AirBands - Train Smarter

The next generation in blood flow restriction training

Auto Inflation, personalised from the App on your phone

   Blood Flow Restriction is a safe and effective training methodology that can help individual’s build muscle and increase strength, even while training with little or no resistance.

It involves placing an AirBand around the limb during exercise to restrict the blood flow from the vein and  working muscle.

This causes a localized hypoxic ( reduction of oxygen )  environment in the muscle, leading to faster muscle fatigue.  That results in a multitude of beneficial physiological adaptations.

Research has shown when combined with appropriate training programs, blood flow restriction can:
+ Improve Muscle Strength
+ Enhance Aerobic Capacity
+ Increase Muscle Hypertrophy

AirBands (Patent pending) are the world’s first wireless, automated BFR training cuffs that take the guesswork out of calibration and pressure.

The AirBands cuff features a velcro loop system, providing superior comfort, fit and durability.

Built from sweat-resistant fabric cloth, lined over a custom-built medical-grade air bladder.

The AirBands App allows for:
+ Wireless pairing
+ Automatic inflation/deflation
+ Individualised pressure calibration
+ The BFR screening tool
+ Custom timer options that synchronise to your workout

AirBands feature a rechargeable battery, advanced sensor, pneumatic air pump and a Bluetooth 4.0 module to connect to your smart device.

iOS Devices
Available on the App Store.

Android Devices
Available on Google Play.

BFR has been around for around 40 years, originating in Japan, known as Kaatsu

BFR sounds a bit scary but essentially it restricts ( not totally cutting it off ) the flow of blood from the veins , away from the muscle  but allowing blood into the muscle via the artery. In the old days, they wrapped cloth or velcro straps around the limbs , guessing how tight they should be. Now AirBands take all the guesswork out of that.  It makes BFR working out very safe and very efficient. It produces an amazing pump and burn with little stress on the joints or tendons.

When low weight resistance is undertaken with AirBands , it causes pooling of blood in the muscle, starving the muscle of oxygen and  causes a superb pump and burn due to lactic acid and other metabolites causing stress in the muscle . Slow twitch muscle fibre runs out of oxygen and that encourages recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibre ( which does not need oxygen ) . That ultimately produces an increase in strength, performance and increase in muscle tissue.

And all this happens using very low weights or resistance ( around 25% of your usual 1 rep max weight in conventional training ) compared to 70% in conventional training. The average total workout session is only about 20 mins. No need to train any longer than that with Airbands attached.

When the AirBands are removed and blood flow is restored round the body , it causes a multitude of other physiological benefits to other tissues, not just the arms. AirBands are not just for biceps, you can have an exercise routine for the whole upperbody. Compound routines for Chest and Shoulder and isolation lifts for Tricep and Bicep, exactly the same as your conventional weights programme BUT without the stress on your elbow or shoulder joints/tendons or knees and ankles. What you will get is a fantastic BURN.   And, you only need to exercise the muscle group once, multiple variations are of no benefit.

There are AirBands for Upper limb and Lower limb. For a workout , do a conventional warm up/ stretch routine, just slip on the AirBands on to your arms or legs , auto inflate from the App and your good to start your workout.

If your 1 repetition maximum is 20kgs, then 25% of that is 5 kgs. That`s all you need , a pair of 5 kg dumbbells. There are also routines for rubber resistance bands or using your body weight. If you are a beginner, start low with 1 kg and work your way up as your strength improves. The theory of progressive overload is still in play here. ( which means - try to train to a number of repetitions on the first set of between 27 and 33 and when you feel you have just got 2 left in reserve before failure, stop with that 2 left in reserve)

In other words, if you can do 30 reps and feel you could still do another 10, your weights are too low , so increase the weight a little. Conversely, if you get to 15 reps on the first set and you cant do anymore, your weights are too heavy, so choke back to a lighter weight. The first set of repetitions is always a Target of 30 reps then 15, then 15, then 15 , a total of 75 repetitions for that routine.

Sample AirBand Upper body workout:   First,  warm up and stretch without the AirBands, then fit them on and auto inflate.

Arm Curls for biceps: Perform 30 reps ,  then 30 seconds rest,  do 15 reps, then 30 seconds rest,  do 15 reps, then 30 seconds rest,  do 15 reps.

