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Can isometric resistance training safely reduce high blood pressure? – Research zone

17th September 2021


High blood pressure affects 1.13 billion people around the world and in 2019, it accounted for 10.8 million deaths. It is well known that exercise can play an important part in lowering blood pressure. Regular physical activity can strengthen the heart muscle meaning it can pump blood around the body with less effort, therefore reducing the force on the arteries lowering blood pressure.  


Recent research has revealed that isometric resistance training could be an effective method of training to reduce blood pressure.


What is isometric resistance training?

Isometric resistance training is a form of strength training where the muscle doesn’t noticeable change length and the affected joint does not move.

Examples include holding a wall sit or a plank. This is different to traditional strength training like a squat where the muscles shorten and lengthen during the exercise. 


The benefits of isometric resistance training

Research done by the University of New South Wales, Australia, found isometric resistance training to be a safe and effective way of maintaining muscle strength while resulting in reduced blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.


Other benefits of isometric resistance training

  • Easy exercise to master, requiring little technique to perfect the movement
  • Beneficial to someone with an injury which could make movement painful.
  • Helpful to someone with arthritis which could be aggravated by using muscles to move a joint through the full range of movement.
  • Helpful in enhancing stabilization of the muscle


What this means for us?

Isometric resistance exercises are an accessible and appealing method of training. These exercises are easy to master and are a good way of challenging the muscles without causing pain.

At Bounce Back, we aim to incorporate isometric resistance training into our Strong and Balanced group class to challenge the muscles and reduce the risk of high blood pressure.


#BBTIP: Focus on your breathing and avoid holding your breath during resistance training, as this may cause a rise in blood pressure.


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