Does Upper Extremity Training Influence Body Composition after Spinal Cord Injury?
A. Fisher Justin1,2, A. McNelis Meredith1,2, S. Gorgey Ashraf1,3,*, R. Dolbow David4, L. Goetz Lance1,3
1 Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders Center, Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC, Richmond, VA 23249, USA 2 Department of Health and Human Performance; Exercise Science; Virginia Commonwealth University 3 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23249, USA 4 School of Human Performance and Recreation, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, USA
Spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to serious body composition adaptations characterized by increasing whole body fat mass and decreased soft tissue lean mass (LM). These adaptations in body composition may lead to several cardio-metabolic disorders that reduce the quality of life, increase patients’ and caregivers’ burden and eventually leads to mortality. Exercise, an appropriate dietary regimen, and an active lifestyle may alleviate several of the negative effects on body composition after a SCI. Today however, there is no established consensus on the recommended dose, frequency or type of exercise to ameliorate several of the body composition sequelae after an acute SCI. Resistance training has been previously recommended as an effective strategy to restore soft tissue LM and decrease fat mass (FM). The strategy can be simply implemented as a routine home-based training program using free weights or resistance bands after a SCI. Additionally, upper extremity (UE) circuit resistance training has been previously used to improve cardiovascular and metabolic parameters after a SCI; however compared to the vast knowledge regarding the able-bodied (AB) population, the effects of UE circuit resistance training on body composition after a SCI is not well established. In summary, the available evidence does not support the rationale that UE circuit resistance training can lead to positive adaptations in body composition after a SCI. Further studies are suggested to examine the effects of UE circuit resistance training on body composition.
- 14.3% ↑ in Lat. Pull down - 13% ↑ in Bench press - 6.4% ↓ in HR at Anaerobic Threshold -13.4% ↑ in relative VO2 Peak
- A 12 week, at home exercise routine, was shown to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular strength in individuals with SCI
Table 1 A list of studies that have used circuit resistance training (CRT) on different health variables after SCI.
Figure 1. Body composition changes following UE resistance training. Changes in body composition in a person with T4 complete SCI including a) total body mass, b) percentage fat mass, c) lean mass as measured by DXA following 12 weeks of circuit resistance training that was conducted once weekly. The pre/post-training results suggested no changes in regional (arms, legs, trunk, android, gynoid) or total body composition.
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