• arterial stiffness;
  • blood flow restriction;
  • vascular conductance


Low-intensity resistance exercise combined with blood flow restriction has been shown to produce comparable increases in muscle strength and hypertrophy as traditional high-intensity (HI) resistance training. However, the vascular effects of low-intensity blood flow–restricted (LI-BFR) exercise training are not well characterized. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the vascular effects of LI-BFR, moderate-intensity (MI), and HI resistance exercise training. Forty-six young men were divided into four groups: a HI, MI or LI-BFR lower body resistance training group or a non-exercise control group (C). Blood pressure, arterial compliance and calf vascular conductance (CVC) were assessed before and after the 6-week intervention. After the intervention, CVC was significantly increased in the three exercise groups combined compared with C (47·5 ± 3·1 versus 35·0 ± 4·5 flow per mmHg) without any changes in arterial compliance in any group. These results suggest HI, MI and LI-BFR lower body resistance exercises increase CVC, but do not affect arterial compliance. LI-BFR resistance exercise may be an effective alternative to HI resistance exercise for improving vascular conductance for individuals unable to perform HI resistance exercise. As more evidence concerning the safety and efficacy of LI-BFR resistance exercise continues to mount, this may provide a research base for prescribing this type of exercise if and/or when this type of exercise becomes more available worldwide.