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Hiromune Obayashi, Yukio Urabe, Yuki Yamanaka and Ryo Okuma

Design:

Randomized controlled study.

Setting:

Laboratory.

Participants:

26 healthy swimmers randomly assigned to an exercise (n = 13; Ex) or control group (n = 13; Cont).

Intervention:

The Ex group performed respiratory-muscle exercises for 10 min thrice a week for 4 wk.

Context:

Respiratory-muscle exercises are used not only in the rehabilitation of patients with respiratory disease but also in endurance training for athletes. Respiration involves the back and abdominal muscles. These muscles are 1 of the elements responsible for posture control, which is integral to injury prevention and physical performance. However, the effects of respiratory-muscle exercise on posture remain unclear.

Objective:

To examine the potential of respiratory-muscle exercise for improving posture.

Main Outcome Measures:

Spinal curvature, pulmonary function, and trunk-muscle strength were measured for both the groups at baseline and after 4 wk. The data were compared between the Ex and Cont groups with Mann–Whitney U test and preintervention and postintervention within groups with a Wilcoxon signed rank-sum test.

Results and Conclusion:

The spinal curvature was significantly different in the Ex group, indicating a decrease in the thoracic (−13.1%, P < .01) and lumbar (−17.7%, P < .05) angles. The Ex group presented with lower thoracic (−8.6%) and lumbar (−20.9%) angles at postexercise than the Cont group (P < .05). With respect to trunk-muscle strength, only trunk-flexion strength significantly increased from pretest to posttest in the Ex group (P < .05). For pulmonary function, forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in 1.0 s were significantly increased after 4 wk in the Ex group (P < .05). The results suggest that respiratory-muscle exercise straightened the spine, leading to good posture control, possibly because of contraction of abdominal muscles.

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Cristiane B.B. Antonelli, Charlini S. Hartz, Sileno da Silva Santos and Marlene A. Moreno

, which involve excessive movement of the upper limbs and trunk, the overload on the respiratory muscles is even higher. 8 , 9 In addition, IMF is also shown to affect trunk postural control, 10 as well as the excessive movement of the upper limbs influences the fatigue of the respiratory musculature

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Maria À. Cebrià i Iranzo, Mercè Balasch-Bernat, María Á. Tortosa-Chuliá and Sebastià Balasch-Parisi

) and ventilation (respiratory muscles, RMs). Enright, Kronmal, Manolio, Schenker, and Hyatt ( 1994 ) and Neder, Andreoni, Lerario, and Nery ( 1999 ) corroborate the association between the strength of the PMs and RMs. In studies of older adults who are institutionalized, the prevalence of decreased

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Mark L. Watsford, Aron J. Murphy, Matthew J. Pine and Aaron J. Coutts

Older adults’ participation in habitual exercise might be affected by alterations to respiratory mechanics such as decreased respiratory-muscle strength. This reduction can cause a decrease in efficiency of the ventilatory pump, potentially compromising exercise participation. This research examined the role of habitual exercise in respiratory-muscle function and the associated implications for exercise performance. Seventy-two healthy older adults (36 men, 64.9 ± 8.6 years, 177.2 ± 8.4 cm, 82.5 ± 11.9 kg; 36 women, 64.9 ± 9.5 years, 161.7 ± 6.4 cm, 61.6 ± 9.2 kg) undertook respiratory-function and walking-performance tests. Active men and women achieved higher scores than their inactive counterparts for all tests except spirometry, where no differences were evident. The results indicate that a significant amount of the elevated fitness level might be accounted for by increased endurance capacity of the inspiratory muscles. Inactive older individuals might be at risk for inadequate respiratory-muscle strength, so interventions should be considered.

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Mark Watsford and Aron Murphy

This research examined the effects of respiratory-muscle (RM) training on RM function and exercise performance in older women. Twenty-six women (60–69 yr of age) were assessed for spirometry, RM strength (maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressure), inspiratory-muscle endurance, and walking performance to a perceived exertion rating of “hard.” They were randomly allocated to a threshold RM training group (RMT) or a nonexercising control group (CON) for 8 wk. After training, the 22% (inspiratory) and 30% (expiratory) improvements in RM strength in the RMT group were significantly higher than in the CON group (p < .05). The RMT group also displayed several significant performance improvements, including improved within-group treadmill performance time (12%) and reductions in submaximal heart rate (5%), percentage of maximum voluntary ventilation (16%), and perceived exertion for breathing (8%). RM training appears to improve RM function in older women. Furthermore, these improvements appear to be related to improved submaximal exercise performance.

