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6 Best Blood Flow Restriction Bands in 2024

Blood flow restriction training, also known as occlusion training, involves placing bands or cuffs around the exercising limb to isolate the blood flow. As it becomes popular among some gym goers of all abilities, choosing the best blood flow restriction bands can be a hard choice. 

By isolating the blood supply, in theory blood flow restriction works by promoting a low oxygen environment, therefore creating more metabolic stress and muscle breakdown. 

Using blood flow restriction bands may also have certain applications for older populations or as a rehabilitation tool, both of which I’ll discuss later on.

Let’s take a look at my top 6 best bfr bands in more detail: 

best blood flow restriction bands

Top 6 Best Blood Flow Restriction Bands Reviewed

  1. Iron Bull Strength Blood Flow Restriction Bands – Top Pick
  2. Gymreapers Occlusion Training Bands – Runner-Up
  3. BRF Bands Blood Flow Restriction Bands
  4. TAVIEW Occlusion Bands
  5. Shape Savages Blood Flow Restriction Bands
  6. Ronin Wraps Elastic BFR Occlusion Bands

Each set of blood flow restriction bands has been ranked below according to design, comfort, adjustability, durability, and price / quality. 

ProductTotalDesignComfortAdjustabilityDurabilityPrice/ Quality
Iron Bull49.510109.51010
Gymreapers48109.59.59.59.5
BRF Bands479.59.599.59.5
TAVIEW46.59.5999.59.5
Shape Savages45.59999.59
Ronin Wraps45.59999.59

1. Iron Bull Strength Blood Flow Restriction Bands – Top Pick

Iron Bull Strength Blood Flow Restriction Bands

Iron Bull Strength is a worldwide distributor of high-quality health and fitness equipment and accessories. They aim to create products that improve human comfort based on biomechanics. 

  • Size: Slim (1″ W x 25″ L) / Rigid (1.5″ W x 30″ L) / Wide (2″ W x 48″ L)
  • Material: Cotton + Elastic 
  • Color Palette: Red & Black
  • Features: Different band choices and occlusions / Elastic slack loops

The Iron Bull Strength blood flow restriction bands are made using a cotton + elastic blend. This gives them a comfortable feel against the skin whilst still providing the desired occlusion when training. It makes them a perfect choice for lifters who are new to blood flow restriction training.

The straps use a strong Velcro fastening system that does pop lose during the middle of a set, allowing you to stretch the bands as much as you need. 

Due to the material and fastening mechanism, they are one of the stretchier sets of bands without causing too much occlusion. Iron Bull Strength offers three size choices, the two main ones being slim (1″ W x 25″ L) and wide (2″ W x 48″ L). 

They also offer a rigid band choice that combines both bands to make a great in-between pair of bfr bands for legs and arms workouts. The bands are 1.5″ wide, 30″ long, and made from a cotton/ nylon rigid material. They have a metal hook and Velcro loop closure mechanism to keep them securely fastened. 

The Iron Bull strength bands come in red and black with the Iron Bull logo in white in the middle. Each band set also features elastic loops to secure the extra material when pulling them tight. 

49.5 EXPERT SCORE

The Iron Bull Strength blood flow restriction bands are made using a cotton + elastic blend. This gives them a comfortable feel against the skin whilst still providing the desired occlusion when training.


Design:0
Comfort:0
Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Cotton + Elastic hybrid material provides comfort with occlusion
  • The extra-long band length is suitable for larger lifters
  • Three size and material options allows you to choose the right pair for your needs

Could be better:

  • More color choices would be a nice addition to allow customization

2. Gymreapers Occlusion Training Bands - Runner Up

Gymreapers Occlusion Training Bands

Gymreapers manufacture premium lifting equipment and accessories. They want to increase the boundaries of athletic performance by creating innovative new products. The brand wants to support you in getting work done.

  • Size: 1" arm band thickness / 2" leg band thickness
  • Material: Thick elastic fabric 
  • Color Palette: Black
  • Features: Numbered Bands 

Gymreapers have put together an excellent blood flow restriction band package, with their bundle set containing two sets of bands for your arms and legs.

