Bloodflow Restriction Training For Glutes


Bloodflow restriction training (BFR) is a legit form of training with tons of research support. It's obvious that it works well for occluded (distal) muscles such as quads and biceps, but what about muscles above the cuff (proximal) - such as the glutes and pecs? Well, there actually is some research demonstrating positive effects for BFR on torso muscles that aren't occluded, including studies on pecs and glutes. How could this be? Scientists speculate as to a systemic mechanism involving hormones, but this is very unlikely considering the large body of evidence discounting the "hormone hypothesis." It could be that synergistic muscles are fatigued, thereby placing more burden on the proximal muscles.

Regardless, there are no studies examining heavy, progressive glute training versus a combined group that performed heavy, progressive glute training in addition to BFR. I am very skeptical as to whether greater results would be seen in the combined group, simply because every known mechanism of hypertrophy is already covered with heavy, progressive training. Nevertheless, BFR glute training could produce results through an interesting mechanism involving placebo effects - basically your glutes look perkier so you spend more time in the gym and end up pushing yourself harder.

If you've tried BFR training for glutes and like it, then have at it. But put the cuffs on after your heavy hip thrusts and abduction work. It most likely works best with squats and lunges and hinges because it would theoretically force more burden onto the glutes due to fatigued quads and hams, so perform these exercises after more glute dominant movements that don't heavily involve the knee extensors and flexors.

We still have much to learn about BFR training - from the mechanisms, to the best exercises to incorporate it with, to the best set and rep schemes, to the best materials and amounts of pressures. Until then, it's anybody's guess as to how it works with glutes, but I surmise that in time we'll realize that it's redundant if you already train glutes properly (how I recommend). In other words, it's probably unnecessary and overrated for hardcore gymgoers.

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