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Daniel L. Borges, Mayara Gabrielle Silva, Luan Nascimento Silva, João Vyctor Fortes, Erika Thalita Costa, Rebeca Pessoa Assunção, Carlos Magno Lima, Vinícius José da Silva Nina, Mário Bernardo-Filho and Danúbia Sá Caputo

Background:

Physical activity is beneficial in several clinical situations and recommended for patients with ischemic heart disease, as well as for those undergoing cardiac surgery.

Methods:

In a randomized controlled trial, 34 patients underwent coronary artery bypass grafting. A randomized control group (n = 15) submitted to conventional physiotherapy. The intervention group (n = 19) received the same protocol plus additional aerobic exercise with cycle ergometer. Pulmonary function by spirometry, respiratory muscle strength by manovacuometry, and functional capacity through 6-minute walking test was assessed before surgery and at hospital discharge.

Results:

There was significant reduction in pulmonary function in both groups. In both groups, inspiratory muscle strength was maintained while expiratory muscle strength significantly decreased. Functional capacity was maintained in the intervention group (364.5 [324.5 to 428] vs. 348 [300.7 to 413.7] meters, P = .06), but it decreased significantly in control group patients (320 [288.5 to 393.0] vs. 292 [237.0 to 336.0] meters, P = .01). A significant difference in functional capacity was also found in intergroup analyses at hospital discharge (P = .03).

Conclusion:

Aerobic exercise applied early on coronary artery bypass grafting patients may promote maintenance of functional capacity, with no impact on pulmonary function and respiratory muscle strength when compared with conventional physiotherapy.

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Yaara Nadiv, Ricki Vachbroit, Amit Gefen, David Elad, Uri Zaretsky, Dani Moran, Pinchas Halpern and Anat Ratnovsky

The respiratory muscles may fatigue during prolonged exercises and thereby become a factor that limits extreme physical activity. The aim of the current study was to determine whether respiratory muscle fatigue imposes a limitation on extreme physical activity of well-trained young men. Electromyography (EMG) signals of respiratory (external intercostal and sternomastoid) and calf muscles (gastrocnemius) were measured (N = 8) during 1 hr of treadmill marching at a speed of 8 km/hr with and without a 15 kg backpack. The root mean square (RMS) and the mean power frequency of the EMG signals were evaluated for calculating fatigue indices. The EMG RMS revealed that the respiratory and calf muscles did not fatigue during the marching without a backpack load. The study did show, however, a significant rise in the EMG values when a backpack was carried with respect to the no-load condition (p < .05), which suggests that respiratory muscles should be trained in military recruits who are required to carry loaded backpacks while marching.

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Andrew M. Edwards and Raewyn E. Walker

The efficacy of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) has been the subject of considerable controversy in terms of whether it is beneficial to endurance athletes and because a convincing physiological rationale has not been identified to explain its mechanism of action. Early studies suggested that IMT was an ineffectual intervention for gains in either maximal aerobic power or endurance-specific performance. More rigorous recent research supports the observation that maximal aerobic power is not receptive to IMT; however, closer evaluation of both early and contemporary research indicates that responses to endurance-specific performance tests are sensitive to IMT. As the aim of endurance training is to improve endurance performance rather than maximal aerobic power, it is plausible that IMT may be useful in specific performance-related circumstances. Performance adaptations following IMT appear to be connected with post training reports of attenuated effort sensations, but this common observation has tended to be overlooked by researchers in preference for a reductionist explanation. This commentary examines the pertinent research and practical performance implications of IMT from the holistic perspective of complex central metabolic control.

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Bruna M.A. Saraiva, Geferson S. Araujo, Evandro F. Sperandio, Alberto O. Gotfryd, Victor Z. Dourado and Milena C. Vidotto

of this study are to 1) evaluate the walked distance and physiological responses during ISWT in patients with different degrees of AIS compared with control group and 2) evaluate the respiratory muscle strength, pulmonary function, and its correlations with the physiological responses during ISWT

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Amanda Faith Casey and Claudia Emes

Reduced respiratory muscle strength in individuals with Down syndrome (DS) may affect speech respiratory variables such as maximum phonation duration (MPD), initiation volume, and expired mean airflow. Researchers randomly assigned adolescents with DS (N = 28) to either 12 weeks of swim training (DS-ST) or a control group (DS-NT). Repeated measures MANOVA demonstrated a significant increase in MPD for DS-ST participants from pretest to posttest, t(11) = –3.44, p = 0.006, that was not maintained at follow-up, t(11) = 6.680, p < .001. No significant change was observed for DS-NT participants across time, F(2, 11) = 4.20, p = 0.044. The lack of long-term change in DS-ST participants may be related to the relatively short training period.