Intra-abdominal and intra-thoracic pressures during lifting and jumping

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1988 Apr;20(2):195-201. doi: 10.1249/00005768-198820020-00015.


In order to investigate intra-thoracic pressure (ITP) and intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) during lifting and jumping, 11 males were monitored as they performed the dead lift (DL), slide row (SR), leg press (LP), bench press (BP), and box lift (BL) at 50, 75 and 100% of each subject's four-repetition maxima, the vertical jump (VJ), drop jump (DJ) from 0.5 and 1.0 m heights, and Valsalva maneuver (VM). Measurements were made of peak pressure, time from pressure rise to switch-marked initiation of body movement, and time from the movement to peak pressure. The highest ITP and IAP occurred during VM (22.2 +/- 6.0 and 26.6 +/- 6.7 kPa, respectively) with one individual reaching 36.9 kPa (277 mm Hg) IAP. In ascending order of peak ITP during the highest resistance sets, the activities were SR, BP, VJ, DJ, DL, BL, LP, and VM, while the order for IAP was BP, VJ, DJ, BL, DL, LP, SR, and VM. Pressures significantly (P less than 0.05) increased with amount of weight lifted, rising before and peaking after the weight moved. IAP generally rose earlier and was of greater magnitude than ITP. For the jumps, pressure rose and diminished before the feet lost contact with the ground. Drop-jump height did not affect pressure. Correlation of pressure with weight lifted was fair to good for most activities.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / physiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc / physiology
  • Male
  • Pressure
  • Sports*
  • Thorax / physiology*
  • Track and Field*
  • Valsalva Maneuver
  • Weight Lifting*