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Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2018 May;38(3):468-476. doi: 10.1111/cpf.12439. Epub 2017 Apr 26.

Blood flow restriction attenuates eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage without perceptual and cardiovascular overload.

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Department of Physiological Sciences, Federal University of Espirito Santo, Vitoria, ES, Brazil.
Center of Physical Education and Sports, Federal University of Espirito Santo, Vitoria, ES, Brazil.
Faculty of Estacio de Sá, Department of Physical Education, Vitoria, ES, Brazil.
Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program, Vila Velha University, Vila Velha, Brazil.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the acute effects of high-intensity eccentric exercise (HI-ECC) combined with blood flow restriction (BFR) on muscle damage markers, and perceptual and cardiovascular responses. Nine healthy men (26 ± 1 years, BMI 24 ± 1 kg m- ²) underwent unilateral elbow extension in two conditions: without (HI-ECC) and with BFR (HI-ECC+BFR). The HI-ECC protocol corresponded to three sets of 10 repetitions with 130% of maximal strength (1RM). The ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and pain (RPP) were measured after each set. Muscle damage was evaluated by range of motion (ROM), upper arm circumference (CIR) and muscle soreness using a visual analogue scale at different moments (pre-exercise, immediately after, 24 and 48 h postexercise). Systolic (SBP), diastolic (DBP), mean blood pressure (MBP) and heart rate (HR) were measured before exercise and after each set. RPP was higher in HI-ECC+BFR than in HI-ECC after each set. Range of motion decreased postexercise in both conditions; however, in HI-ECC+BFR group, it returned to pre-exercise condition earlier (post-24 h) than HI-ECC (post-48 h). CIR increased only in HI-ECC, while no difference was observed in HI-ECC+BFR condition. Regarding cardiovascular responses, MBP and SBP did not change at any moment. HR showed similar increases in both conditions during exercise while DBP decreased only in HI-ECC condition. Thus, BFR attenuated HI-ECC-induced muscle damage and there was no increase in cardiovascular responses.


KAATSU training; blood flow restriction; cardiovascular responses; eccentric resistance exercise; muscle damage; perceptual response

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