Battling rope (BTR) exercise has become incredibly popular among not only fitness enthusiasts and athletes but in the general exercising population. Despite its popularity, research regarding the acute cardiovascular responses to BTR exercise is limited. This investigation evaluated the effects of acute BTR exercise on heart rate variability (HRV) and blood pressure (BP) responses in young men with elevated BP.
Eleven young men with elevated BP completed either a BTR or a non-exercise control trial in randomized order. The BTR trial consisted of 10 rounds of BTR exercise. Each round included 30 seconds of exercise followed by 30 seconds of rest. HRV and BP were evaluated at baseline and 3, 10, and 30 minutes following each trial.
There were significant elevations (p ˂0.01) in heart rate, markers of sympathetic activity (nLF), and sympathovagal balance (LnLF/LnHF, nLF/nHF) for 30 minutes following the BTR trial, whereas no changes from baseline were detected after control. Additionally, there were significant reductions (p ˂0.01) in markers of vagal tone (RMSSD, LnHF and nHF) and LnLF (both sympathetic and vagal modulations) for 30 minutes; as well as (p ˂0.01) systolic BP and diastolic BP at 10 and 30 minutes after the BTR, but not the control trial.
Current findings revealed that BTR exercise elevates sympathovagal balance for 30 minutes post-intervention, which is concurrent with an impressive hypotensive effect. Further investigations are warranted to assess the potential clinical application of BTR exercise not only in cohorts needing BP control but also in populations with limited locomotion that might benefit from post-exercise hypotension.

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