The acute effect of strength exercises at different intensities on intraocular pressure.

Jesús Vera, Amador García-Ramos, Raimundo Jiménez, David Cárdenas.

Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 255 (11), 2211-2217.



This study aimed to determine the effect of two basic strength exercises with progressive loads on intraocular pressure (IOP).

Seventeen (out of 20 recruited) physically active male military officers (46 ± 4.77 years) performed the jump squat and the ballistic bench press exercises, in counterbalanced order, with four and five progressive loads, respectively. IOP was measured with a rebound tonometer before and after each of the corresponding loads.

IOP linearly increases with heavier loads for the jump squat (r = 0.976) and the ballistic bench press (r = 0.991) exercises. A significant IOP elevation was observed during the jump squat test (p < 0.001), and Bonferroni-Holm correction revealed that ~75% of one repetition maximum (RM) was able to promote significant changes in IOP with respect to the other three loads (all corrected p values <0.05), whereas the load corresponding to ~65%RM and ~60%RM induced a significant IOP rise when compared with the load of ~50%RM (corrected p-values of 0.43 in both cases). For its part, IOP significantly increases with the bench press test (p < 0.001), and performing the ~50%RM load was enough to induce significant IOP changes (corrected p-value <0.01).

Acute performance of jump squat and ballistic bench press lead to a significant increase of IOP, and 5 min of rest are enough to recover baseline IOP values. There is a strong linear association between the increase in load and the IOP rise for both exercises, and bench press execution produces a significantly higher IOP increase when compared with the jump squat for the same relative loads.