric Contractions. Frontiers in Physiology, 9:1933, 2019.