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Respir Care. 2015 Aug;60(8):1130-45. doi: 10.4187/respcare.03598. Epub 2015 May 26.

Impact of Resistance Training in Subjects With COPD: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Author information

Department of Respiratory Diseases.
Medical Examination Center.
Department of Respiratory Diseases, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China.
Department of Clinical Laboratory, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.
Department of Respiratory Diseases, The Third Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.
Department of Respiratory Diseases



The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of resistance training on subjects with COPD.


We performed a systematic search in MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Elsevier ScienceDirect, EBM Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and and also of leading respiratory journals for randomized controlled trials on COPD treatment for ≥ 4 weeks with resistance training compared with non-exercise control or with combined resistance and endurance training compared with endurance training alone. Data from these studies were pooled to calculate odds ratio and weighted mean differences (WMDs) with 95% CI.


Eighteen trials with 750 subjects with advanced COPD met the inclusion criteria. There were 2 primary and 5 secondary outcomes. Compared with non-exercise control, resistance training led to significant improvements in the dyspnea domain of the Chronic Respiratory Disease Questionnaire (WMD of 0.59, 95% CI 0.26-0.93, I2 = 0%, P < .001), skeletal muscle strength, and percent-of-predicted FEV1 (WMD of 6.88%, 95% CI 0.41-13.35%, I2 = 0%, P = .04). The combination of resistance and endurance training significantly improved the St George Respiratory Questionnaire total score (WMD of -7.44, 95% CI -12.62 to -2.25, I2 = 0%, P = .005), each domain score, and skeletal muscle strength. There were no significant differences in 6-min walk distance, 6-min pegboard and ring test, maximum exercise work load, and maximum oxygen consumption between the 2 groups. There were no reports of adverse events related to resistance-training intervention.


Resistance training can be successfully performed alone or in conjunction with endurance training without increased adverse events during pulmonary rehabilitation in COPD.


chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; meta-analysis; resistance training

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