BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation
Springer / BMC
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Exercise Medicine Research Institute / Graduate Research
The benefits of resistance training for patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are well documented; however, the effects of exercise with different muscle contraction types such as eccentric versus concentric contractions on physiological outcomes for this population are not clear. This study compared eccentric-only (ECC) and concentric-only resistance training (CON) to test the hypothesis that ECC would be superior to CON to improve insulin sensitivity, lipid profile, body composition, muscle strength and physical function of patients with T2D.
Adults with T2D (50–79 years) were allocated to the ECC (n = 9) or CON group (n = 9). Resistance exercises (chest press, lateral pulldown, bicep curl, triceps extension, leg extension, leg curl, calf raise, abdominal crunch) consisting of 2–3 sets of 10 eccentric-only (5 s) or concentric-only contractions (1–2 s) was performed twice a week for 12 weeks. Changes in blood biomarkers, body composition, muscle strength and physical function from pre- to post-intervention were compared between groups.
Overall rating of perceived exertion (RPE, 1–10 Borg scale) was lower (p < 0.05) for ECC (2.9 ± 1.2) than CON (5.4 ± 1.1). No significant changes in blood biomarkers were found for both groups. Lean mass increased [effect size (ES) = 0.148, ECC 3.2 ± 6.9%; CON 3.6 ± 2.3%], and fat mass decreased (ES = 0.545, ECC − 6.1 ± 12.4%; CON − 7.1 ± 16.4%) (p < 0.05) similarly. One-repetition maximal strength of each exercise increased (p < 0.05) for both ECC (12–37%) and CON (27–68%). Both groups improved (p < 0.05) 6-min walk distance (ES = 0.083, ECC 12.2 ± 2.3%; CON 12.5 ± 15.3%) and chair rise time (ES = 0.463, ECC − 13.4 ± 25.4%; CON − 20.0 ± 53.3%) but only ECC improved (p < 0.05) the timed up-and-go test (− 11.3 ± 13.6%, ES 0.014). No significant changes in balance tests were found for both groups.
These results did not fully support the hypothesis but showed that ECC was as effective as CON to improve body composition, muscle strength, and physical function with lesser RPE. Future studies should investigate whether larger differences between ECC and CON are evident when increasing the exercise frequency and matching the intensities of the two-exercise protocols. Trial registration ACTRN12621001026819 (retrospectively registered on 5th Aug 2021).
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