Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Cheri L. McGowan


Biological sciences, Health and environmental sciences, Blood pressure, Cardiovascular stress reactivity, Hypertension, Isometric exercise, Isometric handgrip, Psychophysiological stressors



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The objective of this thesis was to replicate findings that isometric handgrip (IHG) training lowers resting blood pressure (BP), determine whether cardiovascular reactivity to a serial subtraction task (SST), IHG task (IHGT), and cold-pressor task (CPT) predict the post-IHG training hypotensive response in hypertensives, and investigate whether cardiovascular reactivity is attenuated following training. Resting BP and cardiovascular reactivity to a SST, IHGT, and CPT were determined prior-to and following 10-weeks of IHG training (n=12) or non-exercising control (n=12). Post-IHG training reductions in BP were observed ( P <0.05), whereby reductions in systolic BP were related to pre-training cardiovascular reactivity to the SST (P <0.05) and IHGT (P <0.05), but not the CPT (P >0.05). Systolic BP reactivity to the SST and IHGT was significantly reduced in the IHG training group (P <0.05), compared to control. These results highlight promising clinical implications for hypertensives, and provide a tool to identify hypertensives who will respond to IHG training.