Effect of isokinetic resistance training on ulnar stiffness in young, college-aged women
Bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD), measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry are used clinically to diagnose osteoporosis and estimate risk for fragility fractures. Bone mineral explains up to 70% of bone strength; however, it does not take into account bone geometry. Mechanical Response Tissue Analysis is a method of non-invasively measuring the bending stiffness (EI) of bone which is determined by the product of Young's modulus of elasticity (E) and the areal cross sectional moment of inertia (I). The aim of the current study was to determine if high intensity strength training will increase ulnar bending stiffness in young women. Forty-nine women aged 19.9 ± 1.7 yrs, trained their nondominant arm either concentrically or eccentrically in the Isokinetic modality on the Biodex® system III 3d/wk for 32 wks. The dominant arm served as the control limb (untrained). Analysis of all subjects regardless of training mode demonstrated a significant increase in ulnar EI (22% ↑, P=0.01) with no significant difference in the untrained arm. When EI results were assessed by training mode, subjects who trained eccentrically showed a significant increase for ulnar EI in the trained limb (40% ↑, P=0.01) with no significant effect on the untrained limb while concentric training demonstrated no significant gain in either the trained or untrained arm. There was no effect of time x mode of training interaction for either the trained or untrained limb. Bone mineral density and bone mineral content of the ulna increased significantly in the trained arm in both concentric and eccentric training modes (P<0.05). These findings suggest support for the hypothesis that a critical threshold of mechanical bending loads may be necessary to effect an adaptation in bone strength and thus, eccentric training may be a novel approach to increase ulnar EI in young women.