This study compared cardiovascular responses to static extension and flexion exercises at four upper and lower limb joints. Eight males performed a 2 min static contraction at 30% of maximal voluntary torque followed immediately by 2 min post-exercise muscle ischaemia (PEMI) using each of four joints: the wrist, elbow, ankle, and knee. In the PEMI, an occlusion cuff placed around the proximal portion of the exercising muscle was inflated to 250 mmHg immediately before the cessation of exercise. Mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), calf blood flow, and calf vascular conductance (CVC) in the non-exercised calf were measured. There was a significant interaction for direction of movement (extension vs. flexion) and limb (upper vs. lower) in HR and CVC during both exercise and PEMI; extension in the wrist and elbow evoked a greater increase in HR and a greater decrease in CVC than flexion, whereas flexion in the ankle and knee elicited a greater increase in HR and a greater decrease in CVC than extension. These results suggest that the cardiovascular responses to extension and flexion differ between arms and legs, partly arising from the activation of the muscle metaboreflex.
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