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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 117, Issue 6, pp 1227–1232 | Cite as

Acute effect of stretching one leg on regional arterial stiffness in young men

  • Yosuke Yamato
  • Natsuki Hasegawa
  • Shumpei Fujie
  • Shigehiko Ogoh
  • Motoyuki IemitsuEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

Our previous study demonstrated that a single bout of stretching exercises acutely reduced arterial stiffness. We hypothesized that this acute vascular response is due to regional mechanical stimulation of the peripheral arteries. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of a single bout of passive one leg stretching on arterial stiffness, comparing the stretched and the non-stretched leg in the same subject.

Methods

Twenty-five healthy young men (20.9 ± 0.3 years, 172.5 ± 1.4 cm, 64.1 ± 1.2 kg) volunteered for the study. Subjects underwent a passive calf stretching on one leg (six repetitions of 30-s static stretch with a 10-s recovery). Pulse wave velocity (PWV, an index of arterial stiffness), blood pressure (BP), and heart rate (HR) were measured before and immediately, 15, and 30 min after the stretching.

Results

Femoral–ankle PWV (faPWV) in the stretched leg was significantly decreased from baseline (835.0 ± 15.9 cm/s) to immediately (802.9 ± 16.8 cm/s, P < 0.01) and 15 min (810.5 ± 16.0 cm/s, P < 0.01) after the stretching, despite no changes in systolic and diastolic BP, or HR. However, faPWV in the non-stretched leg was not significantly altered at any time. Brachial–ankle PWV (baPWV) also showed similar responses with faPWV, but this response was not significant. Additionally, the passive stretching did not alter carotid–femoral PWV (cfPWV).

Conclusions

These results suggest that mechanical stimulation to peripheral arteries as induced by static passive stretch may modulate arterial wall properties directly, rather than resulting in a systemic effect.

Keywords

Pulse wave velocity Blood pressure Stretching Vasodilation 

Abbreviations

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

baPWV

Brachial–ankle pulse wave velocity

BMI

Body mass index

CAVI

Cardio-ankle vascular index

cfPWV

Carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity

DBP

Diastolic blood pressure

faPWV

Femoral–ankle pulse wave velocity

HR

Heart rate

NIRS

Near-infrared spectroscopy

PWV

Pulse wave velocity

SBP

Systolic blood pressure

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (KAKENHI: #26282199 for M. Iemitsu and 16K01746 for Y. Yamato).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yosuke Yamato
    • 1
    • 2
  • Natsuki Hasegawa
    • 1
  • Shumpei Fujie
    • 1
  • Shigehiko Ogoh
    • 3
  • Motoyuki Iemitsu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Sport and Health ScienceRitsumeikan UniversityKusatsuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Physical TherapyAino UniversityOsakaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical EngineeringToyo UniversitySaitamaJapan

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