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Resistance training leads to large improvements in strength and moderate improvements in physical function in adults who are overweight or obese: a systematic review

Orange, Samuel T; Madden, Leigh A; Vince, Rebecca V

Authors

Samuel T Orange



Abstract

Questions
What are the effects of resistance training on muscle strength, physical function and muscle power in adults who are overweight or obese? Which factors moderate the effects?

Design
Systematic review of randomised controlled trials, with random effects meta-analyses and meta-regressions.

Participants
Adults who are overweight or obese.

Intervention
Resistance training lasting ≥ 4 weeks.

Outcome measures
Muscle strength, muscle power and physical function.

Results
Thirty trials with 1,416 participants met the eligibility criteria. Pooled analyses indicated that resistance training has a large beneficial effect on muscle strength (SMD 1.39, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.73, I2 = 85%) and a moderate effect on physical function (SMD 0.67, 95% CI 0.25 to 1.08, I2 = 71%) in adults who are overweight or obese. However, the effect of resistance training on muscle power was unclear (SMD 0.42, 95% CI −3.3 to 4.2, I2 = 46%). The effect of resistance training on strength was greatest for the upper body (versus lower/whole body: β = 0.35, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.66) and in dynamic strength tests (versus isometric/isokinetic: β = 1.20, 95% CI 0.60 to 1.81), although trials judged to have good methodological quality reported statistically smaller effects (versus poor/fair quality: β = −1.21, 95% CI −2.35 to −0.07). Concomitant calorie restriction did not modify strength gains but reduced the effect of resistance training on physical function (β = −0.79, 95% CI −1.41 to −0.17). Small study effects were evident for strength outcomes (β = 5.9, p < 0.001).

Conclusions
Resistance training has a large positive effect on muscle strength and a moderate effect on physical function in adults who are overweight or obese. However, the effect of resistance training on muscle power is uncertain. In addition, concomitant calorie restriction may compromise the functional adaptations to resistance training.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Journal of Physiotherapy
Print ISSN 1836-9553
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Orange, S. T., Madden, L. A., & Vince, R. V. (in press). Resistance training leads to large improvements in strength and moderate improvements in physical function in adults who are overweight or obese: a systematic review. Journal of Physiotherapy, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphys.2020.09.009
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphys.2020.09.009
Keywords Obesity; Resistance training; Physical functional performance; Exercise training; Muscle strength; Muscle power
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1836955320301041?via%3Dihub

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Copyright Statement
© 2020 Australian Physiotherapy Association. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).journal homepage:www.elsevier.com/locate/jphys





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