Training in a shallow pool: Its effect on upper extremity strength and total body weight in postmenopausal women
Vaquero Abellán, Manuel
Carrasco Poyatos, María
Editor/esInternational Federation of Sports Medicine
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Background: The decrease in muscle mass and muscular strength and the increase in total body weight have significant implications for the health and functioning of postmenopausal women. Exercising in water has become increasingly popular as a means of delaying the physiological decline associated with age in middle-aged and older women. Research question: Is a 12-month aerobic and resistance water training program in a shallow pool effective in increasing muscle strength and decreasing total body weight in postmenopausal women? Type of study: Randomised controlled study. Methods: Thirty-eight subjects were randomly assigned to an exercise group (EG; n = 21) and a control group (CG; n = 17). The exercise group enrolled in a systematic aerobic and resistance training programme for 12 months performed at a frequency of 2 sessions per week, 45 minutes per session. Upper-extremity biokinetic strength and body mass index (BMI) were measured before and after the intervention. CG participants were physically active. Results: EG participants improved significantly (p ≤ 0.05) in mean force (MF: 7.92%), mean power (MP: 9.08%) and mean work (MW: 9.3%). Mean stroke length decreased significantly (p ≤ 0.05) in EG (-5.68%) and in CG (-11.5%). BMI was also significantly decreased (p ≤0.05) in EG participants (-2.75%). Conclusions: These results indicate that training in a shallow pool has significant implications for improving upper extremity muscular strength and total body weight in postmenopausal women.