What are Airbands and how do they work?

What are Airbands and how do they work?

AirBands are the world’s first, fully digital and wireless Blood Flow Restriction training devices, which are controlled seamlessly via bluetooth from your smartphone. The AirBands are cuffs that are attached either to the arms or legs and inflated to the point where blood flow is restricted to the heart, which is commonly known as blood flow restriction (BFR) training.

What is Blood Flow Resistance Training?

Originating in Japan in the 1960’s, blood flow restriction training involves the application of a cuff to the limbs to restrict blood flow out of the working muscle. This restriction in blood flow leaving the muscle causes a swelling and a build-up of protons and lactic acid from the lack of oxygen and this has been shown to directly stimulate muscle growth. The amplified fatigue caused in your limbs causes the fast twitch muscle fibres to kick into an accelerated rate of growth, causing an increase growth in muscle mass, strength and endurance.

How does it work?

The overall aim of BFR is to achieve more with less effort. By placing a cuff onto the arms or legs, it mimics the effects that high intensity exercise brings to the body but with much less effort. During BFR training, much lighter weights can be used, probably the weight used as a warm up set, such as 10-30% of your one-rep max, making BFR training ideal for people who want quicker results or for those who cannot lift heavy weights due to injury, age or other factors. It is good practice to perform a light cardio warm-up such as walking or cycling followed by 15 reps with the weight you plan to use for your first set during BFR training.  

Is it safe?

With all methods of training, it is important to ensure you recover safely to avoid injury. With BFR training, because you are using less load, the muscles are less susceptible to wear and tear, so you can cut down on rest and recovery time for a more efficient workout.

The benefits of using AirBands is the pressure zone recognition and mobile app which ensures you are working within your personalised pressure zone, reducing the risk of injury and increasing the effectiveness. When using the AirBands, the app will find the pressure zone for you automatically, making them a much safer alternative to other BFR training devices available, which don't have any method of calculating pressure zones. 

Although AirBands are a much safer option for BFR Training, it is still important to screen appropriately before you implement BFR into your training, particularly if you have one of the following medical conditions:

  • Current or previous history of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome (Recurrent Thrombin’s)
  • Family history of VTE On long term warfarin use
  • Pregnancy
  • Thrombophilia
  • Infection within limb
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Vascular graft
  • Lymphedema
  • Anti-thrombin deficiency 

To view the research into BFR training, please click here.