Delfi, KAATSU, B STRONG, Occlusion Cuff and wraps are the most commonly used blood flow restriction (BFR) devices all of which have been designed to meet different needs and demands. Blood flow restriction devices can be used within 3 main areas; physiotherapy, strength and conditioning and adult fitness. While B STRONG BFR, Delfi and KAATSU are commonly used in therapy centres. Occlusion Cuffs, B STRONG BFR and wraps and straps are used in the consumer market. B STRONG is the best training system to use across all areas.
B STRONG is the best when it comes to value for money for blood flow restriction devices. Occlusion Cuff is a similar price when viewed as either a 4 belt or 2 belt package. The only training device that is lower in cost is Wraps, but they have their limitations as a blood flow restriction training device in terms of safety, comfort, and ability to achieve results. KAATSU and Delfi are up to 3 times more expensive than B STRONG.
With B STRONG and to some extent KAATSU the potential to occlude blood flow is extremely low. In comparison, wraps, Occlusion Cuff and Delfi have a high occlusion potential which raises safety concerns and could harm the individual.
B STRONG, Occlusion Cuff, Delfi and KAATSU are capable of prescribing pressures. However, due to the simple nature of wraps they are not able to prescribe pressures and the user is at a high risk of occluding blood flow and putting themselves at risk of harm. The Occlusion Cuff does not provide an actual pressure prescription, instead it relies on a perceived pain scale to set pressures which may vary from person to person. B STRONG BFR do not cause pain due to the optimal pressures prescribed but users may feel discomfort from the disruption of homeostasis.
Narrow and the “Safe and Effective window”
B STRONG and KAATSU are narrow in width which is preferable as less muscle is covered and therefore crush less muscle, protect nerves and provide a wider range of effective pressures. Wraps, Occlusion Cuff and Delfi are wider in width which is not beneficial to the user. The width and structure of the BFR device relates to the “safe and effective window”, which is the range of compression values that allow a person to operate the BFR device both safely and effectively. A narrow “window” means that the user needs to take great care as to how much pressure, or how tight the wrap is. Going above the window means a potentially unsafe condition with too MUCH compression and going below the window means an ineffective session with too LITTLE compression. B STRONG’s proprietary design has a wide “window” meaning the user can quickly apply the prescribed pressures with a simple hand pump AND untether while staying within the “window”.
B STRONG and KAATSU can stretch due to their elastic nature which keeps the pressure close to the level it should be. The Occlusion Cuff is rigid and therefore does not stretch when muscle contraction takes place leading to pressure spikes with fast contractions. The Delfi system actively regulates pressure, but it is also rigid and covers a large portion of the muscle, and the active regulation may not be adequate when muscle contractions occur quickly during dynamic training. Wraps, while elastic when unwrapped, quickly lose their ability to expand with multiple wraps and approach the behavior of a rigid cuff. Wraps generally need to be wrapped multiple times in order to effectively achieve adequate compression.
Leads & size
Most blood flow restriction training devices are wireless with the ability to detach the lead from the belts allowing for a seamless training session. Delfi however, is a device that must remain tethered throughout the training session meaning that the leads can be an obstacle and get in the way. In addition, some blood flow restriction devices are bulky and are not the best for travelling with.
Freedom of movement
The Occlusion Cuff, Delfi and KAATSU are bulky on the limb and interface with normal gait mechanics. B STRONG by contrast actually shrinks in circumference when inflated so it stays tight to the body and allows for normal comfortable movement during exercise. B STRONG is arguably the best for sleek design and ability to travel with the device and enables users to carry out movements with their correct-neuro motor patterns.
App & certification
B STRONG has developed its own app which provides videos and instructions on how to safely and effectively use the device. No other BFR products on the market offers an easy to use feature for information and guidance. Other products such as Delfi and KAATSU require accreditation which involves a large volume of hours and is very expensive. B STRONG does offer certification, but it is optional for those who want it.
Delfi is a blood flow restriction device that is only intended for medical uses rather than a physical training device. All other blood flow restriction devices may be used for physical training and can allow athletes to reap the benefits of doing such training, however some have the restrictions on freedom of movement, as discussed above.
All blood flow restriction devices can lead to training benefits but some do a better job than others. We believe B STRONG is the best all round blood flow restriction training devices and is great value for money!
B STRONG is the first company to make BFR training simple, safe, affordable and effective.