Blood Flow Restriction Training
Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training involves the application of a cuff or tourniquet proximal to the muscle(s) that are targeted to train or strengthen. The cuff or cuffs are inflated to a pressure to partially occlude arterial and venous flow.
This enables the muscle(s) to be trained at a lower intensity than usual training (10-30% of 1 repetition max) whilst achieving the same gains in muscle hypertrophy and muscle strength as higher intensity or loads.
This is an extremely valuable method of training in populations where high intensity or high load training is not possible such as post-operatively, chronic pain conditions or painful joint conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Short duration, low intensity BFR training of 4-6 weeks has resulted in a 10 - 20% increase in muscle strength and is similar to strength gains resulting from high-intensity exercise without BFR.