Cutaneous vascular responses to isometric handgrip exercise

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1989 Apr;66(4):1586-92. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1989.66.4.1586.


Cutaneous vascular responses to dynamic exercise have been well characterized, but it is not known whether that response pattern applies to isometric handgrip exercise. We examined cutaneous vascular responses to isometric handgrip and dynamic leg exercise in five supine men. Skin blood flow was measured by laser-Doppler velocimetry and expressed as laser-Doppler flow (LDF). Arterial blood pressure was measured noninvasively once each minute. Cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) was calculated as LDF/mean arterial pressure. LDF and CVC responses were measured at the forearm and chest during two 3-min periods of isometric handgrip at 30% of maximum voluntary contraction and expressed as percent changes from the preexercise levels. The skin was normothermic (32 degrees C) for the first period of handgrip and was locally warmed to 39 degrees C for the second handgrip. Finally, responses were observed during 5 min of dynamic two-leg bicycle exercise (150-175 W) at a local skin temperature of 39 degrees C. Arm LDF increased 24.5 +/- 18.9% during isometric handgrip in normothermia and 64.8 +/- 14.1% during isometric handgrip at 39 degrees C (P less than 0.05). Arm CVC did not significantly change at 32 degrees C but significantly increased 18.1 +/- 6.5% during isometric handgrip at 39 degrees C (P less than 0.05). Arm LDF decreased 12.2 +/- 7.9% during dynamic exercise at 39 degrees C, whereas arm CVC fell by 35.3 +/- 4.6% (in each case P less than 0.05). Chest LDF and CVC showed similar responses.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Exercise*
  • Hand
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Skin / blood supply*