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Elbow plank exercise improves immunocyte function and physical fitness in an elderly male: a case study

  • Ki-Soo Lee1
  • Seung-Jae Heo1
  • Gwang-Seok Hyun1
  • Sang-Kyun Park1,*,
  • Jun-Youl Cha2
  • Yong-Seok Jee3

1Department of Physical Education, Chungnam National University, 34134 Daejeon, Republic of Korea

2Division of Sports & Guard, Howon University, 54057 Gunsan, Republic of Korea

3Department of Leisure and Marine Sports, Hanseo University, 31962 Seosan, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.31083/jomh.2021.134 Vol.18,Issue 4,April 2022 pp.1-8

Submitted: 05 September 2021 Accepted: 08 October 2021

Published: 30 April 2022

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and physical activities for men’s health)

*Corresponding Author(s): Sang-Kyun Park E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Yong-Seok Jee E-mail:


Background: The elbow plank is a common exercise that can easily be done at home, but its effects on physical fitness and immunocyte function in elderly people are unknown. This prior study was conducted to analyze the changes in health-related physical fitness and immunocytes in an elderly male subject after performing elbow plank exercises.

Methods: The participant was a 61-year-old man who had no experience in performing the elbow plank. Elbow plank exercises were performed for 30 min a day, 5 days a week, for 4 weeks. The intensity of was checked daily with ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). His goal was to reach an RPE between 12 and 14, at which a 1 min rest was given before repeating the process with a progressively higher RPE every 10 min.

Results: Compared with pre-values, (1) health related physical fitness factors increased after 4 weeks. (2) Body weight, skeletal muscle mass, and basal metabolic rate increased, whereas body fat mass and fat percentage decreased. (3) Certain variables of complete blood count showed positive changes, while others did not. Specifically, NK cells (CD56) and cytotoxicity were improved.

Conclusions: This study confirmed that performing elbow plank exercises improved all factors of physical fitness and the immunocyte function in an elderly male. Therefore, 20.73 min (9.27 min of rest) of plank exercise is recommended for elderly men to prevent deterioration of physical fitness and immunocyte function while staying at home, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Plank exercise; Immunocyte; Physical fitness; NK cell; Cytotoxicity

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Ki-Soo Lee,Seung-Jae Heo,Gwang-Seok Hyun,Sang-Kyun Park,Jun-Youl Cha,Yong-Seok Jee. Elbow plank exercise improves immunocyte function and physical fitness in an elderly male: a case study. Journal of Men's Health. 2022. 18(4);1-8.


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