Background: Isometric strengthening has been rarely studied in patients with coronary heart disease
(CHD), mainly because of possible potential side effects and lack of appropriate and reliable devices.
Objective: We aimed to compare 2 different modes of resistance training, an isometric mode with the
Huber Motion Lab (HML) and traditional strength training (TST), in CHD patients undergoing a cardiac
Design: We randomly assigned 50 patients to HML or TST. Patients underwent complete blinded
evaluation before and after the rehabilitation program, including testing for cardiopulmonary exercise,
maximal isometric voluntary contraction, endothelial function and body composition.
Results: After 4 weeks of training (16 sessions), the groups did not differ in body composition,
anthropometric characteristics, or endothelial function. With HML, peak power output (P = 0.035),
maximal heart rate (P < 0.01) and gain of force measured in the chest press position (P < 0.02) were
greater after versus before training.
Conclusion: Both protocols appeared to be well tolerated, safe and feasible for these CHD patients. A
training protocol involving 6 s phases of isometric contractions with 10 s of passive recovery on an HML
device could be safely implemented in rehabilitation programs for patients with CHD and improve