Get Your Blood Pressure Down With These 2 Simple Exercises
As a personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist, I aim to provide clients with the most up-to-date, evidence-based exercise recommendations to improve health and fitness. One prevailing goal amongst my clientele is reducing arterial blood pressure through natural, non-pharmacological means. So, I have been actively analyzing the latest peer-reviewed research to identify optimal training modalities for blood pressure modulation.
A new meta-analytic study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that isometric exercise, whereby muscle length and joint angle remain static during contraction, elicits robust hypotensive effects superior to all other training modalities examined. This high-level systematic review and meta-analysis aggregated data from 270 randomized controlled trials with 15,827 participants to compare the antihypertensive efficacy of isometric, dynamic resistance, aerobic, high-intensity interval (HIIT), and combined training.
Results illustrate that isometric protocols reduced resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure to a greater extent than all other interventions. On average, isometric exercise lowered systolic arterial pressure by 8.24 mmHg and diastolic pressure by 4.00 mmHg. The authors posit that the marked blood pressure reductions observed following isometric training may be attributable to enhanced vasodilatory mechanisms and downregulation of sympathetic nerve activity.
What Personal Trainers Say...
Given the profound hypotensive capacity of isometric exercise evidenced by this rigorously-conducted meta-analysis, I strongly advocate the inclusion of isometric protocols in exercise prescriptions for hypertensive patients. Based on the literature, I recommend the following isometric exercises for blood pressure management:
Standing upright, place feet shoulder-width apart and flatten back against the wall. Maintaining an upright posture, slowly lower into a squat position with knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Engage core musculature and hold a dynamically contracted position for up to 120 seconds. Complete 2-3 sets resting 60-90 seconds between sets.
From a prone position with weight distributed through forearms and toes, maintain the spine in a neutral position parallel to the floor. Brace the abdominal region by pulling the navel inwards towards the spine. Hold the steady contraction for up to 120 seconds. Complete 2-3 sets resting 60-90 seconds between sets.
To fully elicit hypotensive adaptations, isometric sessions should be performed 2-3 days per week for at least 8 weeks. As always, consult your physician before commencing any exercise regimen, particularly with any underlying cardiovascular or orthopedic conditions. Please let me know if you have any other questions! I am happy to discuss how to optimize your isometric training program in order to effectively target blood pressure reduction.
Need assistance lowering your blood pressure or with any other fitness goals? Are you looking for a Long Beach personal trainer? Contact me for a free personal training session here: https://www.longbeachtrainer.com/contact
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