PressUps for Chest , Triceps and Shoulders : as above : 30 + 15 + 15 + 15 with 30 seconds rest in between.

Bent over Rows for Back muscle groups: as above : 30 + 15 + 15 + 15 with 30 seconds rest in between.

That`s it, in just 20 minutes. Remove the AirBands, and then of course, stretch and cool down. Fresh blood pumps into the muscles and does its stuff.

3 or 4 workouts, 20 minutes each a week to start with. More workout samples to follow.

Disclaimer/Safety. The App has a Health Screening process when you first register, similar to when you first join a health club or gym. Complete the screening tool in the AirBands App prior to commencing BFR training.

Go to this  secure link : 

On the check out page  enter this code  for a discount:    pumptheburn 
Practical blood flow restriction training increases muscle hypertrophy during a periodized resistance training programme

Practical blood flow restriction training increases muscle hypertrophy during a periodized resistance training programme

Ryan P Lowery 1, Jordan M Joy, Jeremy P Loenneke, Eduardo O de Souza, Marco Machado, Joshua E Dudeck, Jacob M WilsonAffiliations 


Background: Resistance training in combination with practical blood flow restriction (pBFR) is thought to stimulate muscle hypertrophy by increasing muscle activation and muscle swelling. Most previous studies used the KAATSU device; however, little long-term research has been completed using pBFR.Objective: To investigate the effects of pBFR on muscle hypertrophy.Methods: Twenty college-aged male participants with a minimum of 1 year of resistance training experience were recruited for this study. Our study consisted of a randomized, crossover protocol consisting of individuals either using pBFR for the elbow flexors during the first 4 weeks (BFR-HI) or the second 4 weeks (HI-BFR) of an 8-week resistance training programme. Direct ultrasound-determined bicep muscle thickness was assessed collectively at baseline and at the end of weeks 4 and 8.Results: There were no differences in muscle thickness between groups at baseline (P = 0·52). There were time (P<0·01, ES = 0·99) but no condition by time effects (P = 0·58, ES = 0·80) for muscle thickness in which the combined values of both groups increased on average from week 0 (3·66 ± 0·06) to week 4 (3·95 ± 0·05) to week 8 (4·11 ± 0·07). However, both the BFR-HI and HI-BFR increased significantly from baseline to week 4 (6·9% and 8·6%, P<0·01) and from weeks 4 to 8 (4·1%, 4·0%, P<0·01), respectively.Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that pBFR can stimulate muscle hypertrophy to the same degree to that of high-intensity resistance training. 

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Low-intensity exercise, vascular occlusion, and muscular adaptations

Low-intensity exercise, vascular occlusion, and muscular adaptations

Teramoto M, Golding LA

Author information

Research in Sports Medicine (Print), 01 Oct 2006, 14(4):259-271

DOI: 10.1080/15438620600985860 PMID: 17214403 Share this article Share with emailShare with twitterShare with linkedinShare with facebook


The study investigated the effects of low-intensity exercise on muscular fitness when combined with vascular occlusion. Nineteen college male and female students performed two sets of a 5-min step exercise using a 12-inch bench three times per week for 5 weeks. During the step exercise, blood flow to one leg was restricted (vascular occlusion) with a blood pressure cuff, while the other leg was not occluded. Muscular strength of the occluded leg was significantly increased over the nonoccluded leg (p < 0. 05). Muscular endurance and muscle mass were improved after 5 weeks of training (p < 0.05); however, the changes between the two legs were not significantly different (p > 0.05). Exercise with vascular occlusion has the potential to be an alternative form of training to promote muscular strength. 

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Effects of Blood Flow Restriction Training on Muscular Strength and Hypertrophy in Older Individuals: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Effects of Blood Flow Restriction Training on Muscular Strength and Hypertrophy in Older Individuals: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Christoph Centner 1, Patrick Wiegel 2 3, Albert Gollhofer 2, Daniel König 2Affiliations Free PMC article

