The effects of a calisthenics and a light strength training program on lower limb muscle strength and body composition in mature women

J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Aug;17(3):590-8. doi: 10.1519/1533-4287(2003)017<0590:teoaca>;2.


This study evaluated and compared the effectiveness of an aerobics-calisthenics (A-CAL) and an aerobics/weight training (A-WT) programs on lower limb strength and body fat (%). Thirty-five adult women (age 42.1 +/- 5.2 years) were randomly assigned to A-CAL (n = 14), A-WT (n = 14), or a control group (n = 7). The A-CAL and A-WT trained 3 days per week for 10 weeks. Maximal bilateral isometric and isokinetic knee extension (KEXT) and flexion (KFLEX) torque, squat jump (SJ), and body fat (%) were measured before and immediately after training. The results revealed nonsignificant differences between A-CAL and A-WT (p > 0.05). Both A-CAL and A-WT improved SJ (p < 0.001). A-WT increased isometric torque of KEXT and KFLEX (p < 0.05), isokinetic torque of KFLEX (p < 0.05), and decreased body fat (%) (p < 0.05) when compared with controls. In summary, the application of a 10-week light-weight training program improved selected strength parameters of healthy women, compared with controls, but the effectiveness of the calisthenics exercises as an independent form of strength training is dubious.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Composition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*
  • Torque
  • Weight Lifting