Blood Flow Restriction Training

Optimum Physical Therapy Associates – Blood Flow Restriction Training

Optimum Physical Therapy Associates – Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFRT)

Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFRT) is an innovative technique that involves the application of specialized cuffs to partially restrict blood flow to the exercising muscles. This carefully controlled arterial occlusion creates a unique environment that stimulates muscle hypertrophy and strength gains while minimizing load on joints, tendons and bones.

Our BFRT Devices

We use the cutting-edge SmartCuffs 4.0 to deliver the safest and most effective blood flow restriction training possible. The SmartCuffs 4.0 are engineered to precisely measure arterial flow in the targeted limb during training. This ensures that arterial blood flow to the limb is not completely occluded, while still allowing you to train within the beneficial range of partial occlusion (60-80%).

The Mechanism of Muscle Hypertrophy with BFRT:

During BFRT, the controlled arterial occlusion leads to a build-up of metabolites, such as lactate and hydrogen ions, within the muscles. This metabolic stress triggers the release of growth factors like insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)1 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)2. IGF-1 plays a crucial role in muscle cell growth, while VEGF promotes blood vessel formation, enhancing nutrient delivery to the muscles.

Moreover, BFRT induces an increased recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibers3, which are typically activated during high-intensity exercise. This enhanced fiber recruitment, combined with metabolic stress, results in significant muscle fiber adaptation and growth.

Why Choose BFRT Over Regular Strength Training?

Blood Flow Restriction Therapy for Lower Extremity
  • Lower Joint Stress: BFRT allows you to achieve muscle growth with lighter weights, reducing stress on joints and tendons, making it ideal for individuals with joint pain or injuries.
  • Time-Efficient: With BFRT, you can achieve comparable results to conventional strength training in a shorter amount of time, enabling more efficient workouts.
  • Enhanced Recovery: BFRT’s lower impact on muscle tissue means faster recovery between sessions, allowing you to train more frequently.
  • Rehabilitation: BFRT is a safe and effective rehabilitation tool, helping individuals recovering from injuries to rebuild strength and muscle mass gradually.

Is it Safe?

Yes! There have been many studies published on its safety.4 If there weren’t, we wouldn’t offer it as a service. The amount of arterial blood flow being restricted is between 60-80% as opposed to 100% when a surgeon applies a tourniquet. We set maximum usage times for your safety that are much less than the minimum time surgeons apply tourniquets during surgeries. We also screen your medical history beforehand to make sure there are no underlying conditions or medications you are taking that may put you at a higher risk of an adverse event.


Patients and members of our Fitness Program are not charged extra to use our BFRT equipment. There is a $30 charge per session otherwise.


  1. Loenneke, J. P., Fahs, C. A., Rossow, L. M., Abe, T., & Bemben, M. G. (2012). The anabolic benefits of venous blood flow restriction training may be induced by muscle cell swelling. Medical hypotheses, 78(1), 151-154.
  2. Cook, S. B., Murphy, B. G., & Labarbera, K. E. (2013). Neuromuscular function following a bout of low-load blood flow-restricted exercise. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 45(1), 67-74.
  3. Takarada, Y., Takazawa, H., Sato, Y., Takebayashi, S., Tanaka, Y., & Ishii, N. (2000). Effects of resistance exercise combined with moderate vascular occlusion on muscular function in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology, 88(6), 2097-2106.
  4. Patterson S., et al. (2019) Blood Flow Restriction Exercise: Considerations of Methodology, Application, and Safety. Front Physiol. 10, 1-15.

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