4 Muscle Strengthening Features of Blood Flow Restriction Cuffs
You can get a lot of mileage out of using blood flow restriction cuffs if you lift weights for competitions or fitness. That is because the cuffs allow you to receive the same results you’d get from a more intense workout while performing training at a lower intensity.
In turn, muscle stress is reduced, which allows for healing and increased repetitions. By wearing the cuffs, you can gain muscle strength without compromising the benefits you get from working out at a higher intensity.
Not only do BFR cuffs strengthen the muscles, they reduce the risk of heart disease, increase bone density, and improve the health of your blood vessels. You’ll increase muscle strength because the cuffs also make your muscles work harder.
Because the tourniquet-type cuffs partly limit the flow of blood going back to the heart, they force the muscles to work harder, thereby strengthening them. So, what strengthening features will you receive by using the cuffs?
To understand how this type of occlusion training works, you need to understand how it relates to hypertrophy or muscle development. Hypertrophy represents a process where you focus on enhancing your muscle fibers, or developing the large muscles where you direct your workouts.
These muscles cover the thighs, biceps, back, or calves. Hypertrophy supports occlusion training as it is directed toward moderate weights and repetitions.
You can use cuffs to increase the strength of the gluteal muscles. Wrap a cuff around the upper thigh before you begin a session of exercise. You’ll need to leave the cuffs on during your periods of rest to gain the same benefits you do when lifting heavy weights.
You can heal from rotator cuff injuries and improve the strength of your shoulder muscles (deltoids) when you use blood flow restriction cuffs when working out. To use the cuffs for exercising the shoulders, wrap them at the highest part of the arm, between the biceps and shoulders. Make sure they’re not too tight or too loose. Think of a scale that goes from one to ten, with ten representing the tightest number. Wrap the cuffs so they hit a perceived tightness of about seven. Always apply the cuffs so they overlap.
You can also use blood flow restriction cuffs to build your biceps – the muscles in the arm that represent the fast-twitch muscles used, as well, for increased mobility. When you use BFR cuffs to support bicep strength and development then, you will see visible results. That’s because the activity triggers protein synthesis, which greatly contributes to muscle growth.
Using blood flow restriction cuffs also strengthens the calves. To perform calf exercises using occlusion cuffs, wrap them just below the knee. Don’t make them too tight or you won’t be able to complete your workout. Wear the cuffs when you exercise on a calf machine, whether you stand or remain seated.
If you need to recover from an exercise-related injury or you’re following a rehab program after surgery, review the features of blood flow restriction cuffs. Doing so will allow you to recover faster and strengthen your muscles as well.