Central Cardiovascular Hemodynamic Response to Unilateral Handgrip Exercise With Blood Flow Restriction
Aim: Exercise training with blood flow restriction (BFR) increases muscle size and strength. However, there is limited investigation into the effects of BFR on cardiovascular health, particularly central hemodynamic load.
Purpose: To determine the effects of BFR exercise on central hemodynamic load (heart rate—HR, central pressures, arterial wave reflection, and aortic stiffness).
Methods: Fifteen males (age = 25 ± 2 years; BMI = 27 ± 2 kg/m2, handgrip max voluntary contraction-MVC = 50 ± 2 kg) underwent 5-min bouts (counter-balanced, 10 min rest between) of rhythmic unilateral handgrip (1 s squeeze, 2 s relax) performed with a moderate-load (60% MVC) with and without BFR (i.e., 71 ± 5% arterial inflow flow reduction, assessed via Doppler ultrasound), and also with a low-load (40% MVC) with BFR. Outcomes included HR, central mean arterial pressure (cMAP), arterial wave reflection (augmentation index, AIx; wave reflection magnitude, RM%), aortic arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity, aPWV), and peripheral (vastus lateralis) microcirculatory response (tissue saturation index, TSI%).
Results: HR increased above baseline and time control for all handgrip bouts, but was similar between the moderate load with and without BFR conditions (moderate-load with BFR = + 9 ± 2; moderate-load without BFR = + 8 ± 2 bpm, p < 0.001). A similar finding was noted for central pressure (e.g., moderate load with BFR, cMAP = + 14 ± 1 mmHg, p < 0.001). No change occurred for RM% or AIx (p > 0.05) for any testing stage. TSI% increased during the moderate-load conditions (p = 0.01), and aPWV increased above baseline following moderate-load handgrip with BFR only (p = 0.012).
Conclusions: Combined with BFR, moderate load handgrip training with BFR does not significantly augment central hemodynamic load during handgrip exercise in young healthy men.
European Journal of Applied Physiology
(2019). Central Cardiovascular Hemodynamic Response to Unilateral Handgrip Exercise With Blood Flow Restriction. European Journal of Applied Physiology.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/16522