Erratum in


Background: The combination of low-load resistance training with blood flow restriction (BFR) has recently been shown to promote muscular adaptations in various populations. To date, however, evidence is sparse on how this training regimen influences muscle mass and strength in older adults.Purpose: The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to quantitatively identify the effects of low-load BFR (LL-BFR) training on muscle mass and strength in older individuals in comparison with conventional resistance training programmes. Additionally, the effectiveness of walking with and without BFR was assessed.Methods: A PRISMA-compliant systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted. The systematic literature research was performed in the following electronic databases from inception to 1 June 2018: PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus and CENTRAL. Subsequently, a random-effects meta-analysis with inverse variance weighting was conducted.Results: A total of 2658 articles were screened, and 11 studies with a total population of N = 238 were included in the meta-analysis. Our results revealed that during both low-load training and walking, the addition of BFR elicits significantly greater improvements in muscular strength with pooled effect sizes (ES) of 2.16 (95% CI 1.61 to 2.70) and 3.09 (95% CI 2.04 to 4.14), respectively. Muscle mass was also increased when comparing walking with and without BFR [ES 1.82 (95% CI 1.32 to 2.32)]. In comparison with high-load training, LL-BFR promotes similar muscle hypertrophy [ES 0.21 (95% CI - 0.14 to 0.56)] but lower strength gains [ES - 0.42 (95% CI - 0.70 to - 0.14)].Conclusion: This systematic review and meta-analysis reveals that LL-BFR and walking with BFR is an effective interventional approach to stimulate muscle hypertrophy and strength gains in older populations. As BFR literature is still scarce with regard to potential moderator variables (e.g. sex, cuff pressure or training volume/frequency), further research is needed for strengthening the evidence for an effective application of LL-BFR training in older people.

