The Secrets of Blood Flow Restriction Training

Did you know that you can gain muscle when rehabbing by lifting light weights with a tourniquet around your muscle?

We know what you’re thinking: Tourniquet training?

Yes, you read that right.

An exciting form of advanced physical therapy called Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFR) has proven to be especially useful after a regenerative cell procedure to strengthen the muscles around an affected joint.

The way it works is quite simple: after partially restricting blood flow using a series of well-calibrated, inflatable Velcro bands (tourniquets), patients perform muscle contractions to increase the size, strength and endurance of healing muscles.

It’s like lifting weights, but with tight cuffs on your arms or legs.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • BFR training can be performed 2-3 times a week for three works OR 1-2 times a day for less than three week
  • A good ratio for upper body and lower body is 40% arms to 50% legs (or even 50/50)
  • BFR is best used with four reps per set, in the following sequence: 30-15-15-15
  • Maximum wear time for the cuffs is 20 minutes
  • The ideal loads will be 20% to 50% of a patient’s one rep maximum lift
  • Repetitions should be slow, up to two full seconds for each positive and negative movement
  • Rest should be anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds between sets

Click here for Dr. Purita’s extended blog post on the science behind BFR training.


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