Advertisement

European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 117, Issue 1, pp 83–93 | Cite as

Home-based isometric exercise training induced reductions resting blood pressure

  • Jonathan D. WilesEmail author
  • Natalie Goldring
  • Damian Coleman
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

Isometric exercise training (IET) reduces resting blood pressure (BP). Most previous protocols impose exercise barriers which undermine its effectiveness as a potential physical therapy for altering BP. An inexpensive, home-based programme would promote IET as a valuable tool in the fight against hypertension. The aims of this study were: (a) to investigate whether home-based wall squat training could successfully reduce resting BP and (b) to explore the physiological variables that might mediate a change in resting BP.

Methods

Twenty-eight healthy normotensive males were randomly assigned to a control and a 4 week home-based IET intervention using a crossover design with a 4 week ‘washout’ period in-between. Wall squat training was completed 3 × weekly over 4 weeks with 48 h between sessions. Each session comprised 4 × 2 min bouts of wall squat exercise performed at a participant-specific knee joint angle relative to a target HR of 95% HRpeak, with 2 min rest between bouts. Resting heart rate, BP, cardiac output, total peripheral resistance, and stroke volume were taken at baseline and post each condition.

Results

Resting BP (systolic −4 ± 5, diastolic −3 ± 3 and mean arterial −3 ± 3 mmHg), cardiac output (−0.54 ± 0.66 L min−1) and heart rate (−5 ± 7 beats min−1) were all reduced following IET, with no change in total peripheral resistance or stroke volume compared to the control.

Conclusion

These findings suggest that the wall squat provides an effective method for reducing resting BP in the home resulting primarily from a reduction in resting heart rate.

Keywords

Static exercise Wall squat Randomised controlled trial Normotensive Physiological mechanisms 

Abbreviations

ANCOVA

Analysis of covariance

BP

Blood pressure

DBP

Diastolic blood pressure

EMG

Electromyography

HR

Heart rate

HRpeak

Peak heart rate

IET

Isometric exercise training

MAP

Mean arterial blood pressure

MCID

Minimal clinically important difference

MVC

Maximal voluntary contraction

\({\dot{Q}}\)

