Int J Sports Med 2021; 42(04): 371-376
DOI: 10.1055/a-1121-7736
Training & Testing

The Effects of Resistance Exercise Selection on Muscle Size and Strength in Trained Women

Matheus Barbalho
1   Faculdade de Educação Física e Dança, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiania, Brazil
1   Faculdade de Educação Física e Dança, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiania, Brazil
Victor Coswig
2   Faculdade de Educação Fisica, Universidade Federal do Pará, Castanhal, Brazil
Odilon Abrahin
3   Departamento de Educação Física, Universidade do Estado do Pará, Belem, Brazil
4   Departament of Biomedical Sciences, Universita degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy
Paulo Gentil
1   Faculdade de Educação Física e Dança, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiania, Brazil
› Author Affiliations


The study compared the effects of resistance training programs composed by multi-joint (MJ), single-joint (SJ) and the combination of multi- and single-joint (MJ+SJ) exercises on muscle strength and hypertrophy in trained women. Thirty participants were divided into groups that performed only MJ exercises, SJ exercises and MJ+SJ exercises for six months. Participants were tested for 1-repetition maximum (RM) and muscle thickness (MT) before and after the intervention. All groups showed significant gains on 1RM tests from pre- to post-training (P<0.01). However, MJ and MJ+SJ groups obtained greater gains in 1RM for the MJ exercises in comparison with the SJ group. Increases in 1RM for the SJ exercises were similar among groups, with the exception of leg curl, where the SJ group obtained greater gains than MJ and MJ+SJ. All groups obtained significant increases in MT from pre- to post-training for all muscle groups. However, MJ and MJ+SJ groups presented greater increases in gluteus maximus, quadriceps femoris and pectoralis major in comparison with the SJ group. Therefore, our results suggest that, in general, performing MJ exercises seems to be necessary to obtain optimal results from a resistance training program; however SJ might be necessary to provide optimal strength gains in knee flexion.

Publication History

Received: 07 October 2019

Accepted: 31 January 2020

Article published online:
06 April 2020

© 2021. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Georg Thieme Verlag KG
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