Lately, blood flow restriction has started making itself into headlines of fitness magazine articles. It’s being mentioned increasingly on social media. The promise is that using this technique which is supposedly popular among physical trainers will help to improve result.
That said, are trainers really using this technique? Among those who are, do they truly see benefits from blood flow restriction? Are those benefits worth the effort of the technique?
Blood flow restriction is a technique is called an innovative new way to get the very most out of a workout. Many believe that it will be the next big fitness trend, not just a fad making waves over social media.
The concept behind blood flow restriction is far from new. It has been going in and out of popularity for a very long time. That said, trainers in small studios are now starting to recommend it for their own workouts. This is particularly popular in the United States, where it is touted as a technique to build muscle faster and with an improved recovery time.
Blood flow restriction is also known as occlusion training. It is a technique that uses types of wraps or cuffs around an individual’s limbs – arms and/or legs – during exercise. The idea is to safely reduce venous blood flow from a muscle being worked. At the same time, arterial blood flow is allowed to continue. This technique is typically used during a low-intensity resistance training workout.
By doing this, blood is not as able to escape the muscle. Moreover, the cellular swelling and metabolic stress rise sharply. As a result of these changes, muscle hypertrophy, growth hormone and muscle strength are all said to improve.
As of yet, there hasn’t been a great deal of study on blood flow restriction techniques in fitness workouts. As a result, there is only anecdotal evidence to suggest that this technique is effective and that it has the potential to be safe. Therefore, many doctors are not recommending that individuals attempt to use this technique as the risks may not justify the types of benefits – if any – that may occur as a result of using it.
Still, this isn’t stopping many trainers from recommending blood flow restriction to their own clients. If you are considering its use or if your trainer has recommended it to you, it’s a good idea to speak with a health care provider first.