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J Clin Densitom. 2004 Winter;7(4):390-8.

Both resistance and agility training increase cortical bone density in 75- to 85-year-old women with low bone mass: a 6-month randomized controlled trial.

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UBC Bone Health Research Group, BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre Osteoporosis Program, Centre for Hip Health, and Faculty of Medicine, School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


A randomized, controlled, single-blinded 25-wk prospective study was conducted to compare the effects of group-based resistance and agility training on bone, as measured by both dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT), in older women with low bone mass. Ninety-eight community-dwelling women aged 75-85 yr were randomized to one of three experimental groups: resistance training (n = 32), agility training (n = 34), or stretching (sham exercise) (n = 32). Total hip, femoral neck, and trochanteric bone mineral density (BMD) were measured by DXA. Peripheral QCT measurements were performed at the tibia and radius. The pQCT outcome measures at the shaft regions were cortical bone content, cortical bone cross-sectional area, cortical bone density, and density-weighted polar section modulus (SSI). The pQCT outcome measures at the distal sites were total bone content, total bone cross-sectional area, and total bone density. At trial completion, the agility training group significantly increased cortical bone density by 0.5 +/- 0.2% (SE) at the tibial shaft compared with a 0.4 +/- 0.3% loss in the stretching group. The resistance training group significantly increased cortical bone density (1.4 +/- 0.6%) at the radial shaft compared, with a 0.4 +/- 0.5% loss in the agility training group. No significant between-group differences were observed in the other bone outcome measures (by DXA or pQCT). Future research is needed to determine the mechanism(s) responsible for the observed adaptation of the cortical bone to mechanical loading.

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