The effects of isometric wall squat exercise on heart rate and blood pressure in a normotensive population

J Sports Sci. 2014;32(2):129-36. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2013.809471. Epub 2013 Jul 24.


The isometric wall squat could be utilised in home-based training aimed at reducing resting blood pressure, but first its suitability must be established. The aim of this study was to determine a method of adjusting wall squat intensity and explore the cardiovascular responses. Twenty-three participants performed one 2 minute wall squat on 15 separate occasions. During the first ten visits, ten different knee joint angles were randomly completed from 135° to 90° in 5° increments; five random angles were repeated in subsequent visits. Heart rate and blood pressure (systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressure) were measured. The heart rate and blood pressure parameters produced significant inverse relationships with joint angle (r at least -0.80; P < 0.05), demonstrating that wall squat intensity can be adjusted by manipulating knee joint angle. Furthermore, the wall squat elicited similar cardiovascular responses to other isometric exercise modes that have reduced resting blood pressure (135° heart rate: 76 ± 10 beats ∙ min(-1); systolic: 134 ± 14 mmHg; diastolic: 76 ± 6 mmHg and 90° heart rate: 119 ± 20 beats ∙ min(-1); systolic: 196 ± 18 mmHg; diastolic: 112 ± 13 mmHg). The wall squat may have a useful role to play in isometric training aimed at reducing resting blood pressure.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint
  • Leg* / physiology
  • Male
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Rest / physiology
  • Young Adult