Blood flow restriction training can help patients gain greater gains in strength training while lifting lighter loads, thus reducing overall stress placed on the limb. Blood flow restriction training is a technique that can be used to perform exercises with a reduced amount of blood flow to the arm or leg. This is often done with a cuff or strap that fits tightly around the limb to reduce, but not completely occlude, blood flow. The benefit of blood flow restriction training is that it allows the person to exercise with less intensity, but still have the benefits of high intensity training.
Occlusion training involves disrupting blood flow to the limbs at work. A tourniquet or bracelet is placed around the limb and the pressure increases as the workout begins. Blood flow restriction exercise stimulates mTORC1 signaling and muscle protein synthesis in older men. The effects of blood flow restriction on the musculature of the upper body located distal and proximal to the applied pressure.
However, that said, it is now recognized that blood flow restriction can improve adaptive responses to low-load endurance exercise and the observed adaptations depend both on the blood flow restriction stimulus itself and on the exercise protocol performed. When implementing blood flow restriction, the cuff width should be appropriate and the restrictive pressure should be specific to each individual limb. Interestingly, blood flow restriction creates hypertrophic muscle responses without high mechanical loads, but the underlying physiological mechanisms are not fully understood. Changes in muscle strength after blood flow restriction training are more closely related to the rapid increase in muscle hypertrophy than to neural adaptations.
Constantly growing research supports the use of blood flow restriction in combination with low-load resistance training. Effects of low-intensity endurance exercise with blood flow restriction on the coagulation system in healthy subjects. Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training can be an excellent rehabilitation tool because it allows patients to reap the benefits of an intense heavy weight lifting session, while only requiring the patient to do low-to-moderate intensity training. Although blood flow restriction training has been shown to be safe, and injuries resulting from this type of training are rare, there are several contraindications to bfr training that must be taken into account in order to perform it safely.
The amount of pressure needed to occlude blood flow in the limb depends on the size of the limb, the underlying soft tissue, the width of the cuff, and the device used. Muscle size and strength increase after walking training with restricted venous blood flow of the leg muscle, Kaatsu-walk training.