Cardiac output

SBP

Systolic blood pressure

SV

Stroke volume

THRR

Target heart rate range

TPR

Total peripheral resistance

References

  1. Abe N, Bisognano J (2011) Non-pharmacological interventions for patients with resistant hypertension. US Cardiol 8:52–55Google Scholar
  2. Badrov MB, Bartol CL, DiBartolomeo MA, Millar PJ, McNevin NH, McGowan CL (2013) Effects of isometric handgrip training dose on resting blood pressure and resistance vessel endothelial function in normotensive women. Eur J Appl Physiol 113:2091–2100CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Badrov MB, Freeman SR, Zokvic MA, Millar PJ, McGowan CL (2016) Isometric exercise training lowers resting blood pressure and improves local brachial artery flow-mediated dilatation equally in men and women. Eur J Appl Physiol. doi: 10.1007/s00421-016-3366-2 PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Baross AW, Wiles JD, Swaine IL (2012) Effects of the intensity of leg isometric training on the vasculature of trained and untrained limbs and resting blood pressure in middle-aged men. Int J Vasc Med. doi: 10.1155/2012/964697 PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Boone T (2014) Introduction to exercise physiology. Jones & Bartlett Learning, BurlingtonGoogle Scholar
  6. Carlson DJ, Dieberg G, Hess NC, Millar PJ, Smart NA (2014) Isometric exercise training for blood pressure management: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Mayo Clin Proc 89:327–334CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Chobanian AV, Bakris GL, Black HR, Cushman WC, Green LA, Izzo JL, Jones DW, Materson BJ, Oparil S, Wright JT, Roccella EJ (2003) The seventh report of the joint national committee on prevention, detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood pressure: the JNC 7 report. J Am Med Assoc 289:2560–2572CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cohen J (1988) Statistical power analysis for the behavioural sciences, 2nd edn. Lawrence Erlbaum Associate Publishers, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Contreras B (2014) Bodyweight strength training anatomy. Human Kinetics, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  10. Cook NR, Cohen J, Hebert PR, Taylor JO, Hennekens CH (1995) Implications of small reductions in diastolic blood pressure for primary prevention. Arch Intern Med 155:701–709CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Delavier F (2010) Strength training anatomy. Human Kinetics, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  12. Devereux GR, Wiles JD, Swaine IL (2010) Reductions in resting blood pressure after 4 weeks of isometric exercise training. Eur J Appl Physiol 109:601–606CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Fethney J (2010) Statistical and clinical significance, and how to use confidence intervals to help interpret both. Aust Crit Care 23:93–97CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Field A (2009) Discovering statistic using SPSS for Windows, 3rd edn. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  15. Franke WD, Boettger CF, McLean SP (2000) Effects of varying central command and muscle mass on the cardiovascular responses to isometric exercise. Clin Physiol 20:380–387CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Gálvez JM, Alonso JP, Sangrador LA, Navarro G (2000) Effect of muscle mass and intensity of isometric contraction on heart rate. J Appl Physiol 88:487–492PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Gill KF, Arthur ST, Swaine I, Devereux GD, Huet YM, Wikstrom E, Cordova ML, Howden R (2015) Intensity-dependent reductions in resting blood pressure following short-term isometric exercise training. J Sports Sci 33:616–621CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Goldring N, Wiles JD, Coleman D (2014) The effects of isometric wall squat exercise on heart rate and blood pressure in a normotensive population. J Sports Sci 32:129–136CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Green DJ, Maiorana A, O’Driscoll G, Taylor R (2004) Effect of exercise training on endothelium-derived nitric oxide function in humans. J Physiol 561:1–25CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Hietanen E (1984) Cardiovascular responses to static exercise. Scand J Work Environ Health 10:397–402CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Hopkins WG (2000) Measures of reliability in sports medicine and science. Sports Med 30:1–15CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Hunter SK, Ryan DL, Ortega JD, Enoka RM (2002) Task differences with the same load torque alter the endurance time of submaximal fatiguing contractions in humans. J Neurophysiol 88:3087–3096CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Iellamo F, Massaro M, Raimondi G, Peruzzi G, Legramante JM (1999) Role of muscular factors in cardiorespiratory responses to static exercise: contribution of reflex mechanisms. J Appl Physiol 86:174–180PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Jacobson NS, Truax P (1991) Clinical significance: a statistical approach to defining meaningful change in psychotherapy research. J Consult Clin Psychol 59:12–19CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Lind AR (2011) Cardiovascular adjustments to isometric contractions: static effort. In: Shepherd JT, Abboud FM (eds) Comprehensive physiology. The American Physiological Society, Bethesda, pp 947–966Google Scholar
