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Resistance Exercise/Training to Improve Physical Fitness and Health

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 62905

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Neurological and Movement Science, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
2. Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Interests: eccentric training; muscle architecture; injury prevention; soccer performance; COPD
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues

Physical fitness is the ability to perform several aspects of sports, occupations, and daily activities, and its level is associated with a person’s state of health and wellness. Physical fitness depends on several factors, among which muscle strength (i.e., the capacity to overwhelm an external load) plays a meaningful role. Indeed, muscle strength is strongly related to sports performance, and is an important co-factor that contributes to an independent work and lifestyle.
Resistance training is largely used to increase muscle strength. Muscle strength can be exerted in a number of modalities, such as rapid strength, maximum strength, and strength endurance, and all these modalities affect both physical fitness and health. For example, rapid force production might enhance power performance in athletes and decrease the risk of falling; a high level of maximum strength allows lifting very high loads but also permits people to independently stand up or step up/down; and strength endurance may make it possible to avoid decreases in performance in athletes but also may decrease muscle fatigability and let people continue their daily activities. Many resistance exercises have been proposed to increase muscle strength in different populations. Each exercise focuses on its targeted muscle in order to improve the specific muscle’s performance. As a result, the combination of the improvements in specific muscle performance contribute to the daily tasks related to physical fitness and health.
This Special Issue will focus on the effects of resistance training on muscle strength and its correlation with physical fitness and health parameters. Additionally, emphasis will be placed on a clear description of the resistance exercises in order to offer practical implications for training purposes. Take-home messages are welcome to provide both trainers and practitioners with the possibility of improving physical fitness and health through the choice of appropriate resistance exercises and training protocols.

Dr. Giuseppe Coratella
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Resistance exercise
  • Resistance training
  • Physical fitness
  • Health
  • Muscle
  • Strength

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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9 pages, 1315 KiB  
Article
An Electromyographic Analysis of Romanian, Step-Romanian, and Stiff-Leg Deadlift: Implication for Resistance Training
by Giuseppe Coratella, Gianpaolo Tornatore, Stefano Longo, Fabio Esposito and Emiliano Cè
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1903; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031903 - 08 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 9862
Abstract
The present study examined the posterior chain muscle excitation in different deadlift variations. Ten competitive bodybuilders (training seniority of 10.6 ± 1.8 years) performed the Romanian (RD), Romanian standing on a step (step-RD), and stiff-leg deadlift (SD) with an 80% 1-RM. The excitation [...] Read more.
The present study examined the posterior chain muscle excitation in different deadlift variations. Ten competitive bodybuilders (training seniority of 10.6 ± 1.8 years) performed the Romanian (RD), Romanian standing on a step (step-RD), and stiff-leg deadlift (SD) with an 80% 1-RM. The excitation of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, biceps femoris, semitendinosus, erector spinae longissimus, and iliocostalis was assessed during both the ascending and descending phases. During the ascending phase, the RMS of the gluteus maximus was greater in the step-RD than in the RD (effect size (ES): 1.70, 0.55/2.84) and SD (ES: 1.18, 0.11/2.24). Moreover, a greater RMS was found in the SD than in the RD (ES: 0.99, 0.04/1.95). The RMS of the semitendinosus was greater in the step-RD than in the RD (ES: 0.82, 0.20/1.44) and SD (ES: 3.13, 1.67/4.59). Moreover, a greater RMS was found in the RD than in the SD (ES: 1.38, 0.29/2.48). The RMS of the longissimus was greater in the step-RD than in the RD (ES: 2.12, 0.89/3.34) and SD (ES: 3.28, 1.78/4.78). The descending phase had fewer differences between the exercises. No further differences between the exercises were found. The step-RD increased the overall excitation of the posterior chain muscles, possibly because of the greater range of movement and posterior muscle elongation during the anterior flexion. Moreover, the RD appeared to target the semitendinosus more than the SD, while the latter excited the gluteus maximus more. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resistance Exercise/Training to Improve Physical Fitness and Health)
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8 pages, 594 KiB  
Article
Joint Flexibility and Isometric Strength Parameters Are Not Relevant Determinants for Countermovement Jump Performance
by Andreas Konrad, Marina Maren Reiner, Daniel Bernsteiner, Christoph Glashüttner, Sigrid Thaller and Markus Tilp
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2510; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052510 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2849
Abstract
Vertical jumps are of great importance as a performance predictor for many types of sports that require speed and agility. However, to date, it is not clear if flexibility and/or the strength of the different leg muscles are determinants for countermovement jump (CMJ) [...] Read more.
