Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Effects of resistance training, tai chi chuan and mat pilates on multiple health variables in postmenopausal women

Rafaela Cristina Araújo-Gomes, Marcia Valente-Santos, Rodrigo Gomes de Souza Vale, Alexandre Janotta Drigo, Claudio joaquim Borba-Pinheiro



Objective: To compare the effect of two concurrent training methods on the muscle strength, functional autonomy, cardiorespiratory capacity and quality of life (QoL) of postmenopausal women. Material and methods: Thirty-eight volunteers were allocated to two groups: Resistance Training (RT)+Tai Chi Chuan (TC) (n=16), and RT+Mat Pilates (MP) (n=12). For the RT+TC group, RT was linearly periodized twice a week, alternating weekly with TC. In the RT+MP group, RT was non-linearly periodized and alternated with MP in five sessions a week over a period of 16 weeks. Results: Intragroup improvement in QoL was observed for the physical health of RT+MP. The Cooper test showed improvement in the prediction test for both groups. Functional autonomy improved in the following: rising from a ventral decubitus position, rising from a sitting position, walking 10 meters, putting on and taking off a t-shirt (PTTs) and the GDLAM index (GI) in the RT+MP group. For RT+TC, PTTs and GI improved. With respect to strength, there was intragroup improvement in the RT+MP group for all upper limb exercises, knee flexion and 45º leg press. On the other hand, the RT+TC group showed improvements in high shoulder adduction, elbow extension, low shoulder adduction, pec deck pectorals and 45º leg press. Intergroup analysis showed better results in the 10mW test for RT+MP. Conclusion: Both methods showed significant improvements in functional autonomy and muscle strength, as well as maintenance of QoL and cardiorespiratory capacity. Intergroup analysis indicated better results with the RT+MP program.


Women; Health; Postmenopausal; Functional autonomy; Physical exercise


American College of Sports Medicine (2014) Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. Philadelphia, 9th Ed.

Baechle, T. & Groves, B. (1992). Weight Training: Steps to Success. Champaign: Human Kinetics.

Borba-Pinheiro, C. J., Carvalho, M., Silva, N., Bezerra, J., Drigo, A. & Dantas, E. (2010). Effects of resistance training on low bone density-related variables in menopausal women taking alendronate [In Portuguese]. Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte, 16(2),121-125.

Borba-Pinheiro, C. J., Figueiredo, N. M. A., Walsh-Monteiro, A., Júnior, O. R., Pernambuco, C. S., Oliveira, M. A. & Dantas, E. H. (2013) Resistance training program on functional independence of a elderly man with frontotemporal dementia: a case report. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 8(Proc2), S47-S53.

Brazil. (2012). Ministry of Health. National Politic of Basic Action. Brasília DF: Ministry of Health. Available at:

Brazil (2016). National Commission on Ethics in Research: updated resolution Nº510 / 16 research with humans. Brasília: National Health Council. Available in:

Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (2013). Research Department. Coordination of Population and Social Indicators. Projection of Brazilian Population for Sex and Age. Major Regions and Federation Units. Available in:

Bueno, D., Marucci, M., Codogno, J. & Roediger, M. (2016). The costs of physical inactivity in the world: a general review [In Portuguese]. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, 21(4), 1001-1010.

Cepero-González, M., Romero-Sánchez, D., Rojas-Ruiz, F. J. & De la Cruz, J. C. (2012) Differences of functional fitness in adults after 9 months of combined exercise training program. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 7(1), 321- 330.

Ciconelli, R., Ferraz, M., Santos, W., Meinão, I. & Quaresma, M. (1999). Brazilian-Portuguese version of the SF-36. A reliable and valid quality of life outcome measure [In Portuguese]. Revista Brasileira de Reumatologia, 39(3), 143-150.

Concha-Cisternas, Y., Guzman-Muñoz, E. & Marzuca-Nassr, G. (2017). Effects of a combined exercise program on functional capacity in healthy older women in Primary Health Care Centre Primaria de Salud [In Spanish]. Fisioterapia, 39(5), 195-201.

Costa, M., Dantas, E., Marques, M. & Novaes, J. (2004). Subjective exertion perception. Perceived exertion classification: face scale utilization proposal [In Portuguese]. Fitness & Performance Journal, 3(6), 305-313.

Dantas, E., Figueira, H., Emygdio, R. & Vale, R. (2014). Functional Autonomy GDLAM Protocol Classification Pattern in Elderly Women. Indian Journal of Applied Research, 4(7), 262-266.

Farias, M., Borba-Pinheiro, C. J., Oliveira, M. & Vale, R. (2014). Effects of a concurrent training program on muscle strength, flexibility and functional autonomy of older women [In Spanish]. Revista de Ciencias de la Actividad Física, 15(2), 13-24.

Filho, M. L. M., Rodrigues, B. M., Aidar, F. J., Reis, V. M., Polito, M. D., Venturini, G. P. & Matos, D. G. (2011). Influence of aerobic exercise and resistance training on hemodynamic and lipid profile in hypertensive elderly [In Portuguese]. Revista Brasileira de Ciência e Movimento, 19(4), 15-22.

Gambassi, B., Vehida, M., Sousa, T., Schwingel, P., Pulcherio, J., Almeida, F., Ruberti, O., Novais, T., Oliveira, P. & Rodrigues, B. (2017). Effects of a new approach components combined functional autonomy of the healthy elderly women [In Portuguese]. Journal of Exercise Physiology online, 20 (3), 45-52.

