Blood Flow Restriction Training:
A Paradigm Shift in Rehab and Sports Performance
Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training is a strength training technique which partially occludes a patient’s venous and arterial blood flow while exercising at very low intensities. Traditionally, optimizing muscular strength and hypertrophy required an individual to move a load weighing more than 70% of their one rep max for 2-3 times/week for roughly 8-12 weeks. Often times, patients are unable to lift that amount of weight due to pain or surgical precautions. Furthermore, rehab professionals often do not get that much time to work with a patient. With BFR we’re able to achieve strength and hypertrophy gains in a matter of a few weeks without heavy resistance.
BFR was originally pioneered by Johnny Owens, who is the director of sports performance and limb salvage in San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Owens and his colleagues have been able to orchestrate several high levels of evidence based studies indicating the benefits for BFR. Throughout numerous research studies, BFR has been shown to increase protein synthesis, IGF-1 (insulin growth factors), VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factors), stem cell production, and growth hormone factors which are all vital in muscle strength and hypertrophy.
Once thought of as treatment for elite athletes and wounded warriors, BFR is starting to surface in clinics all across the country (Abilene Physical Therapy and Sports Rehab is one of the very first clinics in Kansas to be performing BFR on its patients). BFR is not only a technique for patients suffering from pain or weakness. It’s currently being used by numerous NFL, MLB, and NBA teams as well as the top college programs in the country. If you want to try a game-changing rehab intervention, give us a call and we’d love to help you meet your goals.
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“I drove from Great Bend twice per week during my rehabilitation from ACL surgery for the expertise of Chris Kersten and his staff at Abilene Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab. The BFR therapy program allowed me to accelerate my recovery and put me back on the basketball court faster than I dreamed possible. I am so glad I was able to team up with Chris on this journey.”