Both the arm and leg bands are made from thick, durable elastic material with numbered measurements around the full band length. They also have half measurements, so you're able to get really specific with the pressure applied if you want. This is an excellent addition, allowing you to specifically measure the amount of occlusion applied at target muscles or for specific exercises. 

Both band sets are easy to use, featuring a heavy-duty push-down plastic buckle that fastens and loosens the material with a quick push of the lever button. Both bands also feature extra loops for the excess material that’s not in use. 

The arm occlusion bands are 1.25" thick, which is thicker than most comparable choices. The leg bands are 2" wide, which is pretty normal for leg occlusion bands on the market.

Both band sets come in black, with the numbering and Gymreapers logo in white. 

48 EXPERT SCORE

Gymreapers have put together an excellent blood flow restriction band package, with their bundle set containing two sets of bands for your arms and legs.


Design:0
Comfort:0
Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Numbering around the band length for specific occlusion measurements
  • Excellent band bundle set option with specific bands for your arms and legs
  • Durable elastic material is designed to stretch and not give way under pressure

Could be better:

  • The plastic buckle mechanism could be more durable, with the possibility of it coming loose with use

3. BRF Bands Blood Flow Restriction Bands

BRF Bands Blood Flow Restriction Bands

BRF Bands claim to have ‘decoded the science to strength training’. Their bands have been successfully used in multiple scientific studies that show improvements in human performance. 

  • Size: Arm bands (1" W x 21" L) / Leg Bands (2" W x 40" L)
  • Material: Elastic 
  • Color Palette: Blue + Black
  • Features: Numbered bands
BRF Bands Blood Flow Restriction Bands instagram
photo by sonyia_blade

BFR Bands give you the option of purchasing just the leg bands on their own or as a package set, with smaller arm bands included. The different options are the pro bands and the pro bands bundle.

Both bands are made from thick and strong elastic that’s designed to hold its shape with repeated use. This means the bands should not slip as you work out, even during intense sessions.

Both bands have pro-quality cam buckles which are comfortable, easy to use, and won’t pinch the skin when altering. They also have numbers along the length of the bands, allowing you to measure the specific pressure applied at both cuffs. 

The PRO SLIM bands are 1" wide, 21" long whilst the larger PRO bands are 2" wide and 40" long, designed as bfr bands for glutes. Both bands come in blue and black, with the BFR branding in yellow on the buckles. 

47 EXPERT SCORE

BFR Bands give you the option of purchasing just the leg bands on their own or as a package set, with smaller arm bands included.


Design:0
Comfort:0
Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Pro-quality can buckles are designed not to pinch the skin when using them
  • The bands have been used by BFR in multiple scientific studies, meaning they are well-tested
  • Both sets come with a handy storage package to keep the bands tidy 

Could be better:

  • The cam buckles are quite bulky, meaning they could get in the way when lifting

4. TAVIEW Occlusion Bands

TAVIEW Occlusion Bands

TAVIEW manufactures high-quality lifting accessories including blood flow restriction bands, lifting straps, lifting shoes, and gloves. 

  • Size: Arms (1.25" W x 23.5" L) / Legs (2" W x 39.5" L)
  • Material: Elastic 
  • Color Palette: Red, Purple, Yellow
  • Features: Carry bag option / Exercise guide sheet 

The blood flow restriction bands from TAVIEW are nicely designed and feature the most customizable options out of my top 6 band choices. 

They can be purchased as the standard set of arm and leg bands in red and yellow, or with a great-looking black carry bag and handy exercise guide in purple or blue. 

Both the arm and leg bands use high-quality elastic that provides good occlusion whilst not moving during exercise. The bands contract and relax with movement, and won’t loosen with repeated use.

The quick-release buckle uses an easy lift and release design, allowing you to alter the bands with little effort mid-training. The anti-slip Velcro keeps the bands securely fastened.

The arm wraps are 1.25" wide and 23.5" long, whilst the leg wraps are 2" wide and 39.5" long. Both wraps feature slack holders to keep the wraps near when pulling them tight. 

Each of the wraps is nicely designed, with the large TAVIEW branding on the end of the straps and the handy carry bag.

