Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2018 Feb 15. doi: 10.1111/cpf.12509. [Epub ahead of print]

Impact of blood flow-restricted bodyweight exercise on skeletal muscle adaptations.

Author information

Section for Sport Science, Department of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.


This study ascertains the ability of bodyweight blood flow-restricted (BFR) exercise training to promote skeletal muscle adaptations of significance for muscle accretion and metabolism. Six healthy young individuals (three males and three females) performed six weeks of bodyweight BFR training. Each session consisted of five sets of sit-to-stand BFR exercise to volitional failure with 30-second inter-set recovery. Prior to, and at least 72 h after training, muscle biopsies were taken from m. vastus lateralis to assess changes in fibre type-specific cross-sectional area (CSA), satellite cell (SC) and myonuclei content and capillarization, as well as mitochondrial protein expression. Furthermore, magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess changes in whole thigh muscle CSA. Finally, isometric knee extensor muscle strength was evaluated. An increase in knee extensor whole muscle CSA was observed at middle and distal localizations after training (3·2% and 3·5%, respectively) (P<0·05), and a trend was observed towards an increase in type I fibre CSA, whereas muscle strength did not increase. Additionally, the number of SCs and myonuclei associated with type I fibres increased by 65·7% and 20%, respectively (P<0·05). No significant changes were observed in measures of muscle capillarization and mitochondrial proteins. In conclusion, six weeks of bodyweight-based BFR exercise promoted myocellular adaptations related to muscle accretion, but not metabolic properties. Moreover, the study revealed that an appropriate total training volume needs further investigation before recommending bodyweight BFR to patient populations.


angiogenesis; blood flow occlusion; low-intensity resistance training; muscle metabolism; strength training


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center