Resistance training increases basal limb blood flow and vascular conductance in aging humans

Maria M. Anton, Miriam Y. Cortez-Cooper, Allison E. DeVan, Daria B. Neidre, Jill N. Cook, Hirofumi Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Age-related reductions in basal limb blood flow and vascular conductance are associated with the metabolic syndrome, functional impairments, and osteoporosis. We tested the hypothesis that a strength training program would increase basal femoral blood flow in aging adults. Twenty-six sedentary but healthy middle-aged and older subjects were randomly assigned to either a whole body strength training intervention group (52 ± 2 yr, 3 men, 10 women) who underwent three supervised resistance training sessions per week for 13 wk or a control group (53 ± 2 yr, 4 men, 9 women) who participated in a supervised stretching program. At baseline, there were no significant differences in blood pressure, cardiac output, basal femoral blood flow (via Doppler ultrasound), vascular conductance, and vascular resistance between the two groups. The strength training group increased maximal strength in all the major muscle groups tested (P < 0.05). Whole body lean body mass increased (P < 0.05) with strength training, but leg fat-free mass did not. Basal femoral blood flow and vascular conductance increased by 55-60% after strength training (both P < 0.05). No such changes were observed in the control group. In both groups, there were no significant changes in brachial blood pressure, plasma endothelin-1 and angiotensin II concentrations, femoral artery wall thickness, cardiac output, and systemic vascular resistance. Our results indicate that short-term strength training increases basal femoral blood flow and vascular conductance in healthy middle-aged and older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1355
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2006


  • Hemodynamics
  • Strength exercise
  • Ultrasonics
  • Vascular resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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