BP Basics

The Relationship between Hypertension and Isometric Hand Grip Exercises

The relationship between hypertension and hand grip isometrics or isometrics hand grip (IHG) exercise is a  positive one. Isometrics hand grip exercise helps to reduce the level of systolic blood pressure. In fact, high tech isometric hand grip exercises along with medication can significantly lessen high blood pressure.

Numerous studies have proven the effectiveness of hand grip isometrics to lower blood pressure, increase the elasticity of the carotid artery and intensify vasodilatory effects in people taking medication for high blood pressure. One study involved the use of  isometric hand grip exercise three times a week for a period of eight weeks.

The results of the study show that isometric hand grip exercise lead to a decline in the resting blood pressure. Following the isometric hand grip exercise, the systolic blood pressure lessened considerably. But the diastolic blood pressure is not affected by isometric hand grip exercise. Similarly the isometric leg press exercise does not have any significant effect on high blood pressure. 

Usually, hypertension is connected with cardiovascular diseases and endothelial dysfunction. People who were suffering from endothelial dysfunction and were under  anti-hypertensive medication, experienced reduced blood pressure after they carried out the isometric hand grip exercise.  The exercise resulted in widening of the arteries and consequently the reduction of  blood pressure. Thus  hand grip isometrics may cause a  reduction in blood pressure on account of an improvement of the endothelial function.   

Another study is examining the relationship between systolic blood pressure and isometric hand grip exercise. It is seen that patients with  hypertension experience reduction of blood pressure after hand grip isometric exercise. It is also observed that blood pressure increases rapidly during exercise. It however returns to normal after recovery. In patients with hypertension, the blood pressure has been greatly reduced after the exercise on account of the natural downward shift in the blood pressure after the recovery period.