  26. McGowan CL, Levy AS, McCartney N, Macdonald MJ (2007a) Isometric handgrip training does not improve flow-mediated dilation in subjects with normal blood pressure. Clin Sci 112:403–409CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. McGowan CL, Visocchi A, Faulkner M, Verduyn R, Rakobowchuk M, Levy AS, McCartney N, Macdonald MJ (2007b) Isometric handgrip training improves local flow-mediated dilation in medicated hypertensives. Eur J Appl Physiol 99:227–234CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Millar PJ, Bray SR, McGowan CL, MacDonald MJ, McCartney N (2007) Effects of isometric handgrip training among people medicated for hypertension: a multilevel analysis. Blood Press Monit 12:307–314CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Millar PJ, Bray SR, Macdonald MJ, McCartney N (2008) The hypotensive effects of isometric handgrip training using an inexpensive spring handgrip training device. J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev 28:203–207CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Millar PJ, Paashuis A, McCartney N (2009) Isometric handgrip effects on hypertension. Curr Hypertens Rev 5:54–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Millar PJ, Levy AS, McGowan CL, McCartney N, Macdonald MJ (2013a) Isometric handgrip training lowers blood pressure and increases heart rate complexity in medicated hypertensive patients. Scand J Med Sci Sports 23:620–626PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Millar PJ, McGowan CL, Cornelissen VA, Araujo CG, Swaine IL (2013b) Evidence for the role of isometric exercise training in reducing blood pressure: potential mechanisms and future directions. Sports Med 44:345–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mitchell JH, Payne FC, Saltin B, Schibye B (1980) The role of muscle mass in the cardiovascular response to static contractions. J Physiol 309:45–54CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. Page P (2014) Beyond statistical significance: clinical interpretation of rehabilitation research literature. Int J Sports Phys Ther 9:726–736PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  35. Pescatello LS, Franklin BA, Fagard R, Farquhar WB, Kelley GA, Ray CA (2004) American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and hypertension. Med Sci Sports Exerc 36:533–553CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Peters PG, Alessio HM, Hagerman AE, Ashton T, Nagy S, Wiley RL (2006) Short-term isometric exercise reduces systolic blood pressure in hypertensive adults: possible role of reactive oxygen species. Int J Cardiol 110:199–205CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Reese NB, Bandy WD (2010) Joint range of motion and muscle length testing, 2nd edn. Saunders Elsevier, St. LouisGoogle Scholar
  38. Seals DR (1989) Influence of muscle mass on sympathetic neural activation during isometric exercise. J Appl Physiol 67:1801–1806PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Shibasaki M, Wilson TE, Bundgaard-Nielsen M, Seifert T, Secher NH, Crandall CG (2011) Modelflow underestimates cardiac output in heat-stressed individuals. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 300:R486–R491CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Smith D, Fernhall B (2011) Advanced cardiovascular exercise physiology. Human Kinetics, ChampaignGoogle Scholar
  41. Stamler J (1997) The INTERSALT study: background, methods, findings, and implications. Am J Clin Nutr 65:626S–642SPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Stiller-Moldovan C, Kenno K, McGowan CL (2012) Effects of isometric handgrip training on blood pressure (resting and 24 h ambulatory) and heart rate variability in medicated hypertensive patients. Blood Press Monit 17:55–61CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Taylor AC, McCartney N, Kamath MV, Wiley RL (2003) Isometric training lowers resting blood pressure and modulates autonomic control. Med Sci Sports Exerc 35:251–256CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Tinken TM, Thijssen DHJ, Black MA, Cable NT, Green DJ (2008) Time course of change in vasodilator function and capacity in response to exercise training in humans. J Physiol 586:5003–5012CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  45. Tinken TM, Thijssen DHJ, Hopkins N, Dawson EA, Cable NT, Green DJ (2010) Shear stress mediates endothelial adaptations to exercise training in humans. Hypertension 55:312–318CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Wesseling KH, Jansen JR, Settels JJ, Schreuder JJ (1993) Computation of aortic flow from pressure in humans using a nonlinear, three-element model. J Appl Physiol 74:2566–2573PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Wiles JD, Coleman DA, Dunford M, Swaine IL (2005) A novel method for the performance of isometric exercise in the home. J Sports Sci 23:795–803CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Wiles JD, Allum SR, Coleman DA, Swaine IL (2008) The relationships between exercise intensity, heart rate, and blood pressure during an incremental isometric exercise test. J Sports Sci 26:155–162CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Wiles JD, Coleman DA, Swaine IL (2010) The effects of performing isometric training at two exercise intensities in healthy young males. Eur J Appl Physiol 108:419–428CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Wiley RL, Dunn CL, Cox RH, Hueppchen NA, Scott MS (1992) Isometric exercise training lowers resting blood pressure. Med Sci Sports Exerc 24:749–754CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan D. Wiles
    • 1
    Email author
  • Natalie Goldring
    • 1
  • Damian Coleman
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Sport and Exercise Sciences, School of Human and Life SciencesCanterbury Christ Church UniversityCanterburyUK

Personalised recommendations