The effect of acute blood-flow-restricted resistance exercise on postexercise blood pressure

Lindy M Rossow, Christopher A Fahs, Vanessa D Sherk, Dong-Il Seo, Debra A Bemben, Michael G Bemben
Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging 2011, 31 (6): 429-34

INTRODUCTION: Blood-flow-restricted (BFR) exercise is an emerging type of exercise that may be particularly beneficial to elderly or special populations. These populations may also benefit from reductions in blood pressure (BP). The effect of BFR exercise on postexercise BP has not been examined; this should first be examined in a young, healthy population as a preliminary investigation.

PURPOSE: The main purpose of this study was to determine whether postexercise hypotension (PEH) occurred following low-intensity [20% 1 repetition maximum (1-RM)] BFR resistance exercise. A secondary purpose was to compare this response to both a work-matched low-intensity (20% 1-RM) (LI) and a traditional high-intensity (70% 1-RM) resistance exercise bout (HI).

METHODS: In a randomized cross-over design, ten normotensive, young (18-35 years) men performed one of the three lower-body resistance exercise bouts (HI, LI or low-intensity BFR) during separate visits to the laboratory. Brachial BP, cardiac ultrasound and calf blood flow measurements were taken prior to and 30 and 60 min following exercise. Repeated measures analysis of variance (3 × 3; condition × time) was performed on all variables.

RESULTS: A significant interaction (P<0·05) was found for brachial systolic blood pressure which decreased following HI only. Significant interactions (P<0·05) were also seen for heart rate, total peripheral resistance and calf vascular resistance.

CONCLUSION:   Postexercise hypotension occurred only following HI. Thus, if one is exercising with the intent of lowering BP, HI resistance exercise may be more useful than low-intensity BFR resistance exercise.

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