Vertical jumps are of great importance as a performance predictor for many types of sports that require speed and agility. However, to date, it is not clear if flexibility and/or the strength of the different leg muscles are determinants for countermovement jump (CMJ) performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to relate isometric maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) torque and the flexibility of various muscle groups of the lower body with CMJ performance. Thirty-six healthy male volunteers participated in this study. The participants performed MVCs of the knee extensors, knee flexors, and plantar flexors on a dynamometer. Moreover, range of motion of the hip flexors and plantar flexors was assessed with 3D motion capture, and the range of motion of the knee flexors (hamstrings) was assessed with a Sit n’ Reach® box. CMJs were assessed with a force platform. The correlation analysis revealed a significant moderate correlation of CMJ height with the flexibility of the hip flexors (rP = −0.39) and plantar flexors (rP = 0.47), but not the knee flexors. Moreover, we found that absolute MVC values are not related to CMJ height. However, we did find that knee extensor MVC relative to body mass is significantly related to CMJ height (rP = 0.33) with a moderate magnitude. Although we found significant correlations, the magnitudes of correlations vary between trivial and large according to a 90% confidence interval. Thus, this indicates that range of motion or strength of the assessed leg muscles can explain CMJ performance only to a limited extent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resistance Exercise/Training to Improve Physical Fitness and Health)
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15 pages, 1380 KiB  
Article
Influence of the Amount of Instability on the Leg Muscle Activity During a Loaded Free Barbell Half-Squat
by Bernat Buscà, Joan Aguilera-Castells, Jordi Arboix-Alió, Adrià Miró, Azahara Fort-Vanmeerhaeghe and Javier Peña
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8046; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218046 - 31 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2609
Abstract
This study aimed to understand the acute responses on the muscular activity of primary movers during the execution of a half-squat under different unstable devices. Fourteen male and female high-standard track and field athletes were voluntarily recruited. A repeated measures design was used [...] Read more.
This study aimed to understand the acute responses on the muscular activity of primary movers during the execution of a half-squat under different unstable devices. Fourteen male and female high-standard track and field athletes were voluntarily recruited. A repeated measures design was used to establish the differences between muscle activity of the primary movers, the body centre of mass acceleration and the OMNI-Perceived Exertion Scale for Resistance Exercise (OMNI-Res) in a half-squat under four different stability conditions (floor, foam, BOSU-up and BOSU-down). A significant correlation was found between the highest performance limb muscle activity and body centre of mass acceleration for half-squat floor (r = 0.446, p = 0.003), foam (r = 0.322, p = 0.038), BOSU-up (r = 0.500, p = 0.001), and BOSU-down (r = 0.495, p = 0.001) exercises. For the exercise condition, the half-squat BOSU-up and BOSU-down significantly increased the muscle activity compared to half-squat floor (vastus medialis: p = 0.020, d = 0.56; vastus lateralis: p = 0.006, d = 0.75; biceps femoris: p = 0.000–0.006, d = 1.23–1.00) and half-squat foam (vastus medialis: p = 0.005–0.006, d = 0.60–1.00; vastus lateralis: p = 0.014, d = 0.67; biceps femoris: p = 0.002, d = 1.00) activities. This study contributes to improving the understanding of instability training, providing data about the acute muscular responses that an athlete experiences under varied stability conditions. The perturbation offered by the two BOSU conditions was revealed as the most demanding for the sample of athletes, followed by foam and floor executions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resistance Exercise/Training to Improve Physical Fitness and Health)
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13 pages, 761 KiB  
Article
Using Machines or Free Weights for Resistance Training in Novice Males? A Randomized Parallel Trial
by Dirk Aerenhouts and Eva D’Hondt
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7848; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217848 - 26 Oct 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 8923
Abstract
This study compared the effect of a resistance training (RT) program with machines, free weights, or a combination of both on changes in anthropometrics, strength, and functional ability in novice adult males. Thirty-six male novices in RT (18–45 years) followed a 10-week RT [...] Read more.
