The effects of low-repetition and light-load power training on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with sarcopenia: a pilot study

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Background: Age-related reduction in bone mineral density (BMD) is generally accelerated in women after menopause, and could be even more pronounced in individuals with sarcopenia. Light-load power training with a low number of repetitions would increase BMD, significantly reducing bone loss in individuals at risk of osteoporosis. This study investigated the effects of low-repetition, light-load power training on BMD in Japanese postmenopausal women with sarcopenia. Methods: The training group (n = 7) followed a progressive power training protocol that increased the load with a weighted vest, for two sessions per week, over the course of 6 weeks. The training exercise comprised five kinds of exercises (squats, front lunges, side lunges, calf raises, and toe raises), and each exercise contained eight sets of three repetitions with a 15-s rest between each set. The control group (n = 8) did not undergo any training intervention. We measured BMD, muscle strength, and anthropometric data. Results: Within-group changes in pelvis BMD and knee extensor strength were significantly greater in the training group than the control group (p = 0.029 and 0.030 for pelvis BMD and knee extensor strength, respectively). After low-repetition, light-load power training, we noted improvements in pelvis BMD (1.6%) and knee extensor strength (15.5%). No significant within-or between-group differences were observed for anthropometric data or forearm BMD. Conclusions: Six weeks of low-repetition, light-load power training improved pelvis BMD and knee extensor strength in postmenopausal women with sarcopenia. Since this training program does not require high-load exercise and is therefore easily implementable as daily exercise, it could be an effective form of exercise for sedentary adults at risk for osteoporosis who are fearful of heavy loads and/or training that could cause fatigue.


  • BMC Geriatrics

    BMC Geriatrics (17), 102, 2017-05-02

    BioMed Central


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