Guedes, J., Bortoluzzi, M., Matte, L., Andrade, C., Zulpo, N., Sebben, V. & Filho, H. (2016). Effects of combined training on the strength, endurance and aerobic power in the elderly women [In Portuguese]. Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte, 22(6), 480-484.

Lin, S., Sung, H., Li, T., Hsieh, T., Lan, H., Perng S. & Smith, G. (2015). The effects of Tai-Chi in conjunction with thera-band resistance exercise on functional fitness and muscle strength among community-based older people. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 24(9-10), 1357-1366.

Lopes, L., Lopes Júnior, L., Bomfim, E., Silva, S., Galvani, R. & Chagas, E. (2014). Effects of physical activity on the quality of life in women with overweight and post menopausal obesity [In Portuguese]. Ciência, Cuidado e Saúde, 13(3), 439-446.

Matveev. L. (1991). Basis of sports training. 2nd ed. Lisbon: Horizon.

Melo, R., Varejão, R., Barros, R., Brito, E. S., Pernambuco, C. M. & Dantas, E. (2004). Comparison of the degree of flexibility and autonomy in elderly women practicing of tai chi e sedentary [In Portuguese]. Fitness & Performance Journal, 3(4), 194-200.

Mendes, P., Santos, L., Mesquita, L. & Carvalho, F. (2015). Analysis of the functionality and flexibility of women performing pilates exercises on the ground [In Portuguese]. Revista Arquivos de Ciências da Saúde, 22(3), 53-57.

Pereira, M., Oliveira, R., Silva, M., Souza, L. & Vianna, L. (2008). Effects of Tai Chi Chuan on knee extensor muscle strength and balance in elderly women [In Portuguese]. Revista Brasileira de Fisioterapia, 12(2),121-126.

Pestana, M., Pestana, V., Pestana, A. & Schinoni, M. (2013). Comparison between the exercises-based on pilates soil versus exercise resistance on the march and balance the elderly [In Portuguese]. Revista de Ciências Médicas e Biológicas, 12, 441-448.

Pilates, J. (2010). The complete work of Joseph Pilates. Your health and The return to life by Contrology. São Paulo.

Reche-Orenes, D. & Carrasco, M. (2016). Contributions on the effectiveness of the Pilates method in strength, balance and risk of falls in elderly people. Revista Andaluza de Medicina del Deporte, 9 (2), 85-90.

Rezende, A., Miranda, E., Ramalho, H., Silva, J., Herrera, S., Reis, G. & Dantas, E. (2015). Effects of sensory motor training of lower limb in sedentary elderly as part of functional autonomy. Revista Andaluza de Medicina del Deporte, 8(2); 61-66.

Rikli, R. & Jones, C. (2008). Physical Fitness Test for the Elderly. Barueri, São Paulo: Manole.

Romo-Pérez, V., Schwingel, A. & Chodzko-Zajko W. (2011) International resistance training recommendations for older adults: implications for the promotion of healthy aging in Spain. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 6(4), 639-648.

Saad, B. H., Prefaut, C., Tabka, Z., Mtir, A. H., Chemit, M., Hassaoune, R., Abid, B. T., Zara, K., Mercier, G., Zbidi, A. & Hayot, M. (2009). 6-Minute walk distance in healthy North Africans older than 40 years: Influence of parity. Respiratory Medicine, 103(1),74-84.

Silva, W. & Borba-Pinheiro, C. J. (2015). Effect of a linear resistance training program on the functional autonomy, the flexibility, the strength and the quality of life of older women [In Portuguese]. Revista Brasileira de Qualidade de Vida, 7(2), 75-88.

Suksom, D., Siripatt, A., Lapo, P. & Patumraj, S. (2011). Effects of Two Modes of Exercise on Physical Fitness and Endothelial Function in the Elderly: Exercise with a Flexible Stick Versus Tai Chi. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, 94(1), 123-132.

Tairova, O. & Lorenzi, D. (2011). The influence of exercise in the quality of life of postmenopausal women: a case-control study [In Portuguese]. Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia, 14(1), 135-145.

Takeshima, N., Rogers, M., Islam, M., Yamauchi, T., Watanabe, E. & Okada, A. (2004). Effect of concurrent aerobic and resistance circuit exercise training on fitness in older adults. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 93(1-2), 173-182.

Tozim, B., Furlanetto, M., França, D., Morcelli, M. & Navega, M. (2014). Effect of the Pilates method in flexibility, quality of life and level of pain in the elderly [In Portuguese]. Revista Conscientiae Saúde, 13(4), 563-570.

Wang, C., Collet, J. & Lau, J. (2004). The Effect of Tai Chi on Health Outcomes in Patients With Chronic Conditions. Archives of Internal Medicine, 164(5), 493.

Wang, C., Schmid, C., Hibberd, P., Kalish, R., Roubenoff, R., Rones, R. & McLindon, T. (2008). Tai Chi Is Effective in Treating Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 16, 32-33.

World Health Organization (1995). Physical status: the use and interpretation of anthropometry. Geneva; Technical Report Series 854. Disponível em:

World Health Organization (2012). Recomendaciones mundiales sobre actividad física para la salud. Available in:

World Health Organization (2015). World Report on Aging and Health. WHO / FWC / ALC / 15.01. Available in:

World Medical Association (2008). Declaration of Helsinki. Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects. 59th WMA General Assembly, Seoul.


Copyright (c) 2019 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.