Isometric exercise, such as planking, was found to be most effective in lowering blood pressure.
Brisk walking, bicycling, and swimming are exercises recommended by doctors to control high blood pressure. However, a study has found that isometric exercises such as planks and walsheets are more effective in lowering high blood pressure than these aerobic exercises.

Researchers from the University of Christchurch, Canterbury, UK, looked at clinical trial data on the effects of exercise training interventions lasting more than two weeks on resting blood pressure. The research team classified and analyzed △aerobic exercise △dynamic resistance exercise △a combination of aerobic and dynamic resistance exercise △isometric exercise.

Healthy resting blood pressure was defined as less than 130/85 mmHg, prehypertension as 130 to 139/85 to 89 mmHg, and hypertension as 140/90 mmHg or greater.

An analysis of 270 clinical trials involving more than 16,000 participants between 1990 and 2023 found significant decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure at rest after all different categories of exercise.

In particular, after isometric exercise, systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased by 8.24/4 mmHg, the most significantly. The combination of aerobic and dynamic resistance exercise recorded reductions of 6.04/2.54 mmHg, dynamic resistance exercise by 4.55/3.04 mmHg, aerobic exercise by 4.49/2.53 mmHg, and high-intensity interval training by 4.08/2.50 mmHg.

Further analysis found that walsheet for isometric exercise and running for aerobic exercise were the most effective individual exercises for lowering blood pressure. Isometric exercise is an exercise in which the muscle contracts but does not change its length or movement. For example, it is an exercise such as pressing the palms together and pushing each other.

Representative isometric exercises include planks and wall seats. Double wall-sits can be viewed as squats leaning against a wall. Exercise methods such as planks and walsheets are well introduced on the Internet or YouTube.