The health benefits of resistance exercises are well established; however, the effects of resistance training on cognition are not as well understood. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the evidence of resistance exercise’s effects on cognition. A systematic search identified 24 studies that were included in the analyses. These articles ranged in the protocols utilized and in how they studied the effects of resistance training on cognition. Four primary analyses were carried out to assess the effects of resistance exercise on cognitive outcomes: (1) composite cognitive scores, (2) screening measures of cognitive impairment, (3) measures of executive functions, and (4) measures of working memory. Results revealed positive effects of resistance training on composite cognitive scores (SMD 0.71, 95% CI 0.30–1.12), screening measures of cognitive impairment (SMD 1.28, 95% CI 0.39–2.18), and executive functions (SMD 0.39, 95% CI 0.04–0.74), but no effect on measures of working memory (SMD 0.151, 95% CI − 0.21 to 0.51). High heterogeneity was observed in all analyses. Resistance training appears to have positive effects on cognition; however, future research will need to determine why the effects are so variable.
This is a preview of subscription content,to check access.
Access this article
Similar content being viewed by others
The search performed in the Web of Sciences database was limited to the following categories: neuroscience, sport sciences, pediatrics, psychology, rehabilitation, clinical neurology, psychology experimental, public environmental occupational health, psychology developmental, behavioral sciences, psychiatry, psychology multidisciplinary, geriatrics gerontology, physiology, psychology biological, multidisciplinary sciences, gerontology, psychology applied, education educational research, psychology clinical, psychology educational and medicine research experimental.
Altug, Z. (2014). Resistance exercise to improve cognitive function. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 36, 46–50.
Ansai, J. H., & Rebelatto, J. R. (2015). Effect of two physical exercise protocols on cognition and depressive symptoms in oldest-old people: A randomized controlled trial. Geriatrics and Gerontology International, 15(9), 1127–1134. https://doi.org/10.1111/ggi.12411.
Anstey, K. J., Wood, J., Lord, S., & Walker, J. G. (2005). Cognitive, sensory and physical factors enabling driving safety in older adults. Clinical Psychology Review, 25, 45–65. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2004.07.008.
Anderson-Hanley, C., Nimon, J. P., & Westen, S. C. (2010). Cognitive health benefits of strengthening exercise for community-dwelling older adults. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 32(9), 996–1001. https://doi.org/10.1080/13803391003662702.
Au, J., Sheehan, E., Tsai, N., Duncan, G. J., Buschkuehl, M., & Jaeggi, S. M. (2015). Meta-analysis, improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 22, 366–377. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2008.05.007.
Babaei, P., Damirchi, A., Mehdipoor, M., & Tehrani, B. S. (2014). Long term habitual exercise is associated with lower resting level of serum BDNF. Neuroscience Letters, 566, 304–308. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2014.02.011.
Baker, D. G., & Newton, R. U. (2011). Adaptations in upper-body maximal strength and power output resulting from long-term resistance training in experienced strength-power athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26, 1098–1103.
Baker, L. D. L., & Frank, L. (2012). Effects of aerobic exercise on mild cognitive impairment: A controlled trial. Archives of Neurology, 67, 71–79. https://doi.org/10.1001/archneurol.2009.307.Effects.
Barnett, A., Smith, B., Lord, S. R., Williams, M., & Baumand, A. (2003). Community based group exercise improves balance and reduces falls in at risk older people: A randomised controlled trial. Age and Ageing, 32, 407–414. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/32.4.407.
Best, J. R., Chiu, B. K., Liang Hsu, C., Nagamatsu, L. S., & Liu-Ambrose, T. (2015). Long-term effects of resistance exercise training on cognition and brain volume in older women: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 21(10), 745–756. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1355617715000673.
Borenstein, M., Hedges, L. V., Higgins, J., & Rothstein, H. R. (2010). A basic introduction to fixed-effect and random-effects models for meta-analysis. Research synthesis methods, 1, 97–111.
Borst, S. E. (2004). Interventions for sarcopenia and muscle weakness in older people. Age and Ageing, 33, 548–555. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afh201.
Bramham, C., & Messaoudi, E. 2005. BDNF function in adult synaptic plasticity: The synaptic consolidation hypothesis. Progress in Neurobiology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pneurobio.2005.06.003.
