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Blood Flow Restriction Training: A Strength Training Hack

A new treatment that we’re implementing in the clinic is blood flow restriction training (BFRT). BFRT is the brief and intermittent occlusion of blood flow using blood pressure cuffs as a tourniquet while exercising at low intensities. Lower intensity is utilized by using lower weights or less strenuous exercise; however, due to blood flow not getting back to our heart as quickly, it creates a more fatigued environment and muscle which mimics higher intensity exercises. Therefore, it is a great tool to use when higher intensities and resistances aren’t tolerated well. For example, a few weeks after shoulder surgery the muscle activation has decreased, and muscle typically loses some size called atrophy. BFRT can shorten the duration needed to achieve muscle growth, muscle strength, and increase cardiovascular function. To determine if BFRT is something that you may benefit from or any other blood flow restriction questions and concerns; ask your physical therapist or reach out to get scheduled.

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