Updated December 2021
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Buying guide for best occlusion training bands

Whether you have trouble building lean muscle mass, need to rehab an injured body part, or just want to switch up your workout routine, a simple way to do this is with occlusion training bands. Blood flow restriction training (BFR) allows you to get an effective workout while only lifting about 20% of your maximum weight, which can