• Blood Flow Restriction Training

    December 24, 2020 | By Courtney Long

    Blood Flow Restriction Training

    A guide recovery.

    Blood flow restriction training is a powerful tool physiotherapists use frequently. After an injury, there is often the work of physiotherapy and healing and the potential frustration of lost strength.  An injury can limit your range of motion as well as the ability to lift heavier weights.  During the time healing time, most people want to ensure that they stay healthy and strong.  Innovation Physical Therapy has put together some useful information on Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFR) to help facilitate healing.


    What is blood flow restriction training?

    Blood Flow Restriction or BFR training uses FDA approved cuffs that are applied to your arms or legs. These cuffs are inflated to control the amount of blood and oxygen being delivered to your muscles. With the use of these cuffs, you can exercise at a low intensity but still experience similar gains to a high-intensity workout.


    What is the difference between a low-intensity workout and a high intensity work out?

    • Low-intensity workout – you are training at 20-35% of your one-rep maximum.
    • High-intensity workout – you are training at 65-90% of your one-rep max.

    For example, the maximum weight you can squat is 100 lbs. BFR training allows you to exercise at a low intensity (i.e. squatting 30 lbs; 30% of your one-rep maximum) to have similar gains of high-intensity workout (i.e. squatting 70 lbs; 70% of your one-rep maximum).


    What are the benefits?

    There are over 820 research articles published on BFR training. BFR training has proven to increase strength, prevent muscle wasting, increase muscle size, improve cardiovascular function and support soft tissue repair by indirectly triggering the release of Human Growth Hormone and IGF-1.


    Who can benefit from BFR training?

    BFR training is practical for almost anyone. Whether you are restricted to low-intensity exercises or looking to increase your gains at the end of a workout, BFR can help you. BFR training can be useful for situations such as the following:

    • Being in a cast due to a bone fracture,
    • Restricted to a partial weight-bearing status
    • Limitations due to pain
    • Pre and post joint replacement surgery
    • Strains
    • Sprains
    • Osteoporosis
    • Muscle deconditioning
    • Boosting natural anabolic hormones
    • And much more!


    Who should not utilize BFR training?

    BFR training is not suitable for any individual with heart conditions, high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, a history of blood clots or any individual who is pregnant.  If considering BFR Training, we strongly recommend contacting a professional at Innovation Physical Therapy to determine if BFR is a safe option for you.


    If you have any further questions about BFR Training or our other services, contact Innovation Physical Therapy today. We’re here to help you, “Love Getting Better!”