Exercise blood pressures are lower after aquatic compared to land treadmill training

Alex T. Carradine1, Brad S. Lambert1, Nicolas P. Greene2, Travis W. Constanzo1, Steven E. Martin1, Stephen F. Crouse (FACSM)1. Texas A&M University, College Station, TX. 2University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

Traditional treadmill training has been shown to moderately decrease exercise blood pressures but the degree to which aquatic running alters exercise blood pressures has not been fully investigated. PURPOSE: To compare the exercise blood pressure responses after land treadmill (LTM) training to an equivalent volume of aquatic treadmill training (ATM). METHODS: We tested blood pressure responses to the Bruce treadmill protocol PRE and POST 12-wks of matched volume training on LTM (n= 9♂,13♀, age=43±3 yrs, weight=88.1±3.6 kg) or ATM (n=18♂, 17♀, age=45±2 yrs, weight=90.6±3.0 kg). Systolic (SBP), diastolic (DBP), pulse pressure (PP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were analyzed using a 2 (ATM or LTM) x 2 (PRE & POST) ANOVA repeated for the training time at rest, 3 stages of the exercise protocol, and 1 and 5 minutes of recovery; Tukey's post hoc tests were used as follow-up for significant interactions, α=0.05. RESULTS: VO2max increased significantly 11-15% with training in both groups. Significant training changes for MAP shown in Table (mmHg, mean±SE); SBP and PP paralleled these results. Significance remained after covarying for BMI, %body fat, and age.










105.9 ±1.9

112.3 ±2.1

115.2 ±1.8

111.4 ±1.9

99.7 ±2.3



99.8 ±1.5*

104.1 ±1.2*

110.4 ±1.3*

105.9 ±1.3*

93.6 ±1.3*



105.1 ±1.9

110.1 ±1.8

113.9 ±1.3

111.1 ±1.7

99.6 ±2.1



103.0 ±1.9

106.8 ±2.1

112.1 ±1.5

110.8 ±1.7

101.4 ±2.5

* = Within group by time (p<0.05). Bruce Protocol Stage (STG) 1, 2, Peak; Recovery (REC) 1,5 minutes

CONCLUSION: ATM significantly reduces exercise blood pressures. These data suggest ATM may provide a superior benefit over LTM for promoting said reduction.



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