Meta-study | Strength training with weights equivalent to strength training with elastic bands
Strength training with weights and machines can result in the same strength gains as strength training with elastic bands. This is the conclusion of a meta-study, which aggregated the results of eight relatively short-term trials.
Brazilian researchers at the Federal University of Mato Grosso traced 8 previously published studies that compared the effect of strength training with weights and machines with the effect of strength training with elastic bands. A total of 224 individuals participated in the studies. The researchers lumped together the results of the trials and re-analyzed them.
The studies were not uniform in their study population. One study used cardiomyopathy patients as subjects, another used athletes, yet another study used students.
The trials lasted 4-12 weeks, and the subjects trained 2-5 times a week.
The researchers looked separately at the effect of the training programs on upper body strength [first figure below] and lower body strength [second figure below]. In both cases, they saw no significant differences. Both training types worked equally well.
Click on the figures for a larger version.
"These findings allow coaches, physiotherapists, and even patients to opt to use devices with low costs, ease of handling, and which can be used in different places, such as elastic devices, for maintenance and gain in muscular strength", write the Brazilians.
SAGE Open Med. 2019 Feb 19;7:2050312119831116.
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