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Planks and wall squats can help control your blood pressure

26-Jul-2023

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Analysis of trials involving 16,000 people found wall squats and planking lowered high blood pressure.

Current guidance focusing mainly on walking, running and cycling should be updated, the UK researchers say.

These isometric exercises are designed to build strength without moving muscles or joints.

Isometric exercises place a very different stress on the body to aerobic exercise, says study author Jamie O'Driscoll.

Resting blood pressure was reduced by 8.24/4mmHg after isometric-exercise training, almost twice the reduction as from aerobic exercise.

O'Driscoll recommends 2 minutes of wall squats, or holding the plank position four times with 2 minutes' rest, three times a week.

The BHF charity said exercise was good for heart health and could reduce the risk of heart and circulatory diseases by up to 35%.

Anyone concerned about their blood pressure is advised to ask their GP to ask about the type of exercise best suited to your condition.

Research by Canterbury Christ Church University, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Isometric exercises improves blood flow and effectively lowers high blood pressure than aerobic exercise

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British Journal of Sports Medicine

The journal of sports and exercise medicine is published semi-monthly and co-owned with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine

Canterbury Christ Church University

Public university offering higher education for public services

Jamie O’Driscoll

Reader in Cardiovascular Physiology at Canterbury Christ Church University

Planks and wall squats can help control your blood pressure