Physiological and perceptual responses to acute arm cranking with blood flow restriction

Review written by Dr Nicholas Rolnick info

Key Points

  1. Aerobic exercise with blood flow restriction (BFR) has been shown to produce superior physiological stress to the same exercise performed without BFR and similar or less stress to high intensity aerobic exercise.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

There is a growing acceptance of the indications for use of low-intensity resistance exercise paired with blood flow restriction (BFR) in those undergoing rehabilitation to improve muscle mass and strength with results similar to that of high-intensity resistance exercise (1). However, there is less evidence on low-intensity aerobic exercise to improve relevant musculoskeletal and cardiovascular outcomes of interest to physical therapists (2) and even less (n = 2) involving upper body aerobic exercise.

Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the physiological and perceptual responses to acute arm cranking exercise with blood flow restriction compared to free-flow low intensity as well as high intensity exercise.

There is a growing acceptance for use of low-intensity resistance exercise paired with blood flow restriction in those undergoing rehabilitation to improve muscle mass and strength.
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Applied pressures between 50-70% arterial occlusion pressure may be preferable to induce similar physiological stress without excessive cardiovascular strain.

METHODS

  • This study adopted a single group repeated measures design where each of the 10 participants (n = 2 females; 25 ± 6 years old) underwent two familiarization sessions followed by four experimental conditions in a randomized order.
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