Study suggests isometric resistance training can help safely lower blood pressure. Isometric exercises are contractions of a particular muscle or group of muscles.
Previous research has shown that isometric resistance training (IRT) can help to lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Now the latest meta-analysis of 24 primary studies investigated the effectiveness of this form of exercise and examined its safety. It shows that IRT is both safe and effective in lowering blood pressure.
The research was conducted by researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia. It suggests that that IRT can safely lower blood pressure and this type of exercise may even be safer than other forms of exercise.
The study results appear in the journal Hypertension Research.
During isometric exercises, the muscle doesn't noticeably change the length and the affected joint doesn't move. Isometric exercises can be useful in enhancing stabilization and maintaining strength.
The new study included 24 control trials, involving 1,143 participants with an average age of 56 years. Of the total group, 56% were female.
The researchers found that among the IRT group, systolic blood pressure (SBP) was reduced by an average of 6.97 mm Hg. DBP was also reduced by an average of 3.86 mm Hg.
“It’s particularly exciting for people who may have difficulty performing more ‘traditional’ exercise, such as walking, cycling, or strength training, knowing they have another exercise type in their toolkit to help manage their high blood pressure,” the senior author of the study, Dr. Matthew Jones, said.