Research

Research 1

The research was conducted by Anu Rannikko, Hanna Salminen and Janne Avela (Ph.D., Research director)

Neuromuscular Research Center, Department of Biology of Physical Activity,The university of Jyväskylä, Finland

Gymstick training: effects to neuromuscular- and circulatory systems, 2004

 The testing period was five weeks long and its objective was to study the effects of Gymstick exercise intervention. There were 15 subjects, from 22 to 29 years old, who did not exercise actively. They exercised with the Gymstick 3-4 times a week. Once a week they participated an exercise session led by an instructor. The remaining 2-3 times they trained independently.

• As a result of the intervention, every subject's endurance in doing sit-ups was improved. The average improvement was 72 per cent.

• Most of the subjects showed significant improvement in body flexors’ strength. 12 out of 15 subjects improved their result. The average improvement was 19 per cent.

• The isometric strength of the lower limb showed a statistically significant improvement as thirteen subjects improved their results with the average of 19 per cent.

• The muscular imbalance showed improvement in terms of strength. The average improvement was 23 per cent.

• The measurements taken after the exercise period show clear improvement in dynamic balance skills. The test measured distance and speed. The subjects had to complete a task on a balance platform.

• As a result of exercising the distance was reduced by 10 per cent on the average.

• As a result of exercising the time improved by about 21 per cent.


Research 2

The research was conducted by Kati Yliniemi and Saara Äijö

Faculty of Social and Health Services Degree Programme in Physiotherapy Lahti Polytechnic

Gymstick in Therapeutic exercise, 2004

The testing period was seven weeks long during which the effects of exercise intervention on muscular strength and balance were studied. The test group consisted of six persons, aged between 39 and 59. The pre-tests and the post-tests included the dynamic parts of a test which measures the condition of the back; the test is developed by Orton. The ‘one-leg standing’ –test and a questionnaire before and after the test were also included in the pre-tests and post-tests.

The results show that exercising with Gymstick improves balance and performance of the muscles. The average results of the group showed improvement in all of the categories. The improvement figure is the average of the whole group; the result shows the improvement compared to the pre-test.

The result of the ‘One-leg standing’ –test improved by 54 per cent for the right foot (eyes open) and for the left 129 per cent (eyes open). When the subjects did the test eyes closed, the balance improved with the average of 126 per cent for right foot and 147 per cent for left foot.

The result of the abdominal test showed an average improvement of 272 per cent, the average improvement in the back muscle test was 37 per cent, the improvement of the upper limb test was 49 per cent for the right limb and 89 per cent for the left limb. The result of the squat test improved by 38 per cent. According to the questionnaires the subjects found that the Gymstick motivated them to exercise more actively. They also thought that it is a challenging form of group exercise.


Research 3

• Lubans, D.R.1*, Mundey, C.M.1, Lubans, N.J.2, Lonsdale, C.3

• School of Education, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, AUSTRALIA;

• School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, AUSTRALIA.

• School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, AUSTRALIA


Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of an Elastic Tubing Resistance Training and Lifestyle Activity Intervention for Sedentary Older Adults

Abstract

  The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy and feasibility of a resistance training and lifestyle activity program for sedentary older adults. Eligible participants (N=44) were randomized to an 8-week intervention or a control group. The primary outcome was lower body muscular strength and participants completed a range of secondary outcomes. There was a significant group-by-time interaction for lower body muscular strength (difference= 3.9 repetitions, 95% CI = 2.0 to 5.8 repetitions, p<0.001, d=1.0). Changes in secondary outcomes were generally small and not statistically significant. Attendance and program satisfaction were both high. A combined elastic tubing resistance training (using the Gymstick) and lifestyle activity program delivered in the community setting is an efficacious and feasible approach to improve health in sedentary older adults.


Research 4

Hunter Medical Research Institute at the University of Newcastle

Dr Lubans’ research has been published in the journal Preventive Medicine.

Dr Lubans’ and Associate Professor Callister’s research is conducted in collaboration with the Hunter Medical Research Institute’s (HMRI) Cardiovascular Research Program. HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.

A study from the University of Newcastle has shown that adolescents can benefit from resistance training programs.

Dr David Lubans from the Faculty of Education and Arts and Associate Professor Robin Callister from the Faculty of Health, have evaluated the impact of a program involving free weights and an elastic tubing resistance training tool known as a Gymstick.

The two-month study of more than 100 Year 9 and 10 students in Newcastle is the first to measure the effects of elastic tubing resistance training in adolescents.

“Our findings have important implications for the promotion of muscular fitness in this age group,” Dr Lubans said. “Increasing physical activity levels in children and adolescents has emerged as a global health priority.

“In Australia, approximately 25 per cent of youth are overweight or obese and approximately 30 per cent do not meet the national physical activity recommendations1.

“Historically, resistance training has not been recommended for children and adolescents due to the perceived threat of injury and the belief it could stunt linear growth.

“The results from this study actually show the feasibility and benefits of resistance training for adolescents.”

The students used either free weights or the elastic tubing resistance training tool twice a week for eight weeks and improved their body composition and muscular strength.

Boys improved both upper and lower body strength, while girls achieved significantly larger improvements in lower body strength.

1Department of Health and Ageing. 2007 Australian National Children's Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey - Main Findings.

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