Effect of single-leg resistance exercise on regional arterial stiffness

Kevin S. Heffernan, Lindy Rossow, Sae Young Jae, Halidu G. Shokunbi, Elizabeth M. Gibson, Bo Fernhall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


To examine the effects of lower-limb unilateral resistance exercise on central and peripheral arterial stiffness, thirteen participants (7 male and 6 female, mean age = 21.5 ± 0.7 years) performed leg press exercise using their dominant leg. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) was used to measure central (carotid to femoral) and peripheral (femoral to dorsalis pedis of both legs) arterial stiffness before, 5 min post, and 25 min post exercise. No change was found in central PWV. A leg-by-time interaction was found as peripheral PWV in the non-exercised leg did not change (7.9 ± 0.3 m/s to 7.9 ± 0.3 m/s to 8.0 ± 0.3 m/s, P = 0.907) while peripheral PWV in the exercised leg significantly decreased from pre (8.7 ± 0.4 m/s) to 5 min post exercise (7.5 ± 0.3 m/s, P = 0.008) and 25 min post exercise (7.8 ± 0.3 m/s, P = 0.031). Systolic blood pressure (BP) increased significantly from pre (126.9 ± 3.4 mmHg) to 5 min post exercise (133.7 ± 4.3 mmHg, P = 0.023) and was not different than resting values 25 min post exercise (123.2 ± 3.1 mmHg). There was no change in diastolic BP. Compared to heart rate (HR) pre-exercise (55.4 ± 1.4 bpm), HR was significantly increased 5 min post exercise (70.7 ± 3.0 bpm, P = 0.001) and 25 min post exercise (69.1 ± 2.0, P = 0.001). Acute resistance exercise appears to decrease arterial stiffness in the exercised leg while having no effect on central arterial stiffness or arterial stiffness of the non-exercised leg. These findings suggest that regional changes rather than systemic alterations may influence arterial stiffness following acute resistance exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-190
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute exercise
  • Arterial compliance
  • Pulse wave velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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