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Elastic band resistance training improves muscle mass, physical function in older females

10 Feb 2018

Elastic band resistance training (ERT) is associated with improvements in muscle mass, physical function and muscle quality in elderly females, a recent study has shown.

Researchers randomized 56 elderly females (mean age 67.3±5.1 years) to receive 12 weeks of ERT (n=33) or a no-exercise control intervention (n=23). Lean mass, physical capacity and quality of life were assessed at baseline and at 3- and 9-month follow-up.

Relative to the controls, the ERT intervention resulted in significant improvements in appendicular lean mass at the 3-month (adjusted mean difference [MD], 0.99; 95 percent CI, 0.33–1.66; p<0.01) but not at the 9-month (adjusted MD, 0.49; –0.05 to 1.04) follow-up.

Appendicular mass index was significantly improved at both the 3-month (adjusted MD, 0.31; 0.03–0.61) and 9-month (adjusted MD, 0.21; 0.01–0.42; p<0.05 for both) follow-up. Total skeletal mass also significantly increased at both 3- and 9-month follow-up (adjusted MD, 0.70; 0.12–1.28; p<0.05 and adjusted MD, 0.72; 0.21–1.23; p<0.01, respectively).

The ERT intervention also improved physical capacity. At the 3-month follow-up, those who received the ERT walked faster by 0.14 m/s and reached further by 7.46 cm compared with controls. Both measures reached statistical significance (p<0.05 and p<0.001).

In the single leg stance test, balance was significantly greater by 9.71 s (p<0.001) in the ERT group. Scores in the Timed Up & Go test also improved significantly by 1.64 s (p<0.001).

The ERT group also showed significant improvements from baseline in the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 Questionnaire scores at both the 3-month (MD, 13.00; 5.03–20.98; p<0.01) and 9-month (MD, 13.62; 6.47–20.76; p<0.001) follow-up.

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