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The Most Effective Exercise for Hypertension? Isometric Resistance Exercise

Updated: Apr 16

Hypertension Isometric Exercise

A major study on the effects of different types of exercise on hypertension was recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The meta-analysis (a study analysing the results of multiple studies) reviewed the effects of aerobic exercise training, dynamic resistance training, combined training (running and resistance exercise), high-intensity interval training and isometric exercise. The most effective exercise?

Isometric Exercise

Isometric exercise is a unique and highly effective form of physical activity that focuses on static muscle contractions without any joint movement. Unlike traditional exercises that involve dynamic movements, like lifting weights or running, isometric exercises involve holding a position or maintaining tension in a particular muscle group for an extended period. In the study the "wall squat" was used as the exercise, sitting with one's back to the wall.

The fundamental principle behind isometric exercises lies in the contraction of muscles against an immovable object or resistance. This is achieved through various means, such as pushing against a wall, holding a plank position or squeezing a resistance ball. By exerting force without changing muscle length, isometric exercises target can specific muscle groups, promoting strength, stability, and endurance.

One of the major advantages of isometric exercise is that it requires minimal equipment and can be performed practically anywhere. Additionally, it places less strain on joints compared to dynamic exercises, making it an excellent choice for individuals with joint issues or those recovering from injuries.


If you are interested in isometric exercise, the following short videos will be of some value:


Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a fitness novice, isometric exercises can be tailored to suit your fitness level and goals. Note however that all exercise – strength or aerobic - is beneficial to reduce blood pressure with (for lowering systolic blood pressure) in 2nd place combined training, 3rd equal running, resistance training and finally cycling. Note, for lowering diastolic blood pressure, resistance training came in 2nd and 3rd equal combined training, running and cycling.

"Find an exercise that you enjoy. Go out and enjoy it."

Incorporating isometric exercises into your routine can improve your blood pressure and enhance muscular strength. So, if you're looking for a versatile and efficient way to enhance your physical prowess, isometric exercise might be the perfect addition to your fitness regimen.

Stay Healthy


exercise isometric hypertension

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Related study...

Edwards JJ, Deenmamode AHP, Griffiths M, et al Exercise training and resting blood pressure: a large-scale pairwise and network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 25 July 2023. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2022-106503

Related Studies

Paluch AE, Boyer WR, Franklin BA, Laddu D, Lobelo F, Lee DC, McDermott MM, Swift DL, Webel AR, Lane A; on behalf the American Heart Association Council on Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health; Council on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; Council on Epidemiology and Prevention; and Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease. Resistance Exercise Training in Individuals With and Without Cardiovascular Disease: 2023 Update: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2024 Jan 16;149(3):e217-e231. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000001189. Epub 2023 Dec 7. PMID: 38059362.

Shailendra P, Baldock KL, Li LSK, Bennie JA, Boyle T. Resistance Training and Mortality Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2022 Aug;63(2):277-285. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2022.03.020. Epub 2022 May 20. PMID: 35599175.


Schoenfeld BJ, Ogborn D, Krieger JW. Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2016 Nov;46(11):1689-1697. doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0543-8. PMID: 27102172.


Schoenfeld BJ, Grgic J, Krieger J. How many times per week should a muscle be trained to maximize muscle hypertrophy? A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies examining the effects of resistance training frequency. J Sports Sci. 2019 Jun;37(11):1286-1295. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1555906. Epub 2018 Dec 17. PMID: 30558493.


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