Effects of a Short-Term Aquatic Resistance Program on Strength and Body Composition in Fit Young Men

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Colado, JC, Tella, V, Triplett, NT, and González, LM. Effects of a short-term aquatic resistance program on strength and body composition in fit young men. J Strength Cond Res 23(2): 549-559, 2009-This study was designed to analyze the effects of a short-term periodized aquatic resistance program (PARP) on upper-limb maximum strength, leg muscular power, and body composition (BC) in fit young men. Twenty subjects (21.2 ± 1.17 years) were randomly assigned to an exercise or control group; 12 subjects completed the study. The aquatic exercise group (AEG; n = 7) participated in an 8-week supervised program of 3 d·wk−1, and the control group (CG; n = 5) maintained their regular activities. The PARP consisted of a total-body resistance exercise workout using aquatic devices that increased drag force, with a cadence of movement controlled and adjusted individually for each exercise and subject. The volume and intensity of the program were increased progressively. Submaximal tests were carried out to determine the change in upper-limb maximum strength, as well as a squat-jump test to determine the change in leg muscular power. Four skinfold sites, 6 circumference sites, body weight, and stature were used to determine changes in BC. A significant increase in upper-limb maximum strength and leg muscular power was observed for the AEG. A significant increase also was noted in the circumference and muscular area of the arm, and there were significant decreases in pectoral and abdominal skinfolds. Nevertheless, the circumference, muscular area, and local fat of the lower limbs did not change. There were no significant changes in any variables in the CG. These results indicate that the PARP produces significant improvements in muscular strength, power, and fat-free mass and, thus, seems to be a very effective form of resistance exercise.

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