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J Pediatr. 2001 Oct;139(4):494-500.

Resistance training and bone mineral density in adolescent females.

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Institute for Women's Health, Texas Woman's University, Denton, Texas 76204, USA.



To examine the effects of 15 months of resistance training on bone mineral density (BMD) in female adolescents (aged 14 to 17 years).


Participants were randomly assigned to either a training (n = 46) or control group (n = 21). BMD and body composition were measured by using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Strength was assessed by means of one-repetition maximums for the leg press and bench press. The exercise group trained 30 to 45 minutes a day, 3 days per week, using 15 different resistance exercises. Control participants remained sedentary (<2 hours of exercise per week).


Leg strength increased significantly (40%) in the exercise group, but there were no changes in the control group. Femoral neck BMD increased significantly in the training group (1.035 to 1.073 g/cm(2), P <.01) but not in the control group (1.034 to 1.048 g/cm(2)). No significant changes were seen in either group in lumbar spine BMD (1.113 to 1.142 g/cm(2) and 1.158 to 1.190 g/cm(2), respectively) or total body BMD (1.103 to 1.134 g/cm(2) and 1.111 to 1.129 g/cm(2), respectively).


Resistance training is a potential method for increasing bone density in adolescents, although such a program would be best done as part of the school curriculum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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