46.5 EXPERT SCORE

The blood flow restriction bands from TAVIEW are nicely designed and feature the most customizable options out of my top 6 band choices.


Design:0
Comfort:0
Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Multiple color design options available
  • Option of added carry bag and useful exercise guide
  • Smaller plastic buckle design reduces the chance of it pinching your skin

Could be better:

  • No option to purchase the sets of bands as single sets rather than a package 

5. Shape Savages Blood Flow Restriction Bands

Shape Savages Blood Flow Restriction Bands

Shape Savages believe you should ‘be savage, not average’. The brand aims to help people achieve more in life by producing great workout gear and accessories.

  • Size: Arms (2" W x 26" L) / Legs (2" W x 36" L)
  • Material: Elastic
  • Color Palette: Yellow + Black
  • Features: Thicker arm bands

Shape Savages have the motto ‘Be Savage’ and their blood flow restriction bands certainly follow the motto. They are fairly rigid as far as blood flow bands go, meaning they don’t take much moving at all to get them tight. 

Whilst they are quite rigid, the material still sits comfortably against the skin. Compared to most arm bands, the shape savages arm bands are much thicker at 2'' wide and 26" L. Whilst not currently proven, this may lead to a better arm pump as it should in theory lead to more blood restriction. 

The leg bands are also 2" wide and 36" long, providing plenty of length to wrap around tightly. Both bands feature an easy-release black buckle that’s quite large compared to other comparable options. 

Something to improve on is the absence of a slack loop. Whilst this could become an issue, both band sets are relatively short, so they shouldn’t get in the way.

Both bands come in a striking yellow and black design, with the ‘Be Savage, Not Average’ logo stitched into the bands next to the buckle.

45.5 EXPERT SCORE

Shape Savages have the motto ‘Be Savage’ and their blood flow restriction bands certainly follow the motto. They are fairly rigid as far as blood flow bands go, meaning they don’t take much moving at all to get them tight.


Design:0
Comfort:0
Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Shorter band design reduces the change of extra material getting in the way
  • The 2" arm band width may help to increase blood occlusion when using them
  • The rigid fabric design provides heavy-duty occlusion

Could be better:

  • The addition of a slack loop would be good for any extra band material 

6. Ronin Wraps Elastic BFR Occlusion Bands

Ronin Wraps Elastic BFR Occlusion Bands

Ronin Fitness believes that a great workout stems from great focus and amazing equipment. They aim to deliver high-quality, durable fitness equipment to help achieve your goals in and out of the gym. 

  • Size: Arms (1.25" W x 23.5" L) / Legs (2" W x 39.5" L)
  • Material: Neoprene 
  • Color Palette: Red + Black
  • Features: Quick Release Buckle / Slack Loop
Ronin Wraps Elastic BFR Occlusion Bands instagram
photo by dozoisdan

The Ronin Wraps occlusion bands are made from premium neoprene material that provides a rigid but comfortable fit. This allows the band material to expand and relax during movement whilst keeping its shape well, whilst providing good occlusion.

The quick-release buckle features a user-friendly design. Simply lift the buckle to release or pull the material through and attach it to the slack loop that is included.

Ronin Wraps sell the bands as a set of 2, with the arm bands measuring 1.25" wide and 23.5" long. The leg bands are 2" and 39.5" long. 

The set includes 2 pairs of bands, a carry bag, and a 21 page E-Book. The bands come in red with the Ronin Wraps branding stitched into the middle.

45.5 EXPERT SCORE

The Ronin Wraps occlusion bands are made from premium neoprene material that provides a rigid but comfortable fit.


Design:0
Comfort:0
Adjustability:0
Durability:0
Price/Quality:0

Positives:

  • Premium neoprene material design provides all-around occlusion with a comfortable fit
  • 21-page instructional E-Book is included to help you use the bands correctly 
  • The built-in loop helps to keep the excess fabric tidy when not in use 

Could be better:

  • The thick logo might be hard to pull through the buckle during use

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What Are the Benefits of Using Blood Flow Restriction Bands?

Here are some of the benefits of using occlusion training bands:

✅ Increased Hypertrophy 

Multiple studies have been performed comparing the effects of normal training to blood flow restriction training.

