Double-leg isometric exercise training in older men
Anthony W Baross,1 Jonathan D Wiles,2 Ian L Swaine2
1Sport and Exercise Science, University of Northampton, Northampton, UK; 2Sport and Exercise Science, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, Kent, UK
Abstract: Double-leg isometric training has been demonstrated to reduce resting blood pressure in young men when using electromyographic activity (EMG) to regulate exercise intensity. This study assessed this training method in healthy older (45–60 years.) men. Initially, 35 older men performed an incremental isometric exercise test to determine the linearity of the heart rate versus percentage peak EMG (%EMGpeak) and systolic blood pressure versus %EMGpeak relationship. Thereafter, 20 participants were allocated to a training or control group. The training group performed three double-leg isometric sessions per week for 8 weeks, at 85% of peak heart rate. The training resulted in a significant reduction in resting systolic (11 ± 8 mmHg, P < 0.05) and mean arterial (5 ± 7 mmHg, P < 0.05) blood pressure. There was no significant change in resting systolic blood pressure for the control group or diastolic blood pressure in either group (all P > 0.05). These findings show that this training method, used previously in young men, is also effective in reducing resting systolic and mean arterial blood pressure in older men.
Keywords: electromyography, resting blood pressure, heart rate
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