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J Sports Sci. 2018 Jan;36(2):123-130. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2017.1284341. Epub 2017 Feb 1.

The role of blood flow restriction training for applied practitioners: A questionnaire-based survey.

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a School of Sport, Health & Applied Science , St Marys University , London , UK.
b Sport Science Department , Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence , Doha , Qatar.


The purpose of the study was to investigate the current use of blood flow restriction (BFR) by practitioners during exercise/training. A questionnaire was developed and data were obtained from 250 participants, with 115 stating that they had prescribed BFR as an intervention. The most common exercise intervention used in combination with BFR was resistance exercise (99/115), followed by during passive (30/115) conditions, and during aerobic exercise (22/115). The main outcome measure for using the technique was to increase muscle mass (32.6%) followed by rehabilitation from injury (24.2%). Over half of respondents (57.4%) reported that they did not use the same cuff widths for the lower body and upper body, with varying final restriction pressures also being utilised during each different exercise modality. Most practitioners performed the technique for ~10 min each training session, 1-4 times per week. Eighty percent of practitioners rated the use of BFR as very good-excellent. The incidence rate of side effects was largest for delayed onset muscle soreness (39.2%), numbness (18.5%), fainting/dizziness (14.6%) and bruising (13.1%). These results indicate that the use of BFR training is widespread amongst practitioners; however, care should be taken to ensure that practice matches current research to ensure the safety of this technique.


BFR training; KAATSU; occlusion training; rehabilitation; safety

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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