Research suggests that blood flow restriction training produces hypertrophy similar to training at much heavier loads when training normally. 

When restricting blood flow, the bands produce a low-oxygen environment. This creates metabolic stress as the body tries to pump more blood into the muscle. When muscles fatigue, the damaged tissue is repaired and new muscle is built. 

✅ Increased Strength 

Using light weights (<40% 1RM) combined with blood flow restriction training can help to maintain or increase strength when combined with regular resistance training.

Combining the two provides multiple different stimuli that lead to increased strength, even with a lower volume of weight lifted.

✅ Joint-friendly

Due to the lighter loads needed when using bands, blood flow restriction training is an excellent joint-friendly exercise option. 

If you struggle with joint pain when lifting heavier weights, drop the weight down and use blood flow restriction bands. This makes blood flow restriction training great for those with general joint issues and older populations.

Even if you don’t have joint issues, giving your joints a rest periodically might be a great option for long-term health.

✅ Rehabilitation

Several studies have shown blood flow restriction training to be a highly effective recovery method following an injury.

During the recovery period, it takes a long while before you’re able to go back to normal training or start doing wear-bearing exercises. 

Performing light resistance training combined with blood flow restriction bands provides a similar stimulus whilst allowing you to start exercising again much earlier.  

The metabolic stress created at the injured area should also help to speed up the recovery process

Blood Flow Restriction Band in use

When Do You Need Blood Flow Restriction Bands?

Blood flow restriction bands are pretty versatile, meaning they can be used successfully in several situations and to help accomplish different goals. 

Here are the situations when blood flow restriction training is useful and who might be most suited:

1. Beginners 

If you’re just starting in the gym, blood flow restriction training isn’t the best option. Build a solid foundation first by sticking to the basics and developing your strength. 

Get used to the different gym movement patterns and look to apply progressive overload successfully for a decent training period. As a beginner, you’re able to make progress much quicker compared to more advanced athletes. Changing volume, load, and/ or time under tension can all be great ways to progress successfully without using blood flow restriction bands.

Once you’ve done this, using methods such as bfr training may provide an added stimulus on top of the solid foundation might be a good idea.

2. Intermediate 

Intermediate exercises are the group that will get the most benefit from using blood flow restriction bands. At this point, you understand the basics of lifting, how to perform exercises correctly, and you’ve most likely built a solid foundation to work from. 

You’ve experimented with the principles of training and seen progress when varying them. Now it’s the time to add something new to your program or use something to complement your training. This is where blood flow restriction training comes in.

Performing blood flow restriction exercises on top of a solid program is an excellent idea. The big lifts such as squats, bench presses, and deadlifts can be performed normally, using the same principles as before. Using cuffs with accessory-type arm and leg exercises such as bicep curls, tricep movements, leg extensions, and leg curls is where you’ll see the most benefit.

3. Advanced 

At this point, you may just want to use blood flow restriction bands to change up your training and do something different during your weekly training cycle. Use the bands on top of the solid program you’ve already built.

Alongside this, bfr bands are great for other populations, such as:

  • Athletes recovering from injury and want to decrease their recovery time 
  • Older populations looking for joint-friendly exercises 
  • People who can’t perform normal exercises and want a way to work their muscles 
  • Lifters looking to add to their program or mix in some training variety 
  • Athletes looking to increase their sports performance

*If you’re someone who suffers from high blood pressure, make sure to consult your doctor first before using blood flow restriction bands

using Blood Flow Restriction Band on legs

What to Look For in Blood Flow Restriction Bands?

When purchasing bfr straps, make sure you consider these main factors first:

1. Design

Design refers to the materials used and dimensions of the bfr training bands. Some bands are elastic and some are more rigid, which changes the amount and type of pressure applied. 

If you’re using the bands often, you’ll likely be wanting to clean them. Although not as important for function, check how easy the bands are to clean after each use. 

Depending on what you’re using the bfr bands for, you want to make sure they will fit around the target muscle. If you're using them for legs, you may need bigger, wider bands. If you’re a smaller lifter, smaller bands may be just fine for you. 