Carvalho, A., Rea, I. M., Parimon, T., & Cusack, B. J. (2014). Physical activity and cognitive function in individuals over 60 years of age: A systematic review. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 9, 661–682. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S55520.
Cassilhas, R. C., Tufik, S., & Mello, M. T. (2016). Physical exercise, neuroplasticity, spatial learning and memory. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 73, 975–983. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-015-2102-0.
Cassilhas, R. C., Viana, VaR., Grassmann, V., Santos, R. T., Santos, R. F., Tufik, S., & Mello, M. T. (2007). The impact of resistance exercise on the cognitive function of the elderly. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 39, 1401–1407. https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0b013e318060111f.
Cavani, V., Mier, C. M., Musto, A. a., & Tummers, N. (2002). Effects of a 6-week resistance-training program on functional fitness of older adults. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 10, 443–452.
Chang, Y. K., Pan, C. Y., Chen, F. T., Tsai, C. L., & Huang, C. C. (2012). Effect of resistance-exercise training on cognitive function in healthy older adults: A review. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 20, 497–517.
Cherup, N., Roberson, K., Potiaumpai, M., Widdowson, K., Jaghab, A., Chowdhari, S., Armitage, C., Seeley, A., & Signorile, J. (2018). Improvements in cognition and associations with measures of aerobic fitness and muscular power following structured exercise. Experimental Gerontology, 112, 76–87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2018.09.007.
Chou, C. H., Hwang, C. L., & Wu, Y. T. (2012). Effect of exercise on physical function, daily living activities, and quality of life in the frail older adults: A meta-analysis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 93, 237–244. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2011.08.042.
Chupel, M. U., Direito, F., Furtado, G. E., Minuzzi, L. G., Pedrosa, F. M., Colado, J. C., et al. (2017). Strength training decreases inflammation and increases cognition and physical fitness in older women with cognitive impairment. Frontiers in Physiology, 8, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00377.
Colcombe, S., Erickson, K., Scalf, P., Kim, J., Prakash, R., McAuley, E., Elavsky, S., Marquez, D., Hu, L., & Kramer, A. (2006). Aerobic exercise training increases brain volume in aging humans. The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 61A, 1166–1170.
Colcombe, S., & Kramer, A. F. (2003). Fitness effects on the cognitive function of older adults: A meta-analytic study. Psychological Science, 14, 125–130.
Cotman, C. W., Berchtold, N. C., & Christie, L. A. (2007). Exercise builds brain health: key roles of growth factor cascades and inflammation. Trends in Neurosciences, 30, 464–472. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2007.06.011.
Erickson, K. I., Hillman, C. H., & Kramer, A. F. (2015). Physical activity, brain, and cognition. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 4, 27–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2015.01.005.
Davis, J. C., Bryan, S., Marra, C. A., Sharma, D., Chan, A., Beattie, B. L., et al. (2013). An economic evaluation of resistance training and aerobic training versus balance and toning exercises in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. PloS One, 8(5), e63031. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0063031.
David, F. J., Robichaud, J. A., Leurgans, S. E., Poon, C., Kohrt, W. M., Goldman, J. G., et al. (2015). Exercise improves cognition in Parkinson’s disease: The PRET-PD randomized, clinical trial. Movement Disorders, 30(12), 1657–1663. https://doi.org/10.1002/mds.26291.
Fallah, N., Hsu, C. L., Bolandzadeh, N., Davis, J., Beattie, B. L., Graf, P., et al. (2013). Amultistate model of cognitive dynamics in relation to resistance training: the contribution of baseline function. Annals of Epidemiology, 23(8), 463–468. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2013.05.008.
Fernandez-Gonzalo, R., Fernandez-Gonzalo, S., Turon, M., Prieto, C., Tesch, P. A., & García-Carreira, M. D. C. (2016). Muscle, functional and cognitive adaptations after flywheel resistance training in stroke patients: A pilot randomized controlled trial. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 13(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12984-016-0144-7.
Fiatarone Singh, M., Gates, N., Saigal, N., Wilson, G. C., Meiklejohn, J., Brodaty, H., Wen, W., Singh, N., Baune, B. T., Suo, C., Baker, M. K., Foroughi, N., Wang, Y., Sachdev, P. S., & Valenzuela, M. (2014). The Study of Mental and Resistance Training (SMART) study—resistance training and/or cognitive training in mild cognitive impairment: A randomized, double-blind, double-sham controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 15, 873–880. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2014.09.010.
