One of the newest training tools used in performance and rehab industries is blood flow restriction or BFR. It can help provide hypertrophy and strength gains. Strength coaches, physiotherapists, and individuals have testified how it helped them reach new levels of performance.
The training volume of an athlete is often limited by one’s ability to recover from training sessions. Athletes are always looking for ways to help them recover faster. That’s where blood flow restriction comes into play.
In simple terms, blow flow restriction is restricting blood flow to one’s extremities while training. Individuals use a tourniquet device for this purpose. Through BFR, one can achieve faster recovery that will lead to greater amount of high-quality training. The athlete will get more gains over time.
Blood flow restriction doesn’t cause any damage to the muscles. It doesn’t break down the fibers of the muscle, and at the same time increase recovery. According to studies, there is no increase in delayed onset muscle soreness after blood flow restriction.
BFR helps in improving the production of growth hormones, which is the key element in the synthesis of collagen. By improving collagen synthesis, the body increases its ability to heal ligaments and tendons.
Training can damage muscles. If the body has higher tendon breakdown than tendon synthesis, it can lead to tendon injuries. Increased levels of growth hormones lead to greater tendon stiffness and cross-sectional area.
Growth hormone is also linked with the increased healing of the bones. Through blood flow restriction, an athlete could prevent stress fractures. BFR also improves insulin-like growth factor -1 or IGF-1. It fosters better protein synthesis that will help rebuild muscles.
Blood flow restriction is the last activity you should do before completing your gym session. You can do lower or upper body, but you should consider doing lower body if you want faster muscle recovery.