Muscular strength and bone density with weight training in middle-aged women

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Previous research has demonstrated positive correlations between bone mass and both physical activity and muscular strength. There is a paucity of information describing the specific type of exercise which most benefits the human skeleton. The effects of a 1 yr weight training program on 18 middle-aged women participating in an endurance dance program (E+W) compared with 17 other women in the endurance dance program only (E) and with 19 sedentary controls (C) were studied by measuring muscular strength and bone mineral density (BMD). Eighteen women in the E+W group demonstrated increases in all strength measurements, whereas the E and C groups either had smaller increases or had declined. A significant group × test interaction term, indicating that groups responded differently over time, was observed for nondominant isokinetic elbow flexion measured through the range of motion at a constant velocity of 60 degrees·s−1 (P < 0.05), nondominant isokinetic elbow extension at 180 degrees·s−1 (P < 0.01), and nondominant isokinetic elbow flexion at 180 degrees-s−1 (P 0.05). BMD did not change significantly except that a significant group × test interaction term appeared for the radius ultradistal site (P < 0.01). BMD of the humerus and femoral Ward's triangle increased nonsignificantly in both E and E+W over the year. This weight training program increased muscular strength but did not increase measured bone mass.

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