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IMPLICATIONS FOR ENHANCING RETURN TO PLAY – Written by Stephen D Patterson, UK, Johnny Owens, USA and Luke Hughes, UKINTRODUCTIONAnterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions worldwide, totalling approximately 250,000 cases per year1. ACL injuries are common in both males and females, occurring at an average age of 30 years with an increasingly high annual incidence in all activity levels from recreational to professional sport2,3. While conservative treatment options exist, more often patients require ACL reconstruction (ACLR) surgery by means of allograft or autograft to restore the ligamentous structure, and thus anterior-posterior stability, of the knee joint4.The typical approach to ACLR rehabilitation has shifted from full limb immobilisation post-surgery to early restoration of range of movement (ROM) weight bearing and increased muscle activation5,6. However, even with more accelerated and aggressive rehabilitation a major consequence of ACL injury and subsequent reconstruction is significant thigh muscle atrophy7,8 and muscle weakness9 in the first weeks post-surgery10 and can persist for several years post operation11. There are many short-term12 and long-term13 consequences of ACLR such as decreased protein turnover14, strength loss9, arthrogenic inhibition15, an increased risk of osteoarthritis16 and reinjury17. The effects of muscle atrophy are unavoidable given the reduced weight bearing and unloading context of ACLR rehabilitation18 related to concerns of graft strain19, cartilage damage20, bone bruising and meniscal injury21, which often serve as contraindications to heavy load exercise to regain muscle strength and size. Additionally, muscle physiology appears to be altered after ACLR with signs of greater extracellular matrix and fewer satellite cells than prior to surgery22.  Thus, clinicians are faced with the task of finding alternative rehabilitation tools.Blood flow restriction (BFR) is a novel training method that aims to partially restrict arterial inflow and fully restrict venous outflow in active musculature during exercise23. BFR training has been proposed as a tool for early rehabilitation post ACLR24,25 because of its low-load nature and hypertrophic capacity26. Our recent meta-analysis indicated that low-load BFR training is a safe and effective clinical rehabilitation tool when applied correctly27. BACKGROUND TO BFRSince its early emergence as a form of exercise training, restriction of blood flow is commonly referred to as ‘BFR training’28. This technique of restricting blood flow to the muscle using a pneumatic tourniquet system involves applying an external pressure, typically using a tourniquet cuff, to the most proximal aspect of the upper and / or lower limbs. When the cuff is inflated, there is compression of the vasculature underneath the cuff resulting in an ischemic environment, which subsequently results in hypoxia within the muscle29.Early research identified the capability of BFR to stimulate muscle hypertrophy and strength gains when combined with low-load resistance28. To date,  the definitive mechanism(s) underpinning adaptations to low-load BFR training have not been pragmatically identified; however, proposed mechanisms include: cell swelling30 increased muscle fibre recruitment31  increased muscle protein synthesis32 and increased corticomotor excitability33. The low-load nature of BFR training and ability to create muscle hypertrophy and subsequent strength gains make it a powerful clinical rehabilitation tool; an alternative to heavy-load resistance training in populations that require muscle hypertrophy and strengths gains but in which heavy-loading of the musculoskeletal system is contraindicated 27,63.EFFECTIVENESS OF BFR IN THE EARLY STAGES OF REHABILITATIONRecently published research provides promising evidence of the effectiveness of BFR training in the early phases of rehabilitation post ACLR. In the UK National Health Service, we examined the effectiveness of BFR training compared to standard care rehabilitation in the first three months following ACL surgery7. Using a criteria-driven approach, patients began resistance training at approximately 21 days post-surgery. Using a leg press exercise, patients were randomised to either BFR training (4 sets (30, 15, 15, 15 reps) at 30% 1RM) or standard care heavy load training (3 sets (10, 10, 10 reps) at 70% 1RM), performing this twice per week for 8 weeks. Over 8 weeks of training, significant and comparable increases in muscle thickness (5.8 ± 0.2% and 6.7 ± 0.3%) and pennation angle (4.1 ± 0.3% and 3.4 ± 0.1%) were observed with BFR-RT and heavy load training respectively. Alongside this, significant and comparable increases in leg press strength were observed in the injured limb with BFR training (104 ± 30%) and heavy load training (106 ± 43%). Interestingly, BFR training appeared to attenuate knee extensor strength loss at fast speeds, possibly indicating a reduction in arthrogenic inhibition. In addition to muscle hypertrophy and strength adaptations, clinically meaningful improvements in several measures of physical function (International knee documentation committee score, lower extremity function scale, Lysholm knee-scoring scale and the Knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score) were observed with BFR training, which were all significantly greater than heavy load training. This may be due in part to the greater reduction in knee pain and swelling found with subjects performing BFR training. Cumulatively, studies indicate that BFR training performed at a much lower exercise intensity improves physical function, pain and swelling to a greater extent than traditional resistance training, without any detrimental effect on muscle hypertrophy and strength adaptations. Using BFR training during rehabilitation post ACLR appears to be safe and practically feasible. No adverse effects on knee laxity have been found with BFR training compared to heavy load training7,34. It has also been shown both acutely and chronically that patients experience less knee pain during and for up to 24 hours post-exercise with BFR training35,36, with a greater overall reduction in pain following 8 weeks of training7,36. Moreover, the perceived exertion and muscle pain responses to BFR training appears not to limit application or adherence to training.  Similar findings have been found in post-surgical BFR studies in the US military37. PHASES OF BFR USAGE FOLLOWING ACLRThe primary post-operative goals of ACLR are to reduce joint effusion, pain control and combat muscle atrophy and strength loss38. During this early phase (phase 1), unloading of the muscle causes muscle atrophy39,40; thus, passive BFR, which is the application of BFR without exercise, may be performed. Passive BFR creates an increase in cellular swelling that is evident after release of the cuff30, which may increase muscle protein synthesis and suppress breakdown41,42. Passive BFR can be applied using a protocol of 5 sets of 5 minutes full restriction followed by 3 minutes of rest and reperfusion to attenuate atrophy and strength loss of the quadriceps muscles25,43,44.  