Individual distribution of muscle hypertrophy among hamstring muscle heads: adding muscle volume where you need is not so simple

Review written by Dr Nicholas Rolnick info

Key Points

  1. Resistance exercise with blood flow restriction (BFR) has been shown to produce similar muscle hypertrophy and strength gains as well as in changes of the tendon physical properties as high-load (HL) exercise.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Blood flow restriction (BFR) paired with resistance exercise is growing in rehabilitation because it can induce similar magnitudes of muscle hypertrophy and strength as high load exercise (1). In addition, recent evidence indicates that the addition of BFR to resistance exercise has a potentially meaningful impact on altering the physical properties of the musculotendinous unit in a similar capacity as traditionally recommended tendinopathy management protocol (2,3,4). However, despite this growth of research, there is a paucity of evidence on the hamstring’s musculature.

Therefore, this paper sought to investigate the impact of nine weeks of tri-weekly hamstrings strengthening on muscle hypertrophy, strength and tendon cross-sectional area between low-load resistance exercise with BFR compared to high load resistance exercise.

Blood flow restriction paired with resistance exercise is growing in rehabilitation because it can induce similar magnitudes of muscle hypertrophy and strength as high load exercise.
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Blood flow restriction should be used as a bridge towards heavier loading protocols for those whose system can tolerate it.

METHODS

  • 45 (22 ± 3.3 years old; 14 females) recreationally active participants were randomly allocated into one of three groups: low-load resistance exercise with BFR (BFR), high-load resistance exercise (HL), and a control group performing their usual routines with no structured
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