Fleck, S.J., 1999. Periodized strength training: A critical review. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 13, 82–89. https://doi.org/10.1519/1533-4287(1999)013%3C0082:PSTACR%3E2.0.CO;2
Fragala, M. S., Beyer, K. S., Jajtner, A. R., Townsend, J. R., Pruna, G. J., Boone, C. H., Bohner, J. D., Fukuda, D. H., Stout, J. R., & Hoffman, J. R. (2014). Resistance exercise may improve spatial awareness and visual reaction in older adults. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28, 2079–2087.
Frontera, W. R., Hughes, V., Fielding, R. A., Fiatarone Singh, M., Evans, W. J., & Roubenoff, R. (2000). Aging of skeletal muscle: A 12-yr longitudinal study. Journal of Applied Physiology, 88, 1321–1326.
Furukawa, T. A., Barbui, C., Cipriani, A., Brambilla, P., & Watanabe, N. (2006). Imputing missing standard deviations in meta-analyses can provide accurate results. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 69(1), 7–10.
Goekint, M., De Pauw, K., Roelands, B., Njemini, R., Bautmans, I., Mets, T., et al. (2010). Strength training does not influence serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor. European Journal of AppliedPhysiology, 110(2), 285–293. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-010-1461-3.
Gates, N., Fiatarone Singh, M., Sachdev, P. S., & Valenzuela, M. (2013). The effect of exercise training on cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 21, 1086–1097. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2013.02.018.
Heyn, P., Abreu, B. C., Ottenbacher, K. J. et al. (2004). The effects of exercise training on elderly persons with cognitive impairment and dementia: A meta-analysis. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 85, 1694–1704. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2004.03.019.
Higgins, J. P., & Green, S. (2011). Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions. Hoboken: Wiley.
Hillman, C. H., Erickson, K. I., & Kramer, A. F. (2008). Be smart, exercise your heart: exercise effects on brain and cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9, 58
Hopkins, M. E., Davis, F. C., VanTieghem, M. R., Whalen, P. J., & Bucci, D. J. (2012). Differential effects of acute and regular physical exercise on cognition and affect. Neuroscience, 215, 59–68. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0030561.Striving.
Hötting, K., Schauenburg, G., & Röder, B. (2012). Long-term effects of physical exercise on verbal learning and memory in middle-aged adults: Results of a one-year follow-up study. Brain Sciences, 2, 332–346. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci2030332.
Hughes, V., Frontera, W. R., Wood, M., Evans, W. J., Dallal, G. E., Roubenoff, R., & Fiatarone Singh, M. (2001). Longitudinal muscle strength changes in older adults: Influence of muscle mass, physical activity, and health. The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 56, B209–B217. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/56.5.B209.
Insel, K., Morrow, D., Brewer, B., & Figueredo, A. (2006). Executive function, working memory, and medication adherence among older adults. The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 61, P102–P107. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/61.2.P102.
Irandoust, K., & Taheri, M. 2018. The effect of strength training on quality of sleep and psychomotor performance in elderly males. Sleep and Hypnosis 20, 160–165.
Iuliano, E., di Cagno, A., Aquino, G., Fiorilli, G., Mignogna, P., Calcagno, G., & Di Costanzo, A. (2015). Effects of different types of physical activity on the cognitive functions and attention in older people: A randomized controlled study. Experimental Gerontology, 70, 105–110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2015.07.008.
Iuliano, E., Fiorilli, G., Aquino, G., Di Costanzo, A., Calcagno, G., & Di Cagno, A. (2017). Twelve-week exercise influences memory complaint but not memory performance in older adults: A randomized controlled study. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity 25, 612–620.
Janssen, I., & Leblanc, A. G. (2010). Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 7, 40. https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-7-40.
Kelly, M. E., Loughrey, D., Lawlor, B. A., Robertson, I. H., Walsh, C., & Brennan, S. (2014). The impact of exercise on the cognitive functioning of healthy older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ageing Research Reviews, 16, 12–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2014.05.002.
Kennedy, G., Hardman, R. J., Macpherson, H., Scholey, A. B., & Pipingas, A. (2017). How does exercise reduce the rate of age-associated cognitive decline? A review of potential mechanisms. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 55, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-160665.
