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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2015 Aug;70(8):950-8. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glu084. Epub 2014 Jun 10.

Effects of Low-Load, Elastic Band Resistance Training Combined With Blood Flow Restriction on Muscle Size and Arterial Stiffness in Older Adults.

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Department of Ischemic Circulatory Physiology, Graduate School of Medicine,
Department of Ischemic Circulatory Physiology, Graduate School of Medicine.
Department of Mechano-Informatics, Grad School of Information Science and Technology, and.
3Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Basic Sciences in Medicine, Kaatsu International University, Battaramulla, Sri Lanka.


We examined the effect of low-load, elastic band resistance training with blood flow restriction (BFR) on muscle size and arterial stiffness in older adults. Healthy older adults (aged 61-85 years) were divided into BFR training (BFR-T, n = 9) or non-BFR training (CON-T, n = 8) groups. Both groups performed low-load arm curl and triceps down exercises (four sets, total 75 repetitions for each) using an elastic band, 2 d/wk for 12 weeks. The BFR-T group wore inflated pneumatic elastic cuffs (120-270 mm Hg) on both arms during training. Magnetic resonance imaging-measured muscle cross-sectional area of the upper arm, maximum voluntary isometric contraction of the elbow flexors and extensors, cardio-ankle vascular index testing, and ankle-brachial pressure index were measured before and 3-5 days after the final training session. Muscle cross-sectional area of the elbow flexors (17.6%) and extensors (17.4%) increased, as did elbow flexion and elbow extension maximum voluntary isometric contraction (7.8% and 16.1%, respectively) improved (p < .05) in the BFR-T group, but not in the CON-T group. In cardio-ankle vascular index and ankle-brachial pressure index testing, there were no changes between pre- and post-results in either group. In conclusion, elastic band BFR-T improves muscle cross-sectional area as well as maximal muscle strength but does not negatively affect arterial stiffness in older adults.


Electromyography; Muscle hypertrophy; Sarcopenia; Strength; Vascular occlusion

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