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J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Nov;24(11):3150-6. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181e2720d.

The effects of resistance training performed in water on muscle strength in the elderly.

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  • 1Laboratory of Exercise's Physiology, University of the State of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil. fabianegraef@gmail.com


The purpose of the present study was to compare the effects of a program of resistance training in water-based exercises (RWE) with those of a program without resistance control in water-based exercises (WEs). Twenty-seven women (aged 60-74 years) were randomly assigned to the RWE group (n = 10), WE group (n = 10), or nontraining control (CON) group (n = 7). The RWE and WE groups trained classes with aerobic exercises and localized muscular resistance exercises for 50 minutes, twice a week for 12 weeks. For the RWE group, the program included 4 mesocycles of 3 weeks-respectively, 4 sets of 15 repetitions, 4 sets of 12 repetitions, 5 sets of 10 repetitions, and 5 sets of 8 repetitions-of shoulder horizontal flexion exercise at maximum speed, with the use of resistive equipment. For the WE group, the training was not periodized, and the resistance in the localized muscular exercises was not controlled. One repetition maximum (1RM) was measured on a pectoral fly machine at baseline and after the training period. The level of significance adopted was p ≤ 0.05. The results showed that the only significant increase in 1RM (10.89%, p < 0.001) occurred in the RWE group after training. In conclusion, these findings suggest that WEs with emphasis on resistance training in a periodized program can efficiently increase maximum strength in elderly women. Thus, it is suggested that the strategies used in WE programs be modified to offer suitable stimuli for the development of strength.

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