Blood Flow Restriction During Futsal Training Increases Muscle Activation and Strength

Estimated reading time:2 minutes, 15 seconds

Authors:

Sadegh Amani-Shalamzari, Farid Farhani, Hamid Rajabi, Ali Abbasi, Ali Sarikhani, Carl Paton, Mahdi Bayati, Daniel Berdejo-del-Fresno, Thomas Rosemann, Pantelis Theodoros Nikolaidis, and Beat Knechtle

  • Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran
  • Department of Biomechanics and Sports Injuries, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran
  • Faculty of Health and Sport Science, Eastern Institute of Technology, Napier, New Zealand
  • Department of Exercise Physiology, Sports Medicine Research Center, Sport Sciences Research Institute, Tehran, Iran
  • Head of Performance at Bay Area Futsal Club, San Francisco, CA, United States
  • Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Nikaia, Greece
  • Medbase St. Gallen Am Vadianplatz, St. Gallen, Switzerland

 

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of leg blood flow restriction (BFR) applied during a 3-a-side futsal game on strength-related parameters. Twelve male futsal players were randomly assigned into two groups (n = 6 for each group) during 10 training sessions either with or without leg BFR. Prior to and post-training sessions, participants completed a series of tests to assess anabolic hormones and leg strength. Pneumatic cuffs were initially inflated to 110% of leg systolic blood pressure and further increased by 10% after every two completed sessions. In comparison with baseline, the resting post-training levels of myostatin (p = 0.002) and IGF-1/MSTN ratio (p = 0.006) in the BFR group changed, whereas no change in the acute level of IGF-1 and myostatin after exercise was observed. Peak torque of knee extension and flexion increased in both groups (p < 0.05). A trend of increased neural activation of all heads of the quadriceps was observed in both groups, however, it was statistically significant only for rectus femoris in BFR (p = 0.02). These findings indicated that the addition of BFR to normal futsal training might induce greater neuromuscular benefits by increasing muscle activation and augmenting the hormonal response.

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