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Acta Diabetol. 2015 Apr;52(2):221-30. doi: 10.1007/s00592-014-0594-y. Epub 2014 May 21.

Effects of exercise training using resistance bands on glycaemic control and strength in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.

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Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.


Resistance exercise using free weights or weight machines improves glycaemic control and strength in people with type 2 diabetes. Resistance band training is potentially less expensive and more accessible, but the effects of resistance band training on glycaemic control and strength in this population are not well understood. This paper aims to systematically review and meta-analyse the effect of resistance band training on haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and strength in adults with type 2 diabetes. Database searches were performed in August 2013 (MEDLINE, SPORTDiscus, EMBASE, and CINAHL). Reference lists of eligible articles were hand-searched for additional studies. Randomised trials evaluating the effects of resistance band training in adults with type 2 diabetes on HbA1c or objectively measured strength were selected. Baseline and post-intervention HbA1c and strength were extracted for the intervention and control groups. Details of the exercise interventions and methodological quality were collected. Seven trials met inclusion criteria. Post-intervention-weighted mean HbA1c was nonsignificantly lower in exercise groups compared to control groups [weighted mean difference (WMD) = -0.18 percentage points (-1.91 mmol/mol); P = 0.27]. Post-intervention strength was significantly higher in the exercise groups compared to the control groups in the lower extremities (WMD = 21.90 kg; P < 0.0001), but not in the upper extremities (WMD = 2.27 kg; P = 0.13) or handgrip (WMD = 1.98 kg; P = 0.46). All trials were small and had methodological limitations. Resistance band training did not significantly affect HbA1c, upper extremity, or handgrip strength but significantly increased the strength of the lower extremities in people with type 2 diabetes.

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