Kim, K.-E., Jang, S.-N., Lim, S., Park, Y. J., Paik, N.-J., Kim, K. W., Jang, H. C., & Lim, J.-Y. (2012). Relationship between muscle mass and physical performance: Is it the same in older adults with weak muscle strength? Age and Ageing, 41, 799–803. https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afs115.
Kimura, K., Obuchi, S., Arai, T., Nagasawa, H., Shiba, Y., Watanabe, S., & Kojima, M. (2010). The influence of short-term strength training on health-related quality of life and executive cognitive function. Journal of Physiological Anthropology, 29, 95–101. https://doi.org/10.2114/jpa2.29.95.
Kirk-Sanchez, N., & McGough, E. L. (2014). Physical exercise and cognitive performance in the elderly: Current perspectives. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 9, 51–62.
Kraemer, W. J., & Ratamess, N. A. (2005). Hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance exercise and training. Sports Medicine, 35, 339–361.
Kramer, A. F., & Erickson, K. I. (2007). Capitalizing on cortical plasticity: Influence of physical activity on cognition and brain function. Trends in Cognitive Science, 11, 342–348. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2007.06.009.
Komulainen, P., Kivipelto, M., Lakka, T. A., Savonen, K., Hassinen, M., Kiviniemi, V., et al. (2010). Exercise, fitness and cognition—A randomised controlled trial in older individuals: The DR’s EXTRA study. European Geriatric Medicine, 1(5), 266–272. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurger.2010.08.001.
LaStayo, P. C., Ewy, G. A., Pierotti, D. D., Johns, R. K., & Lindstedt, S. (2003). The positive effects of negative work: Increased muscle strength and decreased fall risk in a frail elderly population. The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 58, 419–424. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/58.5.M419.
Lachman, M. E., Neupert, S. D., Bertrand, R., & Jette, A. M. (2006). The effects of strength training on memory in older adults. Journal of aging and physical activity, 14, 59–73.
Latham, N. K., Bennett, D. A., Stretton, C. M., & Anderson, C. S. (2004). Systematic review of progressive resistance strength training in older adults. The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 59, 48–61.
Li, F., Fisher, K. J., Harmer, P., McAuley, E., & Wilson, N. L. (2003). Fear of falling in elderly persons: Association with falls, functional ability, and quality of life. The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 58, P283–P290. https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/58.5.P283.
Li, Z., Peng, X., Xiang, W., Han, J., & Li, K. (2018). The effect of resistance training on cognitive function in the older adults: A systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 30, 1259–1273. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-018-0998-6.
Liu-Ambrose, T., Nagamatsu, L. S., Voss, M. W., Khan, K. M., & Handy, T. C. (2012). Resistance training and functional plasticity of the aging brain: A 12-month randomized controlled trial. Neurobiology of Aging, 33(8), 1690–1698. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2011.05.010.
Lustig, C., Shah, P., Seidler, R., & Reuter-Lorenz, P. A. (2009). Aging, training, and the brain: A review. Neuropsychology Review, 19, 504–522.
Mavros, Y., Gates, N., Wilson, G. C., Jain, N., Meiklejohn, J., Brodaty, H., Wen, W., Singh, N., Baune, B. T., Suo, C., Baker, M. K., Foroughi, N., Wang, Y., Sachdev, P. S., Valenzuela, M., & Fiatarone Singh, M. A. (2017). Mediation of cognitive function improvements by strength gains after resistance training in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: Outcomes of the study of mental and resistance training. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 65, 550–559. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.14542.
Middleton, L., Manini, T., Simonsick, E., Harris, T., Barnes, D., Tylasvsky, F., Brach, J., Everhart, J., & Yaffe, K. (2011). Activity energy expenditure and incident cognitive impairment in older adults. Archives of Internal Medicine, 171, 1251–1257. https://doi.org/10.1001/archinternmed.2011.277.
Moreau, D., Morrison, A. B., & Conway, A. R. (2015). An ecological approach to cognitive enhancement: Complex motor training. Acta Psychologica, 157, 44–55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2015.02.007.
Nagamatsu, L. S., Handy, T. C., Hsu, C. L., Voss, M., & Liu-Ambrose, T. (2012). Resistance training promotes cognitive and functional brain plasticity in seniors with probable mild cognitive impairment. American Medical Association, 172, 2013–2015.
