Date of Award

Summer 2019

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology and Nutrition

Committee Chair

Matthew Jessee

Committee Chair School

Kinesiology and Nutrition

Committee Member 2

Daniel Credeur

Committee Member 2 School

Kinesiology and Nutrition

Committee Member 3

Stephanie McCoy

Committee Member 3 School

Kinesiology and Nutrition


Resistance exercise with blood flow restriction (BFR) has been suggested to exaggerate the exercise pressor response over traditional non-BFR exercise. While applying BFR relative to an individual’s arterial occlusion pressure (AOP) and exercising at low-loads seems to produce a comparable cardiovascular response to traditional moderate or high-load training, it is beneficial to identify modifications for reducing the cardiovascular response to BFR exercise. PURPOSE: To determine if unilateral (UNI), bilateral (BI), or alternating (ALT) exercise modalities elicit different cardiovascular responses during BFR exercise. METHODS: 18 participants (13 male and 5 female) performed four sets of UNI, BI, and ALT knee-extensions at 30% one-repetition maximum and 40% AOP. Pulse wave analysis was measured before and after exercise. Data were analyzed using Bayesian RMANOVA and presented as mean (SD). RESULTS: Changes in aortic systolic blood pressure, aortic diastolic blood pressure, and aortic mean arterial pressure were greater following ALT. Changes in aortic rate pressure product [ALT = 4873 (2479) mmHg * bpm, UNI = 3243 (1482) mmHg * bpm, BI = 3308 (1449) mmHg * bpm] were also higher following ALT. The volume of work performed was greater in ALT [ALT = 1946 (1787) kg, UNI = 945 (313) kg, BI = 918 (319) kg]. CONCLUSION: Given the greater cardiovascular response following alternating BFR exercise in healthy individuals, those at an increased risk of a cardiovascular event should instead choose unilateral or bilateral BFR exercise until further work is done to determine the degree to which this modality can be tolerated.