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Voodoo Floss BFR

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training - Occlusion Training

What is Blood Flow Restriction Training

Blood flow restriction (BFR) training is a technique that’s been around for decades, but is only now attracting the attention of fitness enthusiasts and therapists alike. BFR is a type of training that involves wrapping a device (such as bandages or cuffs) around small muscle groups (such as the upper arms, thighs, or calves) to restrict venous blood flow to the muscles. While BFR is not the right training technique for everyone, there are many benefits to this type of training - from improving aerobic capacity to speeding up recovery and reducing muscle soreness.

BFR may be used for rehabilitation, ordinary workout, or as accessory muscle building technique.

Skip this and go to the Blood Flow Restriction Technique below if you are not interested in theory.

voodoo floss bfr

BFR training was originally created in the 60’s of last century in Japan and known as KAATSU* training. A pneumatic cuff (tourniquet) is placed proximally to the muscle being exercised. You can apply it to either arms or legs. After that, the cuff is inflated to a given pressure in order to achieve partial arterial and full venous occlusion. The subject is then required to do resistance exercises at a moderate strength of 20-30% of 1RM, with high repetitions per set (15-30) and brief rest periods between sets (30 seconds).

*Kaatsu strength training is a type of strength training that uses a specially designed tourniquet for occlusion resistance training. It was considered an alternative medicine treatment in Japanese hospitals. Although kaatsu training is considered to be safe, it is critical to follow a certain training protocol. It is a type of vascular occlusion (BFR) training.

Theory behind BFR - Safer Alternative to Traditional Resistance Training

Why Muscles Grow - Muscle Size Gains Primary Causes

Muscle hypertrophy is caused by two major factors: muscle tension and metabolic stress. Read on to learn that tissue compression happens whenever you exercise your muscles which leads us to leveraging this by applying external compression.

Any exercise, resistance or aerobic, brings about a significant increase in growth hormone. Insulin-like growth factor and growth hormone are responsible for increased collagen synthesis after exercise and aids muscle recovery.

Any form of workout, whether resistance or aerobic exercise, induces a substantial spike in growth hormone. Increased collagen production and muscle tissue recovery are stimulated by insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and growth hormone during exercise.

Blood vessels inside the muscles that are being exercised are compressed as a part of resistance training. Since oxygen supply to the muscle is limited, the effect is a hypoxic setting. Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1) is triggered as a consequence of the hypoxia. A rise in anaerobic lactic metabolism and lactate synthesis occurs as a consequence of this.

And this last mechanism is a rationale behind blood flow restriction training.

How does Blood Flow Restrictions Works for Muscle Growth

How does BFR build muscle

BFR mimics high intensity exercise in that it recreates a hypoxic environment in muscles using occlusion cuffs / bands (we'll use voodoo bands for this purpose).  The occlusion cuff (or in our case, voodoo band) is placed proximally to the trained muscle and low intensity exercises are performed. Since the outflow of blood is restricted by the cuff/band, low-oxygen blood accumulates, resulting in a rise in protons and lactic acid. It results in  the same physiological adaptations. Hormone production, hypoxia, and cell swelling happen during BFR training with low-intensity exercise, MUCH AS THEY WILL DURING HIGH-INTENSITY EXERCISE.

Blood Flow Restriction Training Benefits

  • Low intensity BFR training results in greater muscle circumference when compared with normal low intensity exercise.
  • Low intensity BFR (LI-BFR) results in an increase in the water content of the muscle cells (cell swelling). It also speeds up the recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibres.[12] It is also hypothesised that once the cuff is removed a hyperemia (excess of blood in the blood vessels) will form and this will cause further cell swelling.
  • Short duration, low intensity BFR training of around 4-6 weeks has been shown to cause a 10-20% increase in muscle strength. These increases were similar to gains obtained as a result of high-intensity exercise without BFR.

Voodoo Floss BFR with RockFloss - Low Load Training



Here we'll detail the steps to applying rockfloss bands for blood flow restriction. The goal of BFR is to maximize your workout by lifting less weight and gaining more muscle mass. Start at the upper part of your arm or leg. Be sure you're only wrapping one area of the body at a time and that you're always wrapping toward the heart, begin wrapping with fifty percent overlap of the previous loop and continue to add tension as desired, but do not exceed 50 percent strides to avoid numbness or discoloration of the tissue.

Finish by tucking in the end. For lower impact relief, move the wrap body part with light to moderate resistance for 45 seconds to one minute. For higher impact, repeat three times with 30 second rest periods. For higher impact, opt for three reps of air squats or pushups with 30 second rest periods. Unwrap.

There are dozens of available compression bands on the market, and comparing to bfr cuffs they are cheaper with no difference in resulting effect.

For other uses of compression / vodoo floss bands, as well as improved muscle recovery with tissue flossing, preventing painful movement,  joint distraction work, joint mobility, dealing with post workout/competition muscle soreness, and different tissue flossing techniques ) check other articles in our blog, stay tuned...


Other use of blood flow restriction in therapy and rehabilitation not covered here:
BFR for muscle strain recovery
BFR and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
BFR and exercise rehabilitaion
occlusion training 219395894816028683

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