Effect of resistance training using bodyweight in the elderly: Comparison of resistance exercise movement between slow and normal speed movement

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The present study investigated whether a slow movement protocol can be applied to resistance training using bodyweight. In addition, the intervention program combined plyometric exercise with resistance exercise to improve physical function overall.


A total of 39 active elderly adults participated in a 16-week intervention. The program consisted of five resistance exercises and four plyometric exercises using their own bodyweight with a single set for each exercise. Participants were assigned to one of two experimental groups. One group carried out resistance exercise with slow movement and tonic force generation (3-s concentric, 3-s eccentric and 1-s isometric actions with no rest between each repetition). The other group as a movement comparison followed the same regimen, but at normal speed (1-s eccentric and 1-s concentric actions with 1-s rest between each repetition). Muscle size, strength and physical function were measured before and after the intervention period.


After the intervention, strengths of upper and lower limbs, and maximum leg extensor power were significantly improved in both groups. Muscle size did not change in either group. There were no significant differences in any of the parameters between groups.


The intervention program using only own bodyweight that comprised resistance exercise with slow movement and plyometric exercise can improve physical function in the elderly, even with single sets for each exercise. However, there was no enhanced muscle hypertrophic effect. Further attempts, such as increasing performing multiple sets, would be required to induce muscle hypertrophy. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2015; 15: 1270–1277.

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