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Clin Respir J. 2015 Jul;9(3):278-88. doi: 10.1111/crj.12141. Epub 2014 May 21.

Low-load/high-repetition elastic band resistance training in patients with COPD: a randomized, controlled, multicenter trial.

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Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Clinical Physiology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Division of Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.



High-repetitive resistance training (RT) is recommended to increase peripheral muscular endurance in healthy adults; however, the effects of RT with this design on exercise capacity and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is unknown. The study aimed to investigate if low-load/high-repetition elastic band RT could improve functional capacity, muscular function, endurance cycle capacity or HRQOL in patients with COPD.


A prospective, randomized, controlled, multicentre trial was constructed with concealed allocation, blinded outcome assessment and intention-to-treat analysis. A total of 44 patients with moderate-to-very-severe COPD (forced expiratory volume during the first second, 44.6% predicted) were included. Patients were randomized to either the experimental group receiving 8 weeks of RT (three sessions/week) in combination with patient education (four occasions) or the control group receiving the patient education alone.


At post-tests, the between-group differences were in favor of the experimental group on the 6-min walk test [mean difference (95% confidence interval)]: 34 m (14-54) and the 6-min pegboard and ring test [20 rings (3-37)]. No difference between groups was found on the chronic respiratory disease questionnaire [0.1 (-0.2 to 0.4)]. On secondary outcomes, results were in favor of the experimental group regarding upper extremity endurance capacity, muscular function and depression, but no difference was seen between groups on endurance cycle capacity and HRQOL.


RT can increase functional capacity and muscular function but not cycle endurance capacity and HRQOL in patients with moderate-to-severe COPD.


chronic obstructive; exercise; lower extremity; pulmonary disease; quality of life; resistance training; single limb; upper extremity

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