BFR or Blood Flow Restriction (or sometimes called occlusion training) is a training and rehabilitation technique that involves the use of bands or cuffs placed around the limb during a workout session. It maintains arterial inflow to the muscles while at the same time prevents the veins from quickly returning the blood.
This accumulation of blood in the muscle is one of the main benefits of blood flow restriction training. It recruits additional fast-twitch muscle fibers, resulting in muscle growth. It’s key to remember the blood flow isn’t completely restricted, only partially.
Some BFR training involves the use of a computerized tourniquet system placed around limbs during exercises. The training modifies the blood flow to the arms and legs when working out, triggering the brain to think that muscles are working hard. The result is an anabolic hormonal release into your bloodstream.
It is an excellent tool for bodyweight exercise (Bodyweight Burn Review) workouts since you usually don’t have access to the heavier weights. additionally, a lot of home workout programs use just bodyweight, meaning BFR bands are ideal for at-home workout programs (Does Working Out At Home Really Work). The bands result in meaningful gains in the muscle mass front while lifting lighter weights, usually at higher repetitions.
Therefore, you can still get the same great workout you would get at the gym, at home. This is the beauty of BFR bands.
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How Do I Use Occlusion Training?
The key to using the wraps properly is getting the right amount of occlusion. If they are too tight, the return blood flow might not be at the level you need, and on the flip side, if it’s too loose, the occlusion won’t be taking place. On a scale of 1 to 10 on tightness, you want to aim for a 7. I realize this will be difficult at first, but after a couple of times, you’ll feel the proper amount of tightness.
Typically, occlusion training is done with lighter weights, at a higher rep range. So, you may only use 20% of what you normally lift with. Your first set will be a higher rep set, so maybe 25-30 reps. This will get the muscle engorged with blood. Do a 30-second rest, and then do 2-3 more sets with 12-15 reps. You’ll have to adjust to your strength.
Occlusion training is recommended only 1 time per week. This is just another tool to use with your entire lifting regiment. Continue to use heavier weights or normal resistance training.
Where Do I Put The BFR Bands?
For occlusion training of the arms, they are placed just past the bicep. Find the narrow part of your arm and cinch them down. For leg workouts, the straps should be placed up close to the crotch. Ensure the straps are flat, and even on the surface of your skin.
If the bands are too far away or kinked, it could affect the performance of the training.
What Are The Benefits of BFR Training?
There are various benefits associated with BFR bands and home workouts, including:
- It decreases joint and tissue stress in the body. Since lighter weight is typically used, the amount of on the joints is less.
- The training can increase the definition and tone.
- Increases cardiovascular capacity.
- Increases muscle strength.
- Diminishes atrophy and loss of strength from the disuse of weights after injuries.
- It improves muscle endurance. Since these are done at a higher rep range, your muscle endurance will increase. You’ll definitely feel the burn with these.
- Great for rehabilitation and working through injuries.
That said, there are excellent BFR bands that you can invest in to use during your workout.
The Best Blood Flow Restriction Bands
1. B STRONG
The first one on the list is the top shelf of occlusion training. This BFR Training is a safe system to include in your workouts as it uses natural and physiological manipulation of the body’s circulatory system. You will benefit from quick and significant gains in your level of strength and fitness.
The B Strong BFR training system offers a safer and smarter way of working out. The benefits in your level of fitness and strength are achieved at considerably less time compared to other systems.
It has been a well-kept secret for most top athletes, but not anymore. The B Strong training system enables you to gain muscle mass while lifting considerably lighter weights.
With modern technology behind the design and manufacture, the B Strong bands are incapable of impeding your blood flow when used correctly. They are of the safest methods you workout at home without injuring yourself.
These B Strong bands are meant for serious weightlifters, and should only appeal to those that are looking to compete. For the average exercise enthusiast, they might be a bit advanced. However, I did want to show the full spectrum of what’s available on the market.
2. BFR Bands Occlusion Training Bands, PRO (Editor’s Choice)
With these Occlusion bands, you get top quality extra wide and thick bands suitable for your home workouts sessions. The straps will enable you to reach optimal occlusion in your workouts.
The straps are useful in inducing hypertrophy using very low loads. Users are saying “They’re great for beginners. I will definitely be using them on a regular basis.”
They are reliable and very comfortable to wear during your workouts. Strapping these bands is straightforward, and releasing them is effortless. You will have fun training in these bands because they are manufactured with your comfort in mind.
They come in a pair that enables the user to exercise both arms or legs at the same. This ensures that you achieve similar results that are symmetrical and consistent. If you want to lean muscles without lifting heavy weights during your exercises quickly, then these occlusion bands might be what you need.
3. Stargoods Occlusion Bands, 4 Pack
These excellent occlusion tourniquets are among the best when it comes to increasing muscle cell swelling.
They come in twos- 2 bands for the legs and two bands for the arms. They have quick release features, which makes them easy to use, and convenient to get on and off.
They are made from premium elastic fiber making them comfortable to wear. These enable the bands to expand and contract according to the swelling of the muscles without losing tightness.
These Stargoods occlusion bands can be a great addition to your work out sessions, helping you increase muscle growth in a short time with lighter weights.
One satisfied customer said, “you will notice the pump immediately. I felt like Wonderwoman.”
These are another great set of occlusion bands that will enable you to increase lean muscle mass without a load of heavier weights.
They are straightforward to wear since you just have to wrap around the limbs, slide to the muscle, and adjust the tightness using the metal slider function all with one hand.
The armbands are slimmer than the leg bands. It increases the efficiency and ease of use of the bands. You will be able to effectively grow your thigh and arm muscles in a relatively short time.
The material making the bands are comfortable to wear throughout the training period. Vida is made from the highest quality elastic cotton. The metal slider makes these bands durable and long-lasting. You can trust this brand to offer you excellent service for a long time.
FAQ on Occlusion Bands
What is BFR training and how does it work?
BFR involves wrapping bands around the top portion of a limb to restrict blood flow out of the working muscle. Using BFR straps induces hypertrophy at very low loads (usually 10-30% of a 1RM). When performed correctly, the results achieved are typically similar to those achieved with 80% 1RMs, which means more results with less effort.
Where should I wrap and how tight should I wrap?
The wrap should be applied at the top of the arm or leg only. Wrap high on the leg or arm. You can wrap your arms for arms, shoulder, or chest workouts or your legs for legs, glutes, and calves workouts. Aim for 6-7 tightness on a scale of 10. 40% and 80% occlusion have shown the same level of muscle and strength gains! Better be a little loose than too tight.
Are blood flow restriction bands safe?
Yes, when used properly blood flow restriction bands are completely safe. Be sure to read the instructions carefully to ensure proper tightness and use.
How heavy should I lift with BFR?
The primary advantage to BFR is that you can increase muscle size at very low intensities. Using occlusion training for maximal muscle growth should likely be performed at approximately 40-50% of 1RM.
Conclusion of BFR Training
BFR bands are an excellent addition to your workouts. They help you achieve the target of increasing muscle mass without having to lift heavyweights. Using lighter loads means that there is reduced wear and tear on the body.
With BFR band training, you will able to achieve the results of an intense workout but with reduced intensity and in a shorter time. If you’re constantly traveling or working out at home, BFR bands will be an excellent piece of equipment. They’re lightweight, inexpensive, and provide results!
Have you used BFR bands? What workout gives you the best pump with them?