This study compared the effect of a resistance training (RT) program with machines, free weights, or a combination of both on changes in anthropometrics, strength, and functional ability in novice adult males. Thirty-six male novices in RT (18–45 years) followed a 10-week RT program. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups (N = 12 each): machines only; free weights only; or switching from machines to free weights (after 5 weeks). Muscle size (circumferences of upper arm, thigh and chest), strength (1 Repetition Maximum) on both machines and free weights, and functional ability (Functional Movement ScreenTM (Functional Movement Systems Inc., Chatham, VA, USA)) were assessed prior to the RT program, halfway at 5 weeks, and within one week after the final training bout. Repeated measures MANOVAs showed no significant time by RT group interactions for the different outcome measures. Regardless of RT group, significant improvements over time were observed for anthropometrics (F = 9.144, p < 0.001), strength (F = 6.918, p < 0.001), and functional ability (F = 25.578, p < 0.001). To conclude, similar gains in muscularity, strength, and functional ability can be expected for male novices in RT regardless of the equipment being used and without a fallback when changing from machines to free weights. Accordingly, any choice of RT equipment can be made, considering individual preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resistance Exercise/Training to Improve Physical Fitness and Health)
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12 pages, 4508 KiB  
Article
Impact of the “Sling Shot” Supportive Device on Upper-Body Neuromuscular Activity during the Bench Press Exercise
by Grzegorz Wojdala, Artur Golas, Michal Krzysztofik, Robert George Lockie, Robert Roczniok, Adam Zajac and Michal Wilk
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7695; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207695 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2213
Abstract
The aim of this study was to compare the muscle activity between the sling shot assisted (SS) and control (CONT) flat barbell bench press for selected external loads of 70%, 85%, 100% one-repetition maximum (1RM). Ten resistance-trained men participated in the study (age [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to compare the muscle activity between the sling shot assisted (SS) and control (CONT) flat barbell bench press for selected external loads of 70%, 85%, 100% one-repetition maximum (1RM). Ten resistance-trained men participated in the study (age = 22.2 ± 1.9 years, body mass = 88.7 ± 11.2 kg, body height = 179.5 ± 4.1, 1RM in the bench press = 127.25 ± 25.86 kg, and strength training experience = 6 ± 2.5 years). Evaluation of peak muscle activity of the dominant body side was carried out using surface electromyography (sEMG) recorded for the triceps brachii, pectoralis major, and anterior deltoid during each attempt. The three-way repeated measure ANOVA revealed statistically significant main interaction for condition x muscle group (p < 0.01; η2 = 0.569); load x muscle group (p < 0.01; η2 = 0.709); and condition x load (p < 0.01; η2 = 0.418). A main effect was also observed for condition (p < 0.01; η2 = 0.968); load (p < 0.01; η2 = 0.976); and muscle group (p < 0.01; η2 = 0.977). The post hoc analysis for the main effect of the condition indicated statistically significant decrease in %MVIC for the SS compared to CONT condition (74.9 vs. 88.9%MVIC; p < 0.01; ES = 0.39). The results of this study showed that using the SS significantly affects the muscle activity pattern of the flat bench press and results in its acute decrease in comparison to an equal load under CONT conditions. The SS device may be an effective tool both in rehabilitation and strength training protocols by increasing stability with a reduction of muscular activity of the prime movers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resistance Exercise/Training to Improve Physical Fitness and Health)
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12 pages, 2564 KiB  
Article
An Electromyographic Analysis of Lateral Raise Variations and Frontal Raise in Competitive Bodybuilders
by Giuseppe Coratella, Gianpaolo Tornatore, Stefano Longo, Fabio Esposito and Emiliano Cè
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6015; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176015 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 10999
Abstract
The present study examined the muscle activation in lateral raise with humerus rotated externally (LR-external), neutrally (LR-neutral), internally (LR-internal), with flexed elbow (LR-flexed) and frontal raise during both the concentric and eccentric phase. Ten competitive bodybuilders performed the exercises. Normalized surface electromyographic root [...] Read more.
