Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Fall 2019

Department 1

Health Sciences


Blood Flow Restriction Training (BFR) is an innovative training technique that has recently stupefied scientific research. Experiments continuously question the effectiveness of the phenomenon, which claims the ability to induce similar muscular hypertrophy and strength of higher-load resistance training, despite a resistance level of around 20-30% of an individual’s 1RM (O’Halloran, 2014; Scott, 2016). The most crucial aspect of BFR is that an individual needs to be engaging in physical activity while restricted by some sort of wrapping device. These devices could be a cuff, elastic knee wrap, or more, as long as there’s decreased blood flow to the recruited muscle (O’Halloran, 2014; Scott, 2016; Lixandrao, 2018). The restriction device should be placed at the upper arm and/or the upper thigh. Other positions on the body, such as the forearm or upper calf, may cause serious damage because of the superficial placement of nerves in those areas (O’Halloran, 2014; Scott, 2016; Lixandrao, 2018). The cuffing devices restrict venous return to the heart while maintaining arterial inflow during exercise (Laurentino, 2012; O’Halloran, 2014). The BFR concept stems from Kaatsu training, which was discovered by Dr. Sato in 1960’s Japan, who noticed edema building in his body while kneeling, a similar sensation to what he experienced during high resistance training (O’Halloran, 2014; Lixandrao, 2018). BFR’s hypertrophic results are provoked by the body’s cardiovascular, neuromuscular, and immune responses to the restricted blood flow (O’Halloran, 2014; Silva, 2019; Cook, 2010; Hwang, 2019; Da, 2019). The personal, acute, physiological response to BFR exercise translates differently due to the overload or disuse an individual exposes themselves to on the regular (Scott, 2016).


Written for HS 311: Neuromuscular Physiology.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.