Muscle disorders and induced muscle atrophy impose critical risks to the well-being of an individual, limiting normal activities of daily living. Several resistance training methods have effectively reversed the progression of muscle atrophy. Weightlifting and hydrotherapy are the two widely practiced schemes for resistance training; however, there is the potential risk of excessive loads exerted on the muscles during weightlifting, and limited accessibility and cost are barriers to hydrotherapy. An alternative is using a resistance band. Some limitations include engaging multiple muscles/joints while only unidirectional resistance is feasible. To address these limitations, a VAriable Resistance Suit (VARS) was designed to provide speed-dependent, bi-directional, and variable resistance at a single joint. As a proof of concept, an elbow module of VARS was developed and validated experimentally through a pilot study [15]. This thesis aims to investigate the feasibility of modulating speed-dependent and adjustable resistance at the targeted joints using a VAriable Resistance Suit and investigate the efficacy of the Variable Resistance Suit to induce muscle hypertrophy. The pilot study shows the changes in flexor and extensor muscle activations in response to eight different levels of resistance modulated by VARS. Furthermore, the evaluation of training using VARS on muscle hypertrophy with a focus on the increase in muscle size and strength has been conducted through a prolonged study involving 12 participants. Some sections of this thesis are reused from our published conference paper which I co-author [15].

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Park, Joon-Hyuk


Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date