European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 104, Issue 4, pp 749–756 | Cite as

Plantar flexion: an effective training for peripheral arterial disease

  • Eivind WangEmail author
  • Jan Hoff
  • Henrik Loe
  • Nils Kaehler
  • Jan Helgerud
Original Article


This study examined whether a training intervention likely to elicit adaptations in the leg could result in reduced leg pain and increased whole body physical capacity. Twenty-seven peripheral arterial disease (PAD) patients were randomized to either an individual leg plantar flexion training group (TG) training 4 × 4 min intervals at 80% of maximal work rate three times per week for 8 weeks or a control group. The TG significantly increased plantar flexion peak oxygen uptake and power output by 23.5 and 43.9%, respectively. Treadmill peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) significantly increased 12.3% in the TG and was associated with a significant increased time to exhaustion of 20.0% when treadmill walking. Eleven of 14 patients no longer reported leg pain limitations at VO2peak. No differences in cardiac output measured at VO2peak, or walking economy were observed. Plantar flexion training was effective in increasing VO2peak and walking performance, and may be a useful strategy in treatment of PAD.


Cardiac output Claudication Exercise Oxygen uptake 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eivind Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jan Hoff
    • 1
    • 2
  • Henrik Loe
    • 1
  • Nils Kaehler
    • 1
  • Jan Helgerud
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Circulation and Medical ImagingNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationSt Olav University HospitalTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Hokksund Rehabilitation CentreHokksundNorway

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