Resistance Training and Muscle Strength in people with Spinal cord injury: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2022 Jan:29:154-160. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2021.09.031. Epub 2021 Oct 12.


Introduction: Spinal cord injuries (SCI) have physiological, emotional, and economic consequences in the lives of affected people. Resistance training (RT) is efficient in improving several physiological factors, quality of life, and body composition.

Evidence acquisition: Due to the scarce literature on RT analyzed separately, the objective of this systematic review is to analyze the effects of RT with no association to other techniques, in aspects related to the quality of life and body composition of people The research for the articles was carried out in the Pubmed, Cochrane, and Web of Science databases using the terms "Spinal cord injuries" AND "Resistance Training" OR "Strength training". Given the scarcity of evidence on the subject, no deadline was set for the study to be eligible for analysis.

Evidence synthesis: The research for the articles was carried out in November of 2020 and returned 349 results, of which 220 remained after the elimination of duplicates, with 145 being excluded after title analysis. Seventy-five abstracts were analyzed and 70 studies were excluded, leaving 5 complete articles for a thorough analysis with SCI. Despite the I2 being 87%, the meta-analysis revealed an overall effect of Z = 4.79 (P < 0.00001).

Conclusions: After analyzing the main results, we concluded that RT is feasible, secure, and promotes significant improvements in maximum strength, local muscular endurance, power, and muscular isometric voluntary contraction in people with spinal cord injury.

Keywords: Muscle strength; Paraplegia; Resistance training; Spinal cord injury.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Composition
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Resistance Training* / methods
  • Spinal Cord Injuries* / complications