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Objectives: Knee muscle strength is highly important for both sedentary and athletic people. For the reasons of both rehabilitation of injuries and performance development, strength is regarded as one of the most important elements of sports. The present study aims to determine the effect of different exercise protocols on knee muscle strength and H:Q ratios of young sedentary males and females.
Methods: A total of 115 healthy and sedentary people 62 males (23.10±4.50 years, 71.90±8.90 kg and 177.80±10.30 cm) and 53 females (22.10±5.30 years, 54.40±6.90 kg and 166.60±6.00 cm) voluntarily consented to take part in the study. Participants were divided into randomly four separate groups according to exercise types (control, pilates, cardio, resistance exercises groups). Resistance exercise movements were made within 60% of 1-RM for each subject over 3 days during a week with 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions. CEG exercises were performed on a treadmill for 45 minutes over 3 days in a week with a 60% overloading rate. Pilates exercises were performed for 45 minutes over 3 days during a week under the supervision of a coach. Pilates exercises were divided into three different parts: (1) mat exercises (4 weeks), (2) Thera-band plastic resistance exercises (4 weeks) and, finally, pilates ball exercises at a beginner level (4 weeks).
Results: There were significant differences between the pre- and post-exercises of knee muscle strength for REG, CEG and PEG after 12 weeks both gender and legs (p<0.05). Measures of muscle strength in both leg elicited substantial side differences in both flexor and extensor muscle strength. On average the female participants showed a 12.1% weaker flexor muscle strength (52.1±12.7 vs. 45.3±11.9 Nm, p<0.05) and a 6.7% stronger extensor muscle strength in the dominant leg (120.3±24.7 vs. 112.2±25.8 Nm, p=0.036). These data converted into H:Q ratios indicates that the knee H:Q ratio of dominant leg was 41.3±6.5% as compared with 38.6±6.9% (p>0.05) in the non-dominant leg.
Conclusion: In conclusion, regular resistance, cardio and pilates exercises caused a significant increase in flexors and extensors muscle strength and H:Q ratios of males and females.
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