JOURNAL ARTICLE

Influence of Blood Flow Restriction During Low-Intensity Resistance Exercise on the Postexercise Hypotensive Response

Alex S Maior, Roberto Simão, Michael S R Martins, Belmiro F de Salles, Jeffrey M Willardson
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2015, 29 (10): 2894-9
25764494
Low-intensity resistance exercise (RE) combined with blood flow restriction (BFR) has been shown to promote similar increases in strength and hypertrophy as traditional high-intensity RE without BFR. However, the effect of BFR on the acute postexercise hypotensive response has received limited examination. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare high-intensity exercise (HIE) vs. low-intensity RE with BFR on the postexercise hypotensive response in normotensive young subjects. Fifteen men (age: 23.4 ± 3.4 years) performed the following 2 experimental protocols in randomized order: (a) 3 sets of biceps curls (BCs) at 80% of 1 repetition maximum (RM) and 120-second rest between sets (HIE protocol) and (b) 3 sets of BCs at 40% of 1RM with BFR and 60-second rest between sets. Analysis of systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) was conducted for 60 minutes after both protocols. The values for SBP, DBP, and mean blood pressure (MBP) at baseline and postexercise were not significantly different between the HIE vs. the BFR protocol. However, within the BFR protocol, significant decreases (p ≤ 0.05) in SBP occurred at 30 minutes (125.86 ± 9.33 mm Hg) and 40 minutes (125.53 ± 10.19 mm Hg) after exercise when compared with baseline (132.86 ± 9.12 mm Hg) and significant decreases in DBP and MBP occurred at 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and 40 minutes after exercise vs. baseline (p ≤ 0.05). Therefore, we conclude that exercises engaging a relatively small amount of muscle mass, such as the BC (or other similar single joint exercises), might be performed at a lower intensity with BFR to promote a postexercise hypotensive response.

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