Effects of resistance training and aerobic exercise on insulin sensitivity in overweight korean adolescents: a controlled randomized trial

Diabetes Metab J. 2011 Aug;35(4):418-26. doi: 10.4093/dmj.2011.35.4.418. Epub 2011 Aug 31.


Background: Data on the impact of resistance training on insulin resistance in overweight or obese children are inconclusive.

Methods: Thirty overweight South Korean adolescents (mean age of 13.10 years) were divided by sex, and then randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups, which were the diet only (DO), diet with aerobic exercise (AE), or diet with resistance training (RT) group. Physiologic and metabolic parameters were assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks of exercise training and diet modification.

Results: Both exercise groups (aerobic and resistance) showed significant improvements in their insulin area under the curve and insulin sensitivity index values when compared to their baseline values while the DO group showed no significant changes in these variables. Age-, sex-, and body mass index (BMI)-adjusted intergroup comparison analyses showed a marked reduction in BMI and a significant reduction in muscle mass in the AE group when compared to the RT group and the DO group, respectively.

Conclusion: A 12-week exercise training program of either resistance or aerobic activity improved insulin sensitivity in overweight adolescents, although it failed to show superiority over a DO program. Aerobic exercise decreased both body weight and BMI, and it was noted that this group also had a significant reduction in muscle mass when compared to the DO group.

Keywords: Adolescent; Aerobic exercise; Insulin sensitivity; Resistance training.