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Blood Flow Restriction (BFR)

BFR was primarily used among powerlifters and bodybuilders to increase strength and muscle hypertrophy. However, in recent years, research supports the use of BFR in the rehabilitation populations.

BFR is a tool that restricts venous blood flow return, which aids in lowering the mechanical stress needed for muscle hypertrophy and strength gains. Research has shown that BFR training loads at or below 50% of 1-Rep Max, even to as low as 20-30%, improving muscle strength and hypertrophy gains. BFR training focuses on the metabolic aspect of strength training and allows for strength gains at much lower intensities. This allows for early optimal loading intervention for healing tissue that is not capable of sustaining the higher loads necessary for full recovery. To put this in perspective, a straight leg raise exercise with BFR, while allowing tissues to heal, is comparable to a traditional body weight squat.