Time to Load Up-Resistance Training Can Improve the Health of Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): A Scoping Review

Chris Kite, Elizabeth Parkes, Suzan R Taylor, Robert W Davies, Lukasz Lagojda, James E Brown, David R Broom, Ioannis Kyrou, Harpal S Randeva

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Guidelines for the management of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) focus on lifestyle changes, incorporating exercise. Whilst evidence suggests that aerobic exercise may be beneficial, less is known about the effectiveness of resistance training (RT), which may be more feasible for those that have low fitness levels and/or are unable to tolerate/participate in aerobic exercise.

OBJECTIVES: To identify the available evidence on RT in women with PCOS and to summarise findings in the context of a scoping review.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Studies utilising pre-post designs to assess the effectiveness of RT in PCOS; all outcomes were included.

SOURCES OF EVIDENCE: Four databases (PubMed, CENTRAL, CINAHL and SportDiscus) were searched and supplemented by hand searching of relevant papers/reference lists.

CHARTING METHODS: Extracted data were presented in tables and qualitatively synthesised.

RESULTS: Searches returned 42 papers; of those, 12 papers were included, relating to six studies/trials. Statistical changes were reported for multiple pertinent outcomes relating to metabolic (i.e., glycaemia and fat-free mass) and hormonal (i.e., testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin) profiles.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a striking lack of studies in this field and, despite the reported statistical significance for many outcomes, the documented magnitude of changes are small and the quality of the evidence questionable. This highlights an unmet need for rigorously designed/reported and sufficiently powered trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number53
Number of pages16
JournalMedical sciences (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number4
Early online date22 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).


  • lifestyle
  • Testosterone
  • hormones
  • quality of life
  • Female
  • metabolism
  • Resistance Training
  • strength training
  • Life Style
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome - therapy
  • Humans
  • women’s health


Dive into the research topics of 'Time to Load Up-Resistance Training Can Improve the Health of Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): A Scoping Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this