C. Abgottspon1, C. Schwab1, A. Blasimann1 (1Bern)
Resistance training is important for daily life, prevention, rehabilitation and sports. Different methodological concepts exist about how to efficiently gain strength, but do not apply to different movement velocities, "time under tension" of muscles, respectively. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate the effect of different movement velocities during resistance training on strength gain.
Five databases were searched systematically. Studies with healthy people doing resistance training with slow or usual movement velocity, and a control group without exercises were included. Usually, resistance training uses a movement velocity of one second per phase (concentric and eccentric). In contrast, training with low movement velocity was defined as muscles being under tension for at least three seconds per phase. Risk of bias was assessed with the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale, the Critical Appraisal Skills Program checklist and the Risk of Bias assessment tool from Cochrane.
From 391 references found, six studies with 179 adult patients with no experience in resistance training could be included. In addition to the intervention groups (slow or usual movement velocities), three studies also had a control group without exercises. In the intervention groups with slow movement velocity, the maximum strength, 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) respectively, increased significantly. In five studies, the 1RM-values in intervention groups with usual movement velocity increased significantly. However, there was no significant difference in strength gain between intervention groups.
Resistance training with slow movement velocity, longer time under tension respectively, has the advantage of lower health risks (e.g. increased blood tension values, exercise-induced injuries). Therefore, this method may be feasible and easily used for untrained people, elderly or people with cardiovascular problems.