In addition, voluntary isometric contractions during BFR may increase metabolic stress and cell swelling levels above passive BFR and contribute to muscle hypertrophy23,45, acting as a preparation phase to subsequent low-load BFR exercise. This first phase should begin a few days post-surgery provided that inflammation, pain and swelling is not excessive, and patients have passed a risk assessment questionnaire46. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) combined with BFR has become more common in clinical practice in the acute phase of ACLR.  Although this is a novel concept, studies combining low intensity NMES with BFR have found increases in muscle size and strength47,48. NMES of the quadriceps does not involve transmission of large forces through the tibiofemoral joint, thus exhibiting a low risk of damaging the graft or exacerbating any cartilage, meniscal, or bone injuries. Mitigating the loss of muscle strength and size in the acute stages of rehabilitation are necessary to perform voluntary training later in the rehabilitation process49. Thus, we are proposing NMES with BFR as an updated and potentially more effective approach to the early first postoperative phase.As range of motion is returned and gait is normalized, low-load resistance with BFR should be introduced to accelerate muscle hypertrophy and improve strength. A synthesis of the available literature indicates that low-load BFR training is an effective, tolerable and useful clinical MSK rehabilitation tool27.  Low-load resistance training with BFR has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis32 which may be a result of activation of the mTOR signalling pathway that is thought to be an important cellular mechanism for enhanced muscle protein synthesis with BFR exercise50. Such increases in muscle protein synthesis with low-loads can help recover and increase muscle size without loading the post-operative knee joint with heavy loads traditionally required for such adaptations. Low-load BFR resistance exercise may also be used to combat the reduced muscle satellite cell abundance observed during periods of unloading following ACLR51,52. Regarding strength, the early preferential recruitment of type II fast-twitch fibres at low-loads generated during BFR exercise is thought to be an important mechanism behind strength adaptations at such low loads. With BFR exercise, it appears that the normal size principle of muscle recruitment is reversed26. Fast-twitch fibres, which are more susceptible to atrophy and activation deficits during unloading53 are normally only recruited at high intensities of muscular work.  During low-load resistance training with BFR it appears they are recruited earlier. Indeed, several studies have demonstrated increased muscle activation during low-load BFR resistance exercise54,55. Greater internal activation intensity has been found relative to external load during low-load BFR resistance exercise31, suggesting type II fibres are preferentially recruited. This preferential recruitment of the type II fibres that are more susceptible to atrophy during the early stages of ACL rehabilitation may help combat arthrogenic inhibition while also triggering muscle hypertrophy and recovery of strength   HOW TO IMPLEMENT BFR TRAININGSo how do we go about using BFR in a practical setting? Recent research supports individualisation of BFR application, where BFR is prescribed as a percentage of ‘arterial limb occlusion pressure’ (LOP), which represents the minimum pressure required for total arterial occlusion23. Manipulation of BFR protocols has been shown to influence the perceptual, hemodynamic, and neuromuscular responses to BFR exercise. Therefore, a brief overview of the current consensus on BFR application during rest and exercise is provided in Table 1 & 256. HOW BFR CAN ENHANCE THE RETURN TO SPORT PROCESSWhen to return to sport following ACLR is a controversial issue. It is common for patients to be at a higher risk of re-injury compared to healthy controls57,58. Strength and conditioning coaches, rehabilitation specialists and surgeons utilize a range of assessments to determine an athlete’s readiness to return to sport, including: subjective rating scales, knee laxity testing, isokinetic testing, functional hop testing, balance testing, and movement assessment. Whilst this has improved over recent years, several studies have demonstrated deficits in muscular strength, kinaesthetic sense, balance, and force attenuation 6 months to 2 years following reconstruction58-60. With this in mind, the return to sport following ACLR should not be rushed. Furthermore, we suggest BFR be used to mitigate some of these residual deficits that athletes experience. By using BFR earlier in the rehabilitation to offset atrophy and strength loss (phase 1) and improve strength and hypertrophy (phase 2), practitioners can spend more time focussing on neuromuscular control, functional strength, rate of force development, and psychological readiness which are necessary for a successful return to competition and reducing the risk of re-injuryCONCLUSION / FUTURE WORKBFR provides a low-load safe and efficacious treatment modality for athletes following ACLR. As it gains more acceptance in clinical settings and more robust clinical trials are published, there has been a shift in the acuity of its usage and adoption across clinical conditions. Clinical trials have advanced to not just explore the ability of BFR to preserve and restore lost muscle mass and strength, data are now available which report its ability to preserve bone loss after ACLR61, provide a reduction in pain, swelling and function7,36.More recent advancements have also advocated its use in prehabilitation prior to ACLR62 where a reduction of muscle fibrosis and upregulation of satellite cells have been shown along with accelerated return to play. Thus, we propose that these findings provide an important message for clinicians and athletes alike - train hard, train smart and start early!    Stephen D Patterson Ph.D.Reader in Applied Exercise Physiology and PerformanceSt Marys University, Faculty of sport, Health & Applied science,London, United KingdomJohnny Owens MPTChief of Human Performance OptimzationOwens Recovery Systems, San Antonio, Texas, USALuke Hughes Ph.D.Post-doctoral research fellow in Applied PhysiologySt Marys University, Faculty of sport, Health & Applied science,London, United Kingdom

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