Effect of Exercise Training Programs on Physical Fitness Domains in Military Personnel: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Smith, Chelsea, Doma, Kenji, Heilbronn, Brian, and Leicht, Anthony (2022) Effect of Exercise Training Programs on Physical Fitness Domains in Military Personnel: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Military Medicine, 187 (9-10). pp. 1065-1073.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usac040


Introduction: Physical training is important to prepare soldiers for the intense occupational demands in the military. However, current physical training may not address all fitness domains crucial for optimizing physical readiness and reducing musculoskeletal injury. The effects of nontraditional military physical training on fitness domains have been inconsistently reported, which limits the design of the ideal training program for performance optimization and injury prevention in the military. The aim of this systematic review was to identify the effects of exercise training on various fitness domains (i.e., aerobic fitness, flexibility, muscular endurance, muscular power, muscular strength, and occupationally specific physical performance) that contribute to occupational performance and musculoskeletal injury risk in military personnel.

Methods: An extensive literature search was conducted in January 2021 and was subsequently updated in July 2021 and December 2021. Included studies consisted of comparative groups of healthy military personnel performing traditional and nontraditional military physical training with at least one assessment representative of a fitness domain. Study appraisal was conducted using the PEDro scale. Meta-analysis was conducted via forest plots, standard mean difference (SMD, effect size), and intertrial heterogeneity (I2).

Results: From a total of 7,350 records, 15 studies were identified as eligible for inclusion in this review, with a total of 1,613 participants. The average study quality via the PEDro score was good (5.3/10; range 4/10 to 6/10). Nontraditional military physical training resulted in greater posttraining values for muscular endurance (SMD = 0.46; P = .004; I2 = 68%), power (SMD = 1.57; P < .0001; I2 = 90%), strength via repetition maximum testing (SMD = 1.95; P < .00001; I2 = 91%), and occupationally specific physical performance (SMD = 0.54; P = .007; I2 = 66%) compared to the traditional group. There was no significant difference for aerobic fitness (SMD = −0.31; P = .23; I2 = 86%), flexibility (SMD = 0.58; P = .16; I2 = 76%), and muscular strength via maximal voluntary contraction (SMD = 0.18; P = .28; I2 = 66%) between training groups.

Conclusions: The current systematic review identified that nontraditional military physical training had a greater posttraining effect on muscular endurance, power, strength measured via repetition maximum, and occupationally specific physical performance compared to traditional military physical training. Overall, these findings suggest that nontraditional military physical training may be beneficial in optimizing occupational performance while potentially reducing musculoskeletal injury risk.

Item ID: 73278
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1930-613X
Copyright Information: © The Association of Military Surgeons of the United States 2022. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2022 07:37
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 14 DEFENCE > 1401 Defence > 140110 Personnel @ 80%
20 HEALTH > 2099 Other health > 209999 Other health not elsewhere classified @ 20%
Downloads: Total: 1
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page