Dain LaRoche

Assoc Dean for Research, College of Health & Human Services
Phone: (603) 862-4859
Office: Kinesiology, New Hampshire Hall Rm 219, Durham, NH 03824

Dr. LaRoche has a passion for Exercise Science that stems from his love of physiology, biomechanics and optimizing human performance. He is intrigued by how the exercise stimulus can confer health and functional benefits to everyone from elite athletes to older adults and has extensively studied both ends of the human performance spectrum. Dr. LaRoche is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, is a Past-President of the New England Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, is a member of the Gait & Posture journal editorial board, regularly publishes his research in high-impact journals, and received the College of Health and Human Services Teaching Excellence Award in 2012.

Dr. LaRoche's Research Aims to:
• Understand the interplay of neuromuscular, metabolic, and biomechanical function in the limitation of mobility of older adults
• Evaluate neuromuscular responses to exercise, strength and power asymmetry, and passive-elastic muscle-tendon unit properties
• Develop technology for tracking physical activity and movement quality, exercise program delivery, and assistance for independent living


  • Ph.D., Exercise and Sport Science, University of Utah
  • M.S., Exercise Science, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • B.S., Kinesiology: Exercise Science, University of New Hampshire

Research Interests

  • Aging in Place
  • Biomechanics
  • Exercise
  • Geriatrics
  • Mobility in Aging
  • Muscle Structure/Function
  • Obesity

Courses Taught

  • EXSC 620: Physiology of Exercise
  • EXSC 693: Teaching Assistantship
  • EXSC/KIN 705/805: Topics in Applied Physiology
  • EXSC/KIN 722/822: Applied Biomechanics
  • EXSC/KIN 724/824: Exercise Metabolism
  • KIN 620: Physiology of Exercise
  • KIN 696: Independent Study
  • KIN 696W: Independent Study
  • KIN 705/805: Topics in Applied Physiology
  • KIN 722/822: Applied Biomechanics
  • KIN 896: Adv Research Exercise Science

Selected Publications

Arthanat, S., Wilcox, J., & LaRoche, D. (2022). Smart home automation technology to support caring of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia: an early intervention framework. DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION-ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY. doi:10.1080/17483107.2022.2125088

Gesel, F. J., Morenz, E. K., Cleary, C. J., & LaRoche, D. P. (2022). Acute Effects of Static and Ballistic Stretching on Muscle-Tendon Unit Stiffness, Work Absorption, Strength, Power, and Vertical Jump Performance. JOURNAL OF STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING RESEARCH, 36(8), 2147-2155. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000003894

Song, Y., Begum, M., Arthanat, S., & LaRoche, D. P. (2022). Validation of Smartphone Accelerometry for the Evaluation of Sit-To-Stand Performance and Lower-Extremity Function in Older Adults. JOURNAL OF AGING AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, 30(1), 3-11. doi:10.1123/japa.2020-0428

McGrath, R., Tomkinson, G. R., LaRoche, D. P., Vincent, B. M., Bond, C. W., & Hackney, K. J. (2020). Handgrip Strength Asymmetry and Weakness May Accelerate Time to Mortality in Aging Americans. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION, 21(12), 2003-+. doi:10.1016/j.jamda.2020.04.030

Arthanat, S., Begum, M., Gu, T., LaRoche, D. P., Xu, D., & Zhang, N. (2020). Caregiver perspectives on a smart home-based socially assistive robot for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. DISABILITY AND REHABILITATION-ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY, 15(7), 789-798. doi:10.1080/17483107.2020.1753831

Bode, V. G., Croce, R. V., Quinn, T. J., & Laroche, D. P. (2020). Influence of excess weight on lower-extremity vertical stiffness and metabolic cost of walking. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SPORT SCIENCE, 20(4), 477-485. doi:10.1080/17461391.2019.1652350

Spinoso, D. H., Marques, N. R., LaRoche, D. P., Hallal, C. Z., Karuka, A. H., Milanezi, F. C., & Goncalves, M. (2019). Hip, Knee, and Ankle Functional Demand During Habitual and Fast-Pace Walking in Younger and Older Women. JOURNAL OF AGING AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, 27(2), 242-251. doi:10.1123/japa.2017-0351

Gesel, P., Begum, M., La Roche, D., & IEEE. (2019). Learning Motion Trajectories from Phase Space Analysis of the Demonstration. In 2019 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION (ICRA) (pp. 7055-7061). Retrieved from https://www.webofscience.com/

