BFR Bands For Glutes: Which Are The Best To Look At?

bfr bands for glutes

COVID 19 undoubtedly brought plenty of negative things.  We experienced a restriction of freedom, anxiety over our own and the health of loved ones, financial situation, etc. But as bizarre as it may sound we have to say that it also brought something good. Can you guess what?  More people began to work to improve their overall health and physical shape.

Every one of us has different reasons for working out. Some are focused on losing weight and cardio programs, while others want to build a strong, athletic body. But we noticed that there is a part of the body that is often neglected by both groups, and yet it is incredibly important. Do you have an idea which one? Yes, we are talking about your booty!

Many people think that having strong glutes is just about aesthetics, but that is a myth.  While they indeed play a huge role in aesthetics, having a nice set of buns is also incredibly important for health.  First, it is vital to understand that there are three different gluteal muscles:  gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Making them strong is essential for proper pelvic alignment, propulsion during walking and running, etc.  Apart from that these muscles support the lower back during lifting and prevent different kinds of injuries. That is why today we want to talk about a specific type of training for glutes called Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) or Occlusion training and BFR bands for glutes.

What is Occlusion Training for Glutes

 You know, when it comes to fitness, there are always some innovations that promise “to revolutionize the way you exercise.” However, many of them don’t stick for too long for different reasons.  Some are too boring, others not really backed by science, etc. BFR training is, however, neither of those things.  It definitely speeds up the progress. Now some people might feel intimidated by the idea of restricting the blood flow. However, the science behind it totally makes sense.  Above all, there isn’t anything actually new about this concept. It has been used for decades now, mainly for therapy and rehabilitation purposes.

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) aka occlusion training is a way of restricting the blood flow in the veins of the working muscle. The main goal of this is to try to get larger gains in muscle size and strength.   You should use blood restriction bands to slow down the flow of the blood that goes to the muscles.  Because of this brain is tricked into thinking that the muscles are working at a much higher intensity than they actually do. As the result, the pituitary gland releases more growth hormones  (around 170 % more) and hormones related to muscle hypertrophy. We can use blood flow restriction bands to train different parts of the body, including the glutes.

How Does BFR Training Work?

As we mentioned, to do this type of training you need a special tourniquet system, otherwise known as occlusion bands.  These bands are wrapped around the limb that you want to target.  You can wrap it around the arm, under the shoulders. If you want to train glutes and hamstrings you need to put the BFR bands just below the hip. Now if you are working without occlusion bands for glutes your body needs around 60 – 70 percent of one-rep max. With the bands, you need 20 – 30 % for the same hypertrophy effect.  A study that examined the effects of this type of training shows that BFR improves the rate of strength training and fatigue resistance.  The great thing about BFR training is that there is no muscle breakdown because the bands minimize the damage. Another thing is that by restricting the blood flow you are also limiting the oxygen the muscles receive.  This activates Type II muscle fibers which are recruited when you perform high-intensity training. Consequently, this promotes the production of lactic acid which improves protein synthesis and muscle hypertrophy with little damage. Okay, but how do you do occlusion training for glutes? It is generally pretty simple. Here is what you need to do.

  • Wrap the band around the upper thigh between glutes and hamstrings.
  • Make it tight. However, you need to make sure that they are not tight to the point that you can’t perform the exercise or that your legs feel numb.
  • Wrap in an overlapping manner to avoid wrapping unnecessary areas.
  • Generally, you should wrap around bare skin as it creates rather an uncomfortable sensation.

 Benefits of Using BFR Bands for Glutes

When talking about BFR training it is vital to mention two main benefits – you will build muscles with less weight and less effort.  By controlling the blood flow we can achieve positive outcomes in terms of muscle health, strength, size, and endurance with minimal weight.  You need to lift only up to 30 percent of the load that you normally lift to achieve the same result as you would if you were lifting heavily without the blood flow restriction bands for glutes. Let’s see now some other benefits of using BFR bands for glutes.

  • They help you achieve a muscle pump that prevents protein breakdown and promotes protein synthesis.
  • They promote the recruitment of fast-twitch fibers much faster than when you do conventional training.
  • Besides the blood flow, they also restrict the level of oxygen that reaches your muscles, which consequently leads to the production of high levels of lactic acid.  High levels of lactic acid can contribute to protein synthesis.
  • Using BFR bands can help with rehab after injuries because the patients can build strength with fewer loads.  BFR bands minimize joint strain while increasing muscle strength.
  • It can help people with chronic pain or those recovering from surgery and people who have conditions that reduce muscle mass.

Risk and Advantages of Using BFR Bands

It is essential to say that the best BFR bands are perfectly safe if used adequately. They come as you have seen with numerous advantages. They contribute to muscular hypertrophy without a lot of effort, are excellent for people who are recovering from injuries, etc. However, like everything else they also come with some risks.

  • If you don’t use them properly they can lead to extensive muscle damage.  In some cases, they can cause rhabdomyolysis. The severity of the damage depends on the training protocol, particularly the duration and extension of the BFR stimulus.
  • The use of BFR bands can lead to thrombosis, i.e formation of blood clots.  The incidence rate is quite low (0.06 %) and it happens when there is a total restriction of blood flow. If you use the bands properly, there isn’t a total occlusion.
  • If the band is not adequately placed and wrapped too tight you may experience numbness in your limbs.
  • Another risk of wrapping the bands too tightly is that you feel dizzy or faint because of the restricted oxygen and blood flow.

Who Should Use BFR Bands?

If you are in good health and you want to engage in strength training whether recreationally or professionally, you are welcomed to use BFR bands for glutes. Generally, people who can see plenty of benefits from BFR training are as follows.

  • People involved in powerlifting, CrossFit, or weightlifting.
  • Lifters who want to add more value to their training.
  • People who want to work on their glutes to improve their appearance.
  • Athletes who want to strengthen the glutes without disturbing their performance.
  • People who are recovering from an injury of gluteal muscles.

Who Should Avoid BFR Bands

Generally, for healthy people, it is perfectly safe to train with these bands if they know how to use them adequately.  However, if you have a history of thrombosis, you shouldn’t use BFR bands for glutes. Also, people who have high blood pressure or any type of cardiovascular disease or diabetes should refrain from this type of training. Same stands for people who are receiving treatment for cancer.  Pregnant women should also stay away from BFR training.

How to Train with BFR Bands for Glutes

So when you want to do this type of training it is essential to know that it is ideal to do 75 reps during four sets. There isn’t any rule of thumb about how to divide the reps. It totally depends on you.  The most important thing is that you take short breaks. For example, you should make more than thirty seconds between sets. Between exercises, you can take a minute to two breaks.

FAQ

Are BFR Bands for Glutes Safe?

In short, yes. If you are healthy and you use the bands properly, training with them is perfectly safe. If you have any of the conditions we mentioned earlier, such as hypertension, etc., or if you are pregnant you shouldn’t use them.

How Often Should I Train With BFR Bands?

Ideally, you should do this training two to four times per week. However, it is best if you don’t do it on consecutive days. It is recommended that you start with days per week and gradually go up.

Does Using BFR Increase the Size of Glutes?

Indeed, it does. The whole point of BFR training for glutes is to increase their strength and size.  However, you have to focus on exercises that target glutes to achieve hypertrophy.

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