Motion is excited to begin using blood flow restriction (BFR) as part of rehabilitation and strengthening with clients post-surgically and following injury. We are proud to say we are amongst the few places in the local Minneapolis-Saint Paul area providing BFR. Please contact us with any related questions!


What is Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation?

Blood flow restriction rehabilitation is a method of exercise that utilizes a personalized tourniquet system to restrict blood flow to muscles during resistance training or aerobic training. Blood flow restriction rehabilitation allows for the use of significantly lighter weight while still increasing muscle strength and hypertrophy.



BFR Training at Motion Physical Therapy

The Delfi personalized tourniquet system will feel similar to a blood pressure cuff. A personalized pressure will be calculated, and the device will monitor limb occlusion throughout exercise to maintain the appropriate pressure as soft tissue density and limb position changes. A two-layer sleeve is worn under the cuff for skin protection.


Training session

Although you are exercising at a lighter intensity, your muscles will feel like they are working very hard. This sensation is desired for the appropriate training effect. Ideally, exercise should be performed at 30% of 1-repetition max with use of BFR. If this cannot be determined, significant fatigue during the last set of the exercise can be used as an indicator that dosage was appropriate.


How does it work?

Blood flow restriction rehabilitation causes a switch from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism. Lactate is produced due to lack of oxygen available in the working muscle. This stimulates an increase in growth hormone and other metabolites important for healing tissue and muscle growth. Regeneration of injured tissue may also increase, due to a reduction in myostatin with the use of BFR.


Side effects

Soreness may occur after a BFR session, but should subside within 24-48 hours after exercise. Adverse side effects are rare. Past medical history and possible contraindications for use should be discussed with your physical therapist.


Post-workout nutrition

Nutrition following exercise with BFR is very important to support protein   synthesis and see optimal changes in muscle strength and hypertrophy. Whey protein is a good choice to get all es

sential amino acids. Twenty grams of protein is appropriate for young healthy individuals post-workout, while forty grams is recommended for older adults. Additionally, it should be noted that protein consumption is important for the first 24 hours after training.  

Johnny Owens. (2016). Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation Manual, 1–134.






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