Most bfr bands should be approximately 40 for the legs and 25 for the arms. Common band materials include elastic, cotton, and neoprene.

2. Comfort

Comfort isn’t always prioritized when training, but it’s important when using restrictive bands. Rather than thinking about band comfort, you want to be focusing on your training technique and rhythm.

As the bands will be sitting against your skin for a long period, make sure to consider the material used if you have sensitive skin. 

With some bands featuring adjustable cuff straps, check where they will sit against the skin and consider the movements you’ll be using them for.

3. Adjustability

Adjustability refers to how easy the bands are to increase and decrease pressure. The bands should be easy to adjust within seconds so that you’re able to change them between exercises as needed. 

You need the bands to be tight so that they restrict blood flow, but not too tight so that your arms or legs turn blue. Make sure that they are easily adjustable in between a set without having to fully stop and then start again. 

using Blood Flow Restriction Band

4. Durability

Durability refers to how the bands can handle wear and tear over time. With the bands under constant tension, they should be made from durable materials that are designed to take repeated impact over a long period.

5. Price/Quality

You don’t need to purchase super expensive gym equipment to get the intended use. Most bfr bands are available at great, budget-friendly prices that won’t break the bank.

When purchasing, check the overall quality and features offered by the bands. Compare them to some similar-priced bands and make sure you’re happy with what you’re getting.

How to Use Blood Flow Restriction Bands?

Before using your bands, make sure to follow this step-by-step guide to perform blood flow restriction training safely:

  1. Make sure to put the band in the right position - To put the bands in the right location, place them on the side closest to your midline, or proximal side. For example, if you're performing bicep curls, make sure to place the bands above your biceps instead of your wrist. 
  2. Apply the correct pressure - Aim for a moderate amount without causing any pain. Around an 8/10 is enough to see the desired effects without becoming dangerous.
  3. Perform the exercise using the correct intensity and rep range Research suggests using loads around 3-50% of your 1RM is enough for blood flow restriction training. Aim for 20-25 reps per set and be careful not to overtrain.
workout with Blood Flow Restriction Band

FAQ

Are blood flow restriction bands worth it?

Blood flow restriction bands provide an excellent training method for a number of populations. Intermediate exercisers, older populations, and people recovering from injury can benefit from using blood flow restriction bands. 

How long should you wear blood flow restriction bands for?

Look to wear the bands for around 20-30 minutes as a maximum. As bfr training doesn't take long to see the effect, wearing them for 5 minutes or each body part is plenty of time. 

How many times a week can you use BFR bands?

You can use bfr bands as often as you like. However, using them as part of a periodized program is the best way. This means you don't need to use them every day, but maybe every other day alongside normal exercise. 

Conclusion

Blood flow restriction training provides a number of benefits to different populations, including athletes, gym goers, older populations, and people recovering from injury. I've provided an in-depth bfr bands review above to help you choose the right pair for you. 

The Iron Bull Strength Blood Flow Restriction Bands are my top pick. They are well-designed, offer a range of versatile uses depending on the model chosen, and come at a great price point.

Have you done bfr training before? What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

Also read:

References:

  1. Practical blood flow restriction training increases muscle hypertrophy during a periodized resistance training programme // Wiley Online Library: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cpf.12099
  2. Blood Flow Restriction Training for Athletes: A Systematic Review// National Library of Medicine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33196300/
  3. Combined effects of low-intensity blood flow restriction training and high-intensity resistance training on muscle strength and size // Springer: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00421-011-1873-8
  4. Blood Flow Restriction Training in Rehabilitation Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstructive Surgery: A Review // Ingenta: https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/wk/bto/2018/00000033/00000002/art00007

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With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Ihor Shymechko

Author: Ihor Shymechko
Pro Olympic Weightlifter, Coach

Experience: 26 years
Best Results: Snatch – 208 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Ihor has been a professional weightlifter since 1996, boasting over two decades of competition experience. His notable achievements include clinching the European Championship in 2009 and securing a silver medal in the 105kg division at the Senior World Championships in 2011. Ihor represented his country in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. After retiring from competitive weightlifting, he transitioned to coaching, leveraging his vast experience to guide athletes who now compete on both national and international stages.

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