The present study examined the muscle activation in lateral raise with humerus rotated externally (LR-external), neutrally (LR-neutral), internally (LR-internal), with flexed elbow (LR-flexed) and frontal raise during both the concentric and eccentric phase. Ten competitive bodybuilders performed the exercises. Normalized surface electromyographic root mean square (sEMG RMS) was obtained from anterior, medial, and posterior deltoid, pectoralis major, upper trapezius, and triceps brachii. During the concentric phase, anterior deltoid and posterior deltoid showed greater sEMG RMS in frontal raise (effect size (ES)-range: 1.78/9.25)) and LR-internal (ES-range: 10.79/21.34), respectively, vs. all other exercises. Medial deltoid showed greater sEMG RMS in LR-neutral than LR-external (ES: 1.47 (95% confidence-interval—CI: 0.43/2.38)), frontal raise (ES: 10.28(95% CI: 6.67/13.01)), and LR-flexed (ES: 6.41(95% CI: 4.04/8.23)). Pectoralis major showed greater sEMG RMS in frontal raise vs. all other exercises (ES-range: 17.2/29.5), while upper trapezius (ES-range: 2.66/7.18) and triceps brachii (ES-range: 0.41/3.31) showed greater sEMG RMS in LR-internal vs. all other exercises. Similar recruitment patterns were found during the eccentric phase. When humerus rotates internally, greater activation of posterior deltoid, triceps brachii, and upper trapezius occurs. Humerus external rotation increases the activation of anterior and medial deltoid. Frontal raise mainly activates anterior deltoid and pectoralis major. LR variations and frontal raise activate specifically shoulders muscles and should be proposed accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resistance Exercise/Training to Improve Physical Fitness and Health)
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16 pages, 1500 KiB  
Article
Effects of 6 Weeks of Traditional Resistance Training or High Intensity Interval Resistance Training on Body Composition, Aerobic Power and Strength in Healthy Young Subjects: A Randomized Parallel Trial
by Tatiana Moro, Giuseppe Marcolin, Antonino Bianco, Francesco Bolzetta, Linda Berton, Giuseppe Sergi and Antonio Paoli
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4093; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114093 - 08 Jun 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 7860
Abstract
Consistent practice of physical activity has well known positive effects on general health; however, time for exercise remains one major barrier for many. An acute bout of high intensity interval resistance training (HIIRT) increases acute resting energy expenditure (REE) and decreases respiratory ratio [...] Read more.
Consistent practice of physical activity has well known positive effects on general health; however, time for exercise remains one major barrier for many. An acute bout of high intensity interval resistance training (HIIRT) increases acute resting energy expenditure (REE) and decreases respiratory ratio (RR), suggesting its potential role on weight loss and increased fatty acid oxidation. The aim of this study was to test the long-term effect of HIIRT on body composition, lipid profile and muscle strength using a randomized parallel trial. Twenty healthy young adults (22.15 ± 1.95 years) were randomized to perform either a HIIRT (N = 11) protocol, consisting of three sets of 6 repetitions at 6 repetition maximum (RM) and then 20 seconds of rest between repetitions until exhaustion repeated for 3 times with 2′30″ rest between sets or a traditional training (TRT, N = 9) protocol of 3 sets of 15 reps with 75 sec of rest between sets. Body composition, resting energy metabolism, aerobic capacity, muscle strength and blood measurements were taken before and after 8 weeks of training. Both protocols enhanced muscle strength, but only HIIRT improved endurance strength performance (+22.07%, p < 0.05) and lean body mass (+2.82%, p < 0.05). REE and RR were unaltered as lipid profile. HIIRT represents a valid training method to improve muscle strength and mass, but its role on body weight control was not confirmed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resistance Exercise/Training to Improve Physical Fitness and Health)
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Review

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42 pages, 670 KiB  
Review
Core Muscle Activity during Physical Fitness Exercises: A Systematic Review
by José M. Oliva-Lozano and José M. Muyor
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4306; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124306 - 16 Jun 2020
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 16391
Abstract
The aim of this study was to systematically review the current literature on the electromyographic (EMG) activity of six core muscles (the rectus abdominis, the internal and external oblique, the transversus abdominis, the lumbar multifidus, and the erector spinae) during core physical fitness [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to systematically review the current literature on the electromyographic (EMG) activity of six core muscles (the rectus abdominis, the internal and external oblique, the transversus abdominis, the lumbar multifidus, and the erector spinae) during core physical fitness exercises in healthy adults. A systematic review of the literature was conducted on the Cochrane, EBSCO, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science electronic databases for studies from January 2012 to March 2020. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were used. The inclusion criteria were as follows: (a) the full text available in English; (b) a cross-sectional or longitudinal (experimental or cohorts) study design; (c) the reporting of electromyographic activity as a percentage of maximum voluntary contraction (% MVIC), millivolts or microvolts; (d) an analysis of the rectus abdominis (RA), transversus abdominis (TA), lumbar multifidus (MUL), erector spinae (ES), and the internal (IO) or external oblique (EO); (e) an analysis of physical fitness exercises for core training; and (f) healthy adult participants. The main findings indicate that the greatest activity of the RA, EO, and ES muscles was found in free-weight exercises. The greatest IO activity was observed in core stability exercises, while traditional exercises showed the greatest MUL activation. However, a lack of research regarding TA activation during core physical fitness exercises was revealed, in addition to a lack of consistency between the studies when applying methods to measure EMG activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resistance Exercise/Training to Improve Physical Fitness and Health)
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