Project Description



BAXTER 218.824.5027
CROSSLAKE 218.692.5020
PIERZ 320.468.0183
PINE RIVER 218.587.5022


Blood Flow Restriction Training

Why use it?

  • Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training is a safe and effective tool. It allows people who are injured or unable to bear weight on their extremity to continue to build strength safely.

  • Traditional resistance training:

    • Requires use of loads at 70% to 85% or greater of their one repetition maximum.
  • BFR helps build strength without heavy loads:

    • Only uses up to 30% of one repetition maximum levels
    • Effective with body weight resistance only!

What exactly is it?

  • BFR was originally introduced in the 1960’s in Japan and was known as “Kaatsu Training.”

  • BFR utilizes pneumatic cuffs (like a blood pressure cuff) to restrict blood flow return from the extremity.

    • Exercising with the cuff on at a specialized pressure increases the buildup of metabolic byproducts
    • Allows for greater muscle fatigue at low loads and strength gains.

Is it safe?

  • Yes! We screen our patients to ensure safety and use doppler ultrasound for accuracy during treatment.

    • Your PT will review your medical history and blood pressure to determine if you are a good candidate.
  • BFR is very safe when applied and monitored by a trained clinician.

  • BFR does not completely stop blood flow (occlusion) but only restricts return of blood from the limb.

What is a training session like?

  • BFR can be used in isolation or as part of a larger training program for a wide variety of patients and athletes.

  • Here’s what a BFR session may look like:

    1. The restriction cuffs will be applied to the extremity(s) to be trained
    2. Your PT establishes your specific occlusion pressure. This is where blood flow into the limb is halted or significantly slowed.
    3. Doppler ultrasound will allow monitoring of the arterial flow in the limb and will be monitored as the pressure is built up in the restriction cuff. Once the arterial flow is halted or changed significantly the occlusion pressure will have been set.
    4. Training will occur at 50% of this established occlusion pressure in the arm and 80% of the occlusion pressure in the leg.
    5. A training session will typically include 4-6 exercises at repetition ranges of 15-30 for multiple sets
  • BFR does not completely stop blood flow (occlusion) but only restricts return of blood from the limb.

BFR may be the tool you need to get back to your best!

BFR is currently offered at Select Therapy’s Baxter clinic with supervision from Brett Kramer, DPT. Feel free to call our office for more information or to answer any questions specific to your needs.