This study investigated the effects of different exercise sequences on the neuromuscular adaptations induced by water-based concurrent training in postmenopausal women. Twenty-one healthy postmenopausal women (57.14 ± 2.43 years) were randomly placed into two water-based concurrent training groups: resistance training prior to (RA, n = 10) or after (AR, n = 11) aerobic training. Subjects performed resistance and aerobic training twice a week over 12 weeks, performing both exercise types in the same training session. Upper (elbow flexors) and lower-body (knee extensors) one-repetition maximal test (1RM) and peak torque (PT) (knee extensors) were evaluated. The muscle thickness (MT) of upper ( biceps brachii ) and lower-body ( vastus lateralis ) was determined by ultrasonography. Moreover, the maximal and submaximal (neuromuscular economy) electromyographic activity (EMG) of lower-body ( vastus lateralis and rectus femoris ) was measured. Both RA and AR groups increased the upper- and lower-body 1RM and PT, while the lower-body 1RM increases observed in the RA was greater than AR (34.62 ± 13.51 vs. 14.16 ± 13.68 %). RA and AR showed similar MT increases in upper- and lower-body muscles evaluated. In addition, significant improvements in the maximal and submaximal EMG of lower-body muscles in both RA and AR were found, with no differences between groups. Both exercise sequences in water-based concurrent training presented relevant improvements to promote health and physical fitness in postmenopausal women. However, the exercise sequence resistance–aerobic optimizes the strength gains in lower limbs.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.