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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2013 Jul-Aug;57(1):8-15. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2013.03.002. Epub 2013 Apr 4.

Elastic resistance training to increase muscle strength in elderly: a systematic review with meta-analysis.

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University of Brasilia, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Campus UnB Ceilândia, CEP: 72220-140, Ceilândia, DF, Brazil.


Analyze the efficiency of training programs with progressive elastic resistance on muscle strength in elderly 'healthy' and 'not healthy'. It was performed a systematic review in relevant databases to identify controlled clinical trials with outcomes from parameters of muscle strength. Two independent reviewers decided about the inclusion criteria, data extraction and evaluation of methodological quality of the articles. Standardized mean difference (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated for relevant outcomes and pooled using a random effects model. Among the 11 studies whose effect sizes were used in the meta-analysis, there were 834 individuals between the ages of 60 and 79. The resistance training with elastic bands showed strong effects on muscle strength in healthy elderly (SMD=1.30; 95% CI: 0.90, 1.71) and with some functional incapacity (SMD=1.01; 95% CI: 0.82, 1.19), and a moderate effect on muscle strength in elderly patients with pathology (SMD=0.54; 95% CI: 0.12, 0.96). There was little information available about the training intensity. The training with elastic resistance proved to be effective for improving muscle strength in 'healthy' and 'not healthy' elderly. Our results suggest that training with elastic resistance is most effective in 'healthy' subjects and with functional limitations, and less effective in subjects with some kind of disorders. To establish dose-response relations from different intensities of training on muscle strength in the elderly, new studies are needed to identify reliable and objective methods of evaluation of muscle strength using elastic materials directly.

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