Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

Thigh muscle size and vascular function after blood flow-restricted elastic band training in older women

Tomohiro Yasuda _, Kazuya Fukumura, Takanobu Tomaru and Toshiaki Nakajima

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:33595-33607. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9564

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Tomohiro Yasuda1,2,3, Kazuya Fukumura1, Takanobu Tomaru3 and Toshiaki Nakajima1,4

1 Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

2 School of Nursing, Seirei Christopher University, Shizuoka, Japan

3 Faculty of Medicine, Toho University, Chiba, Japan

4 Heart Center, Dokkyo Medical University Hospital, Tochigi, Japan

Correspondence to:

Tomohiro Yasuda, email:

Keywords: sarcopenia, vascular occlusion, muscle hypertrophy, resistance exercise, arterial stiffness, Gerotarget

Received: December 08, 2015 Accepted: May 12, 2016 Published: May 23, 2016


We examined the effect of elastic band training with blood flow restriction (BFR) on thigh muscle size and vascular function in older women. Older women were divided into three groups: low-intensity elastic band BFR training (BFR-Tr, n = 10), middle- to high-intensity elastic band training (MH-Tr, n = 10), and no training (Ctrl, n = 10) groups. BFR-Tr and MH-Tr groups performed squat and knee extension exercises using elastic band, 2 days/week for 12 weeks. During BFR-Tr exercise session, subjects wore pressure cuffs around the most proximal region of both thighs. The following measurements were taken before (pre) and 3-5 days after (post) the final training session: MRI-measured muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) at mid-thigh, maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) of knee extension, central systolic blood pressure (c-SBP), central-augmentation index (c-AIx), cardio-ankle vascular index testing (CAVI), ankle-brachial pressure index (ABI). Quadriceps muscle CSA (6.9%) and knee extension MVIC (13.7%) were increased (p < 0.05) in the BFR-Tr group, but not in the MH-Tr and the Ctrl groups. Regarding c-SBP, c-AIx, CAVI and ABI, there were no changes between pre- and post- results among the three groups. Elastic band BFR training increases thigh muscle CSA as well as maximal muscle strength, but does not decrease vascular function in older women.

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