A brand new research paper form the British Journal of Sports Medicine (fresh off the press in July 2023) rates the plank and the wall sit. I can hear you all groaning!
So, what does this paper have to say about these 2 exercises?
The research paper looked at how different types of exercise can help lower our blood pressure. Dissecting the results of 270 different trials where people did exercises, conclusions were drawn on what types of exercise lowered blood pressure. This is called anti-hypertensive exercise. In total, they looked at information from about 15,800 people, over several differing exercise such as running, weights, isometrics, and high intensity.
The results showed that all kinds of exercise can indeed lower blood pressure. For example, when people did aerobic exercises like jogging, both blood pressure numbers ( systolic and diastolic) went down. Lifting weights and high-intensity workouts were also effective at lowering blood pressure.
However, the researchers found that the exercise where you hold still, like the plank and wall sits, were the best at reducing blood pressure.These isometric-style exercises lowered both systolic and diastolic blood pressures greater than the other styles of exercise.
There you go!
Reference: Edwards JJ, Deenmamode AHP, Griffiths M, Arnold O, Coooper N, Wiles, JD, O'Driscoll JM (2023). Exercise training and resting blood pressure: a large scale pairwise and network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ /BJSports 106503