Application of blood flow restriction to optimize exercise countermeasures for human space flight

  • In recent years there has been a strong increase in publications on blood flow restriction (BFR) training. In particular, the fact that this type of training requires only low resistance to induce muscle strength and mass gains, makes BFR training interesting for athletes and scientists alike. For the same reason this type of training is particularly interesting for astronauts working out in space. Lower resistance during training would have the advantage of reducing the risk of strain-induced injuries. Furthermore, strength training with lower resistances would have implications for the equipment required for training under microgravity conditions, as significantly lower resistances have to be provided by the training machines. Even though we are only about to understand the effects of blood flow restriction on exercise types other than low-intensity strength training, the available data indicate that BFR of leg muscles is also able to improve the training effects of walking or running at slow speeds. The underlying mechanisms of BFR-induced functional and structural adaptations are still unclear. An essential aspect seems to be the premature fatigue of Type-I muscle fibers, which requires premature recruitment of Type-II muscle fibers to maintain a given force output. Other theories assume that cell swelling, anabolic hormones, myokines and reactive oxygen species are involved in the mediation of BFR training-related effects. This review article is intended to summarize the main advantages and disadvantages, but also the potential risks of such training for astronauts.

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Author:Michael BehringerORCiDGND, Christina Willberg
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in physiology
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Contributor(s):Jonathan Paul Richard Scott
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/01/25
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/03/21
Tag:BFR training; adaptations to microgravity; exercise countermeasure; human space flight; space adaptations
Issue:Art. 33
Page Number:8
First Page:1
Last Page:8
Copyright © 2019 Behringer and Willberg. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Corrigendum erschienen in: Frontiers in physiology, 10.2019, Art. 276, doi:10.3389/fphys.2019.00276
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Sportwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0