Nagamatsu, L. S., Chan, A., Davis, J. C., Beattie, B. L., Graf, P., Voss, M. W., et al. (2013). Physical activity improves verbal and spatial memory in older adults with probable mild cognitive impairment: a 6-month randomized controlled trial. Journal of Aging Research. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/861893.
Nelson, M. E., Rejeski, W. J., Blair, S. N., Duncan, P. W., & Judge, J. O. (2007). Physical activity and public health in older adults: Recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circulation, 116, 1094–1105. https://doi.org/10.1161/circulationaha.107.185650.
Ortega, F. B., Ruiz, J. R., Castillo, M. J., & Sjöström, M. (2008). Physical fitness in childhood and adolescence: A powerful marker of health. International Journal of Obesity, 32, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijo.0803774.
Ouellette, M. M., LeBrasseur, N. K., Bean, J. F., Phillips, E., Stein, J., Frontera, W. R., & Fielding, R. A. (2004). High-intensity resistance training improves muscle strength, self-reported function, and disability in long-term stroke survivors. Stroke, 35, 1404–1409. https://doi.org/10.1161/01.STR.0000127785.73065.34.
Paillard, T. (2015). Preventive effects of regular physical exercise against cognitive decline and the risk of dementia with age advancement. Sports Medicine Open, 1, 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40798-015-0016-x.
Penedo, F. J., & Dahn, J. R. (2005). Exercise and well-being: A review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 18, 189–193. https://doi.org/10.1097/00001504-200503000-00013.
Perrig-chiello, P., Perrig, W. J., Ehrsam, R., & Staehelin, H. B. (1998). The effects of resistance training onwell-being and memory in elderly volunteers. Age and Ageing, 27, 469–475.
Peterson, M. D., Rhea, M. R., & Alvar, B. A. (2005). Applications of the dose–response for muscular strength development. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 19, 950–958. https://doi.org/10.1519/00124278-200511000-00038.
Physical Activity [WWW Document], (2016). Retrieved from 11 October 2016, from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/Physical-Activity/objectives#5071.
Pluijm, S. M. F., Smit, J. H., Tromp, E. A. M., Stel, V. S., Deeg, D. J. H., Bouter, L. M., & Lips, P. (2006). A risk profile for identifying community-dwelling elderly with a high risk of recurrent falling: Results of a 3-year prospective study. Osteoporosis International, 17, 417–425. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00198-005-0002-0.
Radak, Z., Chung, H. Y., & Goto, S. (2008). Systemic adaptation to oxidative challenge induced by regular exercise. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 44, 153–159. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2007.01.029.
Rhea, M.R., Ball, S.D., Phillips, W.T., & Burkett, L.N. (2003). A comparison of linear and daily undulating periodized programs with equated volume and intensity for strength. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 17, 82–87. https://doi.org/10.1519/1533-4287(2003)017%3C0082:ACOLAD%3E2.0.CO;2
Rovio, S., Kåreholt, I., Helkala, E. L., Viitanen, M., Winblad, B., Tuomilehto, J., Soininen, H., Nissinen, A., & Kivipelto, M. (2005). Leisure-time physical activity at midlife and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Neurology, 4, 705–711. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(05)70198-8.
Sala, G., & Gobet, F. (2017). Does far transfer exist? Negative evidence from chess, music, and working memory training. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26, 515–520. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721417712760.
Sale, D. G. (1988). Neural adaptation to resistance training. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 20, 135–145.
Sibley, B. A., & Etnier, J. L. (2003). The relationship between physical activity and cognition in children: A meta-analysis. Pediatric Exercise Science, 15, 243–256.
Singh, N., Clements, K. M., & Fiatarone Singh, M.A. (1997). A randomized controlled trial of progressive resistance training in depressed elders. The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 52, M27–M35. https://doi.org/10.1093/gerona/52A.1.M27.
Skriver, K., Roig, M., Lundbye-Jensen, J., Pingel, J., Helge, J. W., Kiens, B., & Nielsen, J. B. (2014). Acute exercise improves motor memory: Exploring potential biomarkers. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nlm.2014.08.004.
Smith, P. J., Blumenthal, J. A., Hoffman, B. M., Strauman, T. A., Welsh-bohmer, K., Jeffrey, N., & Sherwood, A. (2010). Aerobic exercise and neurocognitive performance: A meta-analytic review of randomized controlled trials. Psychosomatic Medicine, 72, 239–252. https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181d14633.Aerobic.
