Given the practicality and low cost of using elastic resistance in training for different populations and its effectiveness in a range of outcomes, a comparison with conventional devices could clarify and quantify the benefits provided by both mode. To compare the effects of resistance training with elastic devices (tubes and Thera-Bands) and conventional devices (weight machines and dumbbells) on the outcome muscular strength. A search was performed in the databases PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database), and CENTRAL (Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) from the earliest records up to 20 December 2017. Data were pooled into a meta-analysis and described as standardized mean difference with a 95% confidence interval (registration number: CRD42016042152). Eight studies were included. The results of the meta-analysis demonstrated no superiority between the methods analyzed for upper limb (standardized mean difference = -0.011; 95% confidence interval = -0.40, 0.19; p = 0.48) or lower limb muscular strength (standardized mean difference = 0.09; 95% confidence interval = -0.18, 0.35; p = 0.52). Elastic resistance training is able to promote similar strength gains to conventional resistance training, in different population profiles and using diverse protocols.
Keywords: Thera-Band; accessibility; dumbbells; physiotherapy; weight machine.