Blood Flow Restriction during Walking Does Not Impact Body Composition or Performance Measures in Highly Trained Runners

J Funct Morphol Kinesiol. 2024 Apr 13;9(2):74. doi: 10.3390/jfmk9020074.


Blood flow restriction (BFR) is a commonly used training modality that has been demonstrated to enhance muscle characteristics such as size and function. The purpose of this study was to determine if a 4-week walking program with or without BFR in healthy, active adults has an effect on body composition, anaerobic, and aerobic running performance. Thirty-three participants, randomized among three groups, completed the walking program, which included five sets of 2 min walking intervals with 1 min rest, with or without BFR, or 10 min walking with BFR. Assessments completed before and after the walking program included body composition, 40-yard sprints, and a VO2MAX test on a treadmill. A two-way ANOVA revealed no changes among the groups nor for any variables at any time (p > 0.05). Additionally, one main effect for time indicated the VO2 at V-slope threshold was greater following training for all groups combined (p = 0.001). The results demonstrate that low volume and intensity walking with BFR for 4 weeks did not provide a sufficient stimulus for changing body composition or performance metrics in a group of very active adults. Longer or more isolated exposure of BFR on the limbs may contribute to more pronounced adaptations.

Keywords: aerobic; tourniquet; treadmill; vascular occlusion.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.