Changes in arterial distensibility and flow-mediated dilation after acute resistance vs. aerobic exercise

Scott R. Collier, Michelle D. Diggle, Kevin S. Heffernan, Erin E. Kelly, Melissa M. Tobin, Bo Fernhall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Previous research has shown significantly lower arterial distensibility (AD) after resistance exercise (RE) yet higher AD after aerobic exercise (AE). These changes may be related to exerciseinduced differences in vasodilatory capacity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the vasodilatory and AD responses to acute AE and RE. Forearm blood flow (FBF) during reactive hyperemia (RH) was assessed before and 60 minutes after exercise, whereas aortic and femoral pulse wave velocity was measured as an index of arterial stiffness pre, 40, and 60 minutes after an acute bout of AE (30-minute leg ergometry at 65% of V·O2peak) and RE (3 sets, 10 reps; upper and lower body at 65% 1 repetition maximum) in 10 male subjects (24.9 ± 0.86 years). Area under the curve (AUC) was employed to determine differences in flow. After the intervention, we found that central pulse wave velocity decreased 8% after AE and remained depressed at this level through 60 minutes of observation, whereas RE increased central pulse wave velocity 9.8% from pre to 40 and 60 minutes postexercise. Area under the curve for FBF-RH significantly increased 38% after RE, yet there was no significant change after AE. Forearm vasodilatory capacity increased after acute RE but not after acute AE. This suggests that changes in AD may be disassociated from changes in vasodilatory capacity after acute exercise. Further, in a direct comparison of RE vs. AE, we have shown that RE has greater increases in limb blood flow and augments postexercise hypotension greater at 40 minutes postexercise when compared to AE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2846-2852
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Arterial stiffness
  • Blood flow
  • Pulse wave velocity
  • Resistance exercise
  • Vasodilatory capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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