Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) is a training method proven to accelerate strength gains of exercises performed at lower intensities. Lifting lighter loads reduces the overall stress on the limb and avoids muscle breakdown.
BFR training uses an inflatable tourniquet (known as a “cuff” or elastic band) secured to the top of the arm or the leg (or both), restricting blood flow during exercise. This regimen is excellent for those recovering from an injury, athletes who want to maintain performance during rehabilitation, and for older adults to help safely lift heavy weights.
Benefits of BFR Training:
- Improve healing of soft tissues (tendons, ligaments, etc.)
- Improve VO2 max
- Increase bone density
- Improve blood flow through vascular growth
- Faster adaptations compared to high intensity training
- Less painful than equivalent high intensity training
- Less muscle damage compared to strength training
- Increase human growth hormone (HGH)
BFR Training Overview
A BFR-trained physical therapist will perform a thorough evaluation of blood flow occlusion pressure at each limb and make calculations to find the safest and most effective pressure to use during training. Your PT will then lead you through a personalized exercise program while you wear the BFR cuffs. Your exercise regimen is based on specific guidelines that help you get the most effective outcomes and achieve your fitness and rehabilitation goals.