The aim of this study was to compare, by means of a systematic review and meta-analysis, the effects of resistance training with and without blood flow restriction (BFR) on blood pressure (BP).Materials and methods:
This review was composed according to the preferred Reporting items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Searches were carried out in the databases PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science. BP was the main outcome for the analysis of the acute, post-exercise, and chronic effect of resistance exercise with and without BFR. Search results were limited to studies investigating the effect of resistance training with and without BFR on acute or chronic BP, published in a scientific peer-reviewed journal in English.Key findings:
Seventeen references were eligible. During exercise, the diastolic BP (DBP) was higher in exercise with BFR (ES = 17.84) in comparison to traditional exercise with loads ≥60% 1RM (ES = 5.53; P < 0.01); and the systolic BP (SBP) and DBP were higher during exercise with BFR in hypertensive individuals (ES = 69.83 and 43.66) in comparison to traditional exercise with loads <60% 1RM (ES = 48.05 and 28.37; P < 0.05). In the post-exercise analysis, exercise with BFR presented lower values for SBP (ES = −5.13; P = 0.02) and DBP (ES = −4.70; P < 0.01).Significance:
Although resistance exercise with BFR resulted in greater post-exercise hypotension than traditional exercise, higher SBP and/or DBP values were observed during exercise with BFR compared to traditional exercise, especially in hypertensive individuals. Thus, exercise with BFR should be prescribed with caution when BP control is necessary during exercise.