LaRoche, D. P., Melanson, E. L., Baumgartner, M. P., Bozzuto, B. M., Libby, V. M., & Marshall, B. N. (2018). Physiological determinants of walking effort in older adults: should they be targets for physical activity intervention?. GEROSCIENCE, 40(3), 305-315. doi:10.1007/s11357-018-0032-0

LaRoche, D. P., Villa, M. R., Bond, C. W., & Cook, S. B. (2017). Knee extensor power asymmetry is unrelated to functional mobility of older adults. EXPERIMENTAL GERONTOLOGY, 98, 54-61. doi:10.1016/j.exger.2017.08.008

Bond, C. W., Cook, S. B., Swartz, E. E., & LaRoche, D. P. (2017). ASYMMETRY OF LOWER EXTREMITY FORCE AND MUSCLE ACTIVATION DURING KNEE EXTENSION AND FUNCTIONAL TASKS. MUSCLE & NERVE, 56(3), 495-504. doi:10.1002/mus.25506

LaRoche, D. P. (2017). Plantarflexor passive-elastic properties related to SMI and walking performance in older women. GAIT & POSTURE, 53, 55-60. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2017.01.007

LaRoche, D. P., Marques, N. R., Cook, S. B., Masley, E. A., & Morcelli, M. H. (2016). Augmenting strength-to-weight ratio by body weight unloading affects walking performance equally in obese and nonobese older adults. AGE, 38(1). doi:10.1007/s11357-016-9881-6

LaRoche, D. P., Marques, N. R., Shumila, H. N., Logan, C. R., St Laurent, R., & Goncalves, M. (2015). Excess Body Weight and Gait Influence Energy Cost of Walking in Older Adults. MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE, 47(5), 1017-1025. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000000501

LaRoche, D. P., Greenleaf, B. L., Croce, R. V., & McGaughy, J. A. (2014). Interaction of age, cognitive function, and gait performance in 50-80-year-olds. AGE, 36(4). doi:10.1007/s11357-014-9693-5

Crystal, N. J., Townson, D. H., Cook, S. B., & LaRoche, D. P. (2013). Effect of cryotherapy on muscle recovery and inflammation following a bout of damaging exercise. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY, 113(10), 2577-2586. doi:10.1007/s00421-013-2693-9

LaRoche, D. P., Cook, S. B., & Mackala, K. (2012). Strength Asymmetry Increases Gait Asymmetry and Variability in Older Women. MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE, 44(11), 2172-2181. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31825e1d31

LaRoche, D. P., Kralian, R. J., & Millett, E. D. (2011). Fat mass limits lower-extremity relative strength and maximal walking performance in older women. JOURNAL OF ELECTROMYOGRAPHY AND KINESIOLOGY, 21(5), 754-761. doi:10.1016/j.jelekin.2011.07.006

LaRoche, D. P., Millett, E. D., & Kralian, R. J. (2011). Low strength is related to diminished ground reaction forces and walking performance in older women. GAIT & POSTURE, 33(4), 668-672. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2011.02.022

LaRoche, D. P., Cremin, K. A., Greenleaf, B., & Croce, R. V. (2010). Rapid torque development in older female fallers and nonfallers: A comparison across lower-extremity muscles. JOURNAL OF ELECTROMYOGRAPHY AND KINESIOLOGY, 20(3), 482-488. doi:10.1016/j.jelekin.2009.08.004

Laroche, D. P., Roy, S. J., Knight, C. A., & Dickie, J. L. (2008). Elderly women have blunted response to resistance training despite reduced antagonist coactivation. MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE, 40(9), 1660-1668. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181761561

LaRoche, D. P., Lussier, M. V., & Roy, S. J. (2008). CHRONIC STRETCHING AND VOLUNTARY MUSCLE FORCE. JOURNAL OF STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING RESEARCH, 22(2), 589-596. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181636aef

Laroche, D. P., Knight, C. A., Dickie, J. L., Lussier, M., & Roy, S. J. (2007). Explosive force and fractionated reaction time in elderly low- and high-active women. MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE, 39(9), 1659-1665. doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e318074ccd9

LaRoche, D. P., & Connolly, D. A. J. (2006). Effects of stretching on passive muscle tension and response to eccentric exercise. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE, 34(6), 1000-1007. doi:10.1177/0363546505284238