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Influence of Strength Training on Adult Women's Flexibility

Monteiro, Walace David1,2; Simão, Roberto3; Polito, Marco Doederlein4; Santana, Cleves Araújo4; Chaves, Rogério Batista4; Bezerra, Ewerton4; Fleck, Steven J5

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2008 - Volume 22 - Issue 3 - pp 672-677
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31816a5d45
Original Research

The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effect of 10 weeks of strength training on the flexibility of sedentary middle-aged women. Twenty women were randomly assigned to either a strength training group (n = 10; age, 37 ± 1.7 years; body mass, 65.2 ± 10.7 kg; height, 157.7 ± 10.8 cm; and body mass index, 25.72 ± 3.3 kg·m−2) or a control group (n = 10; age, 36.9 ± 1.2 years; body mass, 64.54 ± 10.18 kg; height, 158.1 ± 8.9 cm; and body mass index, 26.07 ± 2.8 kg·m−2). The strength training program was a total body session performed in a circuit fashion and consisted of 7 exercises performed for 3 circuits of 8 to 12 repetitions maximum (RM), except for the abdominal exercise which was performed for 15 to 20 RM. Flexibility measurements were taken for 10 articulation movements pre and post training: shoulder flexion and extension, shoulder horizontal adduction and abduction, elbow flexion, hip flexion and extension, knee flexion, and trunk flexion and extension. Pre and post training, 10 RM strength significantly increased (p < 0.05). Of the movements examined, only shoulder horizontal adduction, hip flexion and extension, and trunk flexion and extension demonstrated significant increases (p < 0.05). Neither elbow nor knee flexion showed a significant change with weight training. The control group showed no significant change in any of the flexibility measures determined. In conclusion, weight training can increase flexibility in previously sedentary middle-aged women in some, but not all joint movements.

1Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 2Salgado de Oliveira University, Niterói, Brazil; 3School of Physical Education and Sports, Rio de Janeiro Federal University Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 4Gama Filho University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 5Sports Science Department, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Address correspondence to Steven J. Fleck,

© 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Association