Blood Flow Restriction Training in Kansas City
One of the many services offered by F.I.T. Muscle & Joint Clinic is blood flow restriction training in Kansas City.
This method, combined with our other techniques, helps patients across the Kansas City metro recover from injury and surgery. It also helps improve aerobic capacity, muscle performance, work capacity, and more.
Learn more about blood flow restriction training below from the experts at F.I.T.
What is Blood Flow Restriction Training?
Blood flow restriction (or BFR) training is a method that has been used in the fitness industry for a number of years. This is due to its effectiveness in improving muscular size, strength, and endurance.
Since the results of BFR occur when using 20-30% of the loads typically required to see similar gains in muscular size and strength during resistance training, BFR training has rapidly gained popularity and exposure in the world of rehabilitation.
That’s right: with BFR training, one can see similar improvements in muscular size and strength from resistance training at only 20-30% of an individual’s one-rep max load, compared to the improvements one would typically receive when training with loads of 70% of an individual’s one-rep max.
In situations where one may not be able to tolerate higher overall loads (post-surgery, tendonitis/tendinosis conditions, ligament sprains, muscle tears, etc.), instead of experiencing a greater loss of muscle size and strength during the phases of rehab, one can continue to make meaningful progressions without excessively taxing compromised or sensitive tissue (Bowman, et al 2019).
How does it work: blood flow restriction training in Kansas City?
Blood flow restriction training works by using either a specialized band or a specialized pressure cuff (a safer and more specific approach) on the upper part of the arms or legs.
This “occludes” (or limits) a specific amount of blood entering the limb supplied by the arteries and a specific amount of blood returning to core regions of the body via the veins. The pressures used to occlude the selected limb or limbs are calculated and specific to the individual, so it is not a one-size-fits-all method and needs to be personalized for each person for optimal results and maximum safety.
Using wider cuffs allows us to achieve lower pressures for proper occlusion. First, we determine the specific “occlusion pressure” for the individual. Next, we select the specific training protocol and implement it based upon the situation and desired outcome.
Limiting blood flow in order to improve muscle growth, tissue healing, and recovery may seem counterintuitive. However, BFR is safe and highly effective when used on an individual that has been appropriately screened, according to multiple studies.
The exact mechanisms behind why blood flow restriction training can achieve such significant improvements in strength, endurance, and other variables are not entirely certain. The benefits from BFR seem to be from a combination of a heightened hormonal response (both local to the limb and systemically). This includes a large spike in growth hormone and other metabolic factors that signal cell repair and growth, mechanical loading, and the cellular swelling that takes place on a micro-scale (Clark et al 2010; Kim et al, 2014).
There is also research that shows there are improvements in muscle hypertrophy in the opposite limb being trained under BFR (Abe T et al, 2012). This means that even the opposite limb (whether it’s upper or lower extremity) receives a stimulus to promote increases in muscular size and strength. This is, again, due to a systemic effect produced by training under occlusion.
To put it simply, blood flow restriction training in Kansas City allows us to use low loads with resistance and aerobic training to maximize the body’s ability to strengthen, grow, recover and heal.
Instead of letting the muscles and connective tissues in the limb atrophy and create an even longer recovery time, BFR can help mitigate these losses in surgical situations (Kubota et al, 2008).
In conjunction with a rehabilitation and sports-performance program from the F.I.T. Muscle & Joint team, BFR is a tool that has evidence for maximizing outcomes and recovery. It also helps patients recover and perform to the best of their ability.
Want to learn more about blood restriction training in Kansas City?
Contact us today to learn more. You can schedule your consultation at one of our five convenient metro locations. We are located in Lee's Summit, Blue Valley, the Crossroads KC, Overland Park, and Shawnee. You can also use our online Virtual Consultation Tool to discover which treatments or techniques will work best for you.
Abe T, Loenneke JP, Fahs CA, et al. : Exercise intensity and muscle hypertrophy in blood flow-restricted limbs and non-restricted muscles: a brief review. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging, 2012, 32: 247–252.
Bowman EN, et al: Proximal, Distal, and Contralateral Effects of Blood Flow Restriction Training on the Lower Extremities: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Sports Health, 2019: 149-156.
Clark, B C et al. “Relative safety of 4 weeks of blood flow-restricted resistance exercise in young, healthy adults.” Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports vol. 21,5 (2010): 653-62.
Cook SB, Brown KA, Deruisseau K, et al. : Skeletal muscle adaptations following blood flow-restricted training during 30 days of muscular unloading. J Appl Physiol 1985, 2010, 109: 341–349.
Kim E, Gregg LD, Kim L, et al. : Hormone responses to an acute bout of low intensity blood flow restricted resistance exercise in college-aged females. J Sports Sci Med, 2014, 13: 91–96.
Kubota A, et al: Prevention of disuse muscular weakness by restriction of blood flow. Med Sci Sports Exerc., 2008: 529-34.