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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1994 Oct;26(10):1220-5.

The effects of gymnastics training on bone mineral density.

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Department of Kinesiology, Texas Woman's University, Denton 76204-1717.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of 27 wk of gymnastics training on bone mineral density (BMD), body composition, insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), and osteocalcin. Subjects were 11 female intercollegiate gymnasts and 11 controls. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (Lunar DPX) was used to determine BMD (L2-L4 and femur) and to assess body composition. The gymnasts were significantly lower in weight (53.9 and 60.8 kg) and % body fat (22.6 and 30.6) compared with controls. After training, body weights of gymnasts remained the same but there was a significant increase in lean tissue mass of 2.9 kg (6.7%, P < 0.05). No changes in body composition were observed in the controls. The gymnasts had significantly higher mean lumbar (1.321 vs 1.225), and femoral neck (1.163 vs 1.079) BMD ( than the controls. Lumbar BMD increased significantly (1.3%) in gymnasts following training but femoral neck BMD did not increase. No BMD changes occurred in the control group. Regarding serum IGF-I, no differences were seen between the groups or across time. Serum osteocalcin values were significantly higher in the gymnasts than the controls, but no differences were found across time. In conclusion, gymnasts had significantly higher BMDs than controls, and a significant increase in lumbar BMD was seen in the gymnasts following 27 wk of training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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