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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Jul;109(4):601-6. doi: 10.1007/s00421-010-1394-x. Epub 2010 Feb 26.

Reductions in resting blood pressure after 4 weeks of isometric exercise training.

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Department of Sport Science, Tourism and Leisure, Canterbury Christ Church University, North Holmes Road, Canterbury, CT1 1QU, UK.


There is some evidence to suggest isometric training can reduce resting blood pressure in a shorter period than the typical 8 weeks, reported most commonly. The purpose of the present study was to explore whether 4 weeks of bilateral-leg isometric training can reduce resting blood pressure, and whether these changes are associated with altered cardiac output or total peripheral resistance. Thirteen participants volunteered for a 4-week crossover training study, involving three sessions per week (each session involving 4 x 2 min bilateral-leg isometric exercise). The training intensity used (95% peak HR) was equivalent to 24% MVC. In addition to blood pressure, resting heart rate, cardiac output, stroke volume, and total peripheral resistance were measured. Results demonstrated that bilateral-leg isometric exercise training for 4 weeks caused significant reductions in systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial pressure. Changes were -4.9 +/- 5.8, -2.8 +/- 3.2, and -2.7 +/- 2.4 mmHg, respectively. No differences were observed in the other resting measures. In conclusion, this study has shown that it is possible to induce reductions in arterial blood pressure after 4 weeks of bilateral-leg isometric exercise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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