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28.12.2016


What's better? Twists with a machine or an elastic band?

If you're doing torso-twists specifically to train your obliques, then you're best off doing the exercise on a machine. But if you use torso-twists to train your core as a whole, you'll be just the same doing them with an elastic band. And if you do torso-twists to strengthen your lower back, then doing the exercise with a band will have a superior effect over that of the machine version. Danish sports scientists made this discovery.

Study
The Danes got 17 untrained men aged 26-27 to do two different versions of the torso twist: on a machine and with an elastic band. The photos below show the different exercises.


What's better? Twists with a machine or an elastic band?



The participants twisted from left to right, so they used mainly the right-hand side of their core muscles.

The researchers attached electrodes to the participants' skin so they could measure how hard the muscles under the electrodes had to work.

Results
The torso-twist activated the obliques better when it was performed on a machine, but the version with an elastic band had more effect on the erector spinae muscle. Apart from that, the effects of both versions of the torso-twist were pretty similar.


What's better? Twists with a machine or an elastic band?



When the researchers asked the participants which exercise they preferred, three-quarters said they preferred the elastic band version.

Conclusion
The researchers conclude that in terms of effect there is little difference between doing torso-twists with an elastic band or on a machine. Because the participants indicated a preference for training with an elastic band, trainers and therapists might consider getting their clients to do the exercise with a band rather than on a machine.



"Although choosing only one core exercise might not be sufficient, elastic resistance generally has the potential to provide similar muscular adaptations as core exercises performed in the machine and may especially be useful in a rehabilitation setting," the Danes wrote. "However, the clinical application of utilizing elastic resistance is warranted."

Source:
Scientifica (Cairo). 2015;2015:403068.

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