Smolarek, A. C., Boiko Ferreira, L. H., Gomes Mascarenhas, L. P., McAnulty, S. R., Varela, K. D., Dangui, M. C., et al. (2016). The effects of strength training on cognitive performance in elderly women. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 11, 749–754. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S102126.
Stroth, S., Hille, K., Spitzer, M., & Reinhardt, R. (2009). Aerobic endurance exercise benefits memory and affect in young adults. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 19, 223–243. https://doi.org/10.1080/09602010802091183.
Suo, C., Singh, M. F., Gates, N., Wen, W., Sachdev, P., Brodaty, H., Saigal, N., Wilson, G. C., Meiklejohn, J., Singh, N., Baune, B. T., Baker, M., Foroughi, N., Wang, Y., Mavros, Y., Lampit, A., Leung, I., & Valenzuela, M. J. (2016). Therapeutically relevant structural and functional mechanisms triggered by physical and cognitive exercise. Molecular Psychiatry, 21, 1633–1642. https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2016.19.
Simons, D.J., Boot, W.R., Charness, N., Gathercole, S.E., Chabris, C.F., Hambrick, D.Z., Stine-Morrow, E.A.L., (2016). Do “Brain-Training” programs work? Psychology Science Public Interest. 17, 103–186. https://doi.org/10.1177/1529100616661983.
ten Brinke, L. F., Bolandzadeh, N., Nagamatsu, L. S., Hsu, C. L., Davis, J. C., Miran-Khan, K., & Liu-Ambrose, T. (2015). Aerobic exercise increases hippocampal volume in older women with probable mild cognitive impairment: A 6-month randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 49, 248–254. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2013-093184.
Timinkul, A., Kato, M., Omori, T., Deocaris, C. C., Ito, A., Kizuka, T., Sakairi, Y., Nishijima, T., Asada, T., & Soya, H. (2008). Enhancing effect of cerebral blood volume by mild exercise in healthy young men: A near-infrared spectroscopy study. Neuroscience Research, 61, 242–248. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neures.2008.03.012.
Vasques, P. E., Moraes, H., Silveira, H., Deslandes, A. C., & Laks, J. (2011). Acute exercise improves cognition in the depressed elderly: The effect of dual-tasks. Clinics, 66, 1553–1557. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1807-59322011000900008.
Venturelli, M., Lanza, M., Muti, E., & Schena, F. (2010). Positive effects of physical training in activity of daily living-dependent older adults. Experimental Aging Research, 36(2), 190–205. https://doi.org/10.1080/03610731003613771.
Verburgh, L., Königs, M., Scherder, E. J. A., & Oosterlaan, J. (2014). Physical exercise and executive functions in preadolescent children, adolescents and young adults: A meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 48, 973–979. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2012-091441.
Viechtbauer, W. (2010). Conducting meta-analysis in R with the metafor package. Journal of Statistical Software, 36, 1–48.
Voss, M. W., Nagamatsu, L. S., Liu-ambrose, T., & Kramer, A. F. (2011). Exercise, brain, and cognition across the life span. Journal of Applied Physiology, 111, 1505–1513. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00210.2011.
Warburton, D. E. R., Nicol, C. W., & Bredin, S. S. D. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: The evidence. CMAJ, 174, 801–809. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.051351.
Yerokhin, V., Anderson-Hanley, C., Hogan, M. J., Dunnam, M., Huber, D., Osborne, S., & Shulan, M. (2012). Neuropsychological and neurophysiological effects of strengthening exercise for early dementia: A pilot study. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 19, 380–401. https://doi.org/10.1080/13825585.2011.628378.
Yoon, D. H., Kang, D., Kim, H., Kim, J.-S., Song, H. S., & Song, W. (2016). Effect of elastic band-based high-speed power training on cognitive function, physical performance and muscle strength in older women with mild cognitive impairment. Geriatrics and Gerontology International. https://doi.org/10.1111/ggi.12784.
Yoon, D. H., & Song, W. (2018). Effects of resistance exercise training on cognitive function and physical performance in cognitive frailty. A Randomized Controlled Trial, 22, 944–951.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Landrigan, JF., Bell, T., Crowe, M. et al. Lifting cognition: a meta-analysis of effects of resistance exercise on cognition. Psychological Research 84, 1167–1183 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-019-01145-x