Ep 22. BFR & Spinal Cord Injuries - improving function & elite sporting performance

 Hi everyone,

This month is jam packed full of great information. From a general training viewpoint, in Australia we are starting to see an ease of COVID-19 restrictions and this result in being able to access indoor training and gym facilities. It is therefore important to reload the body sensibly over the next month. For those who don't currently have access to sufficient training facilities (i.e. strength equipment) his is where I see BFR can be a good training addition.

Today's guest is ParaOlympian Sam Tait who I was suggested to get onto the podcast by a previous guest and Sam's S&C coach, Kelly Beahan. Sam is a complete T10 paraplegic and is an elite athlete who competes in the winter-based sport of sit skiing. Sam competed at the 2018 Winter Paralympics where he came 11th in downhill and a year later competed at the 2019 World Championships and finished 6th in downhill. Through Kelly's guidance, Sam really uses BFR to its full potential. His story is great so I thank him again for coming onto the podcast.

You can check what he is up to via:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/samtait_7/

Website: https://www.samtait.com.au

Also, check out Kelly Beahan who has been instrumental in helping with his physical preparation: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/itskel/


As I was putting this episode together ad trying to find relevant articles, I felt it was themed around Spinal Cord Injuries. Although I couldn't find an article that was sporting related, I did find one that was related to general function and felt this may provide some useful information and ideas for those who have spinal cord injuries and rehab specialists.

The article I review is: 

Electrical Stimulation and Blood Flow Restriction Increase Wrist Extensor Cross-Sectional Area and Flow Meditated Dilatation Following Spinal Cord Injury

Affiliations expand


Purpose: To examine the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and blood flow restricted (BFR) exercise on wrist extensors cross-sectional area (CSA), torque and hand functions compared NMES only in individuals with incomplete tetraplegia. The acute effect of an acute bout of NMES with BFR on flow mediated dilation (FMD) was compared with BFR only.

This is a great article that if you are interested in knowing more about to go and download it. 

As I am talking about Spinal Cord Injuries, I thought it was also useful to highlight contraindications and indications to BFR. There is a fantastic article that I refer to here:

Key considerations when conducting KAATSU training

International Journal of KAATSU   - 2011 Volume 7 Issue 1 Pages 1-6

T. NakajimaT. MoritaY. Sato

KAATSU training delivers a more thorough methodology and this article highlights that you can include BFR in those with Spinal Cord Injuries.
I hope you enjoy this episode and if you have any questions or want to purchase your own set of BFR cuffs, please reach out to me via my socials

Thanks for listening.




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