Blood Flow Restriction Training Has a Positive Impact on Bone Health, Strength, and Stability.
Blood flow restriction (BFR) training was developed in Japan in the late 1960s by Yoshiaki Sato and is a form of resistance training that involves the application of a specialized cuff or band to partially restrict blood flow to the working muscles during exercise. This technique has gained popularity in recent years due to its ability to enhance muscle size, strength, and endurance while using lighter weights, and in less time.
However, BFR training offers benefits beyond just muscular adaptations. It can also have a positive impact on bone health, strength, and stability, which are crucial for healthy aging and optimal athletic performance.
➡ Impact on Bone Health
Bone health is essential for overall health and quality of life, especially as we age. Studies have shown that BFR training can have a positive impact on bone mineral density (BMD) by increasing bone turnover and stimulating the production of osteoblasts, which are responsible for bone formation.
In one study, BFR training was shown to improve BMD in postmenopausal women, who are at an increased risk of osteoporosis due to hormonal changes. This suggests that BFR training may be a viable option for improving bone health in older populations.
➡ Impact on Strength & Stability
BFR training has been shown to increase muscle strength and endurance, even when using lighter weights. This is because the restricted blood flow causes a buildup of metabolites such as lactate and an increase of growth hormones, which stimulates muscle fiber recruitment and growth.
Additionally, BFR training can improve stability and balance by strengthening the muscles responsible for maintaining posture and preventing falls. This is especially important for older adults, who are at a higher risk of falls and fractures.
➡ Impact on Athletic Performance:
Athletes love BFR training because with BFR training you create 4 profound effects in the body that are not attainable with traditional training methods:
- Less load on the body
- A big nitric oxide release
- Complete and deeper slow & fast twitch fiber recruitment
- A post-BFR growth hormone surge
When you combine these 4 effects in the body of an athlete, you will see significant performance changes and a lowered risk of injury.
If you’re interested in incorporating blood flow restriction (BFR) training into your exercise routine, it’s important to do so safely and properly. Here are some ways to get started with BFR, as well as some precautions and contraindications to keep in mind:
☑ Consult with a healthcare professional.
Before starting any new exercise program, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that it’s safe for you to do so, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries.
☑ Use proper equipment.
BFR training requires the use of specialized cuffs or bands that are designed to partially restrict blood flow to the working muscles. We recommend these B3 Sciences bands.
☑ Start with light weights.
BFR training can be effective with lighter weights as compared to traditional resistance training. Start with 20-50% of your one-repetition maximum (1RM) and gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable with the technique.
☑ Use a higher number of repetitions.
BFR training typically involves higher repetitions than traditional resistance training. Aim for 15-30 repetitions per set.
☑ Limit the duration of the exercise.
BFR training can be more fatiguing than traditional resistance training, so it’s important to limit the duration of the exercise. Aim for 15-20 minutes of BFR training per session.
⊗ BFR training should not be done on injured or sore muscles.
⊗ If you experience any pain, numbness, or tingling during BFR training, stop the exercise immediately.
⊗ Always make sure that the cuff or band is not too tight and is properly positioned on the limb.
⊗ BFR training is not recommended for individuals with high blood pressure or a history of blood clots.
⊗ It is also not recommended for individuals with peripheral artery disease or other circulation disorders.
⊗ Pregnant women should avoid BFR training.
BFR training can be a safe and effective way to improve muscle size, strength, and endurance, as well as bone health, stability, and balance. However, it’s important to start slowly, use proper equipment, and consult with a healthcare professional to understand precautions and contraindications before starting a new exercise program.
Looking to incorporate BFR training into your routine to help you achieve your goals? Seek advisement with our specialists, and let us guide you with the most effective practices for your unique needs! We offer a wellness-focused & supportive environment that can help you achieve your goals. Be sure to check our social media and blog updates for regular wellness inspiration, information, offers, and support.
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