Comparing Post-Exercise Recovery of Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Following Arm Cranking and Leg Cycling Aerobic Exercise in Young Healthy Men

JULS Volume 10, Issue 1

Cindy H. Nguyen1, Danielle Bentley1, Scott Thomas1

1 Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Corresponding Author: Cindy H. Nguyen (


Aerobic exercise is commonly used as a non-pharmacological intervention to manage high blood pressure. Post-exercise cardiovascular responses (blood pressure and heart rate) may be important to long term adaptations. Little is known about cardiovascular recovery following different modes of aerobic exercise with distinct muscle mass involvement. The primary research objective was to characterize and directly compare the post-exercise recovery of cardiovascular variables (blood pressure and heart rate) following arm cranking and leg cycling aerobic exercise. Eight young healthy, normotensive men, (mean±SD; age 21.9 ± 2.3 years) were recruited. Following a familiarization session, participants randomly completed three separate 15-minute intervention sessions: control (seated rest), arm cranking (at 40% heart rate reserve (HRR)), and leg cycling (at 40% HRR). The 30-minute post-exercise time was divided into two recovery periods (R1: 0-15min & R2: 15-30min). Length and circumference measurements confirmed greater thigh compared to arm mass. Recovery following exercise cessation was similar between exercise modalities. Specifically, there was an insignificant interaction effect of time x modality for the systolic blood pressure (p = 0.66), the diastolic blood pressure (p=0.33), and the mean arterial pressure responses (p=0.59). The response of HR showed a main effect of time (R1: 12.1 ± 7.8bpm, R2: 9.5 ± 8.9bpm, p < 0.05) and a main effect of modality (Arm: 8.3 ± 8.4bpm, Leg: 13.2 ± 9.1 bpm, p < 0.05) with an insignificant interaction (p = 0.90). These findings suggest that among young, healthy men, muscle mass may not influence cardiovascular recovery following aerobic exercise.