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Is Blood Flow Restriction Training Beneficial for Athletes?

Bagley, James R. PhD1; Rosengarten, Jakob J. BS, CSCS2; Galpin, Andrew J. PhD, CSCS*D, CPT*D2

Strength and Conditioning Journal: June 2015 - Volume 37 - Issue 3 - p 48–53
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000132
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ABSTRACT BLOOD FLOW RESTRICTION (BFR) TRAINING INVOLVES USING SPECIALIZED STRAPS TO INTENTIONALLY REDUCE CIRCULATION (OCCLUDE) TO EXERCISING MUSCLES. THE ADDITION OF BFR TO STANDARD TRAINING APPROACHES RESULTS IN GREATER MUSCLE HYPERTROPHY AND PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS IN UNTRAINED AND CLINICAL POPULATIONS. HOWEVER, ITS IMPLICATIONS IN HEALTHY ATHLETES HAVE NOT BEEN REVIEWED. THE AIM OF THIS ARTICLE IS TO PROVIDE A CONCISE OVERVIEW OF THE PRACTICALITY OF BFR TRAINING FOR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE. ALTHOUGH INITIAL FINDINGS SHOW PROMISE, BFR TRAINING IS RELATIVELY NEW AND MORE RESEARCH IS NEEDED TO ESTABLISH SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR VOLUME, INTENSITY, FREQUENCY, EXERCISE SELECTION, DURATION, AND STRAP PRESSURE.

1Department of Kinesiology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California; and

2Center for Sport Performance, Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, California

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors report no conflicts of interest and no source of funding.

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James R. Bagleyis an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at San Francisco State University.

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Jakob J. Rosengartenis a graduate student in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton.

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Andrew J. Galpinis an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton.

© 2015 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association