Impact of Different Resistance Training Protocols on Balance, Quality of Life and Physical Activity Level of Older Women

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Sep 18;19(18):11765. doi: 10.3390/ijerph191811765.


Background: Physical activity (PA) and physical fitness are key factors for quality of life (QoL) for older women. The aging process promotes the decrease in some capacities such as strength, which affect the activities of daily life. This loss of strength leads to a reduction in balance and an increased risk of falls as well as a sedentary lifestyle. Resistance Training (RT) is an effective method to improve balance and strength but different RT protocols can promote different responses. Power training has a higher impact on the performance of activities of daily life. Therefore, our study aimed to analyze if different RT protocols promote individual responses in balance, QoL and PA levels of older women and which are more effective for the older women.

Methods: Ninety-four older women were divided into four RT groups (relative strength endurance training, SET; Traditional strength training, TRT; absolute strength training, AST; power training, PWT) and one control group (CG). Each RT group performed a specific protocol for 16 weeks. At baseline and after 8 and 16 weeks, we assessed balance through the Berg balance scale; PA levels with a modified Baecke questionnaire and QoL with World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOL-BREF) and World Health Organization Quality of Life-OLD module (WHOQOL-OLD).

Results: Balance improved after 16 weeks (baseline vs. 16 weeks; p < 0.05) without differences between all RT groups. PWT (2.82%) and TRT (3.48%) improved balance in the first 8 weeks (baseline vs. 8 weeks; p < 0.05). PA levels increased in PWT, TRT and AST after 16 weeks (baseline vs. 16 weeks; p < 0.05).

Conclusion: All RT protocols improved PA levels and QoL after 16 weeks of training. For the improvement of balance, QoL and PA, older women can be subjected to PWT, AST and SET, and not be restricted to TRT.

Keywords: balance; older women; physical activity level; quality of life; resistance training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Physical Fitness
  • Quality of Life
  • Resistance Training* / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Grants and funding

This work was supported by national funds through FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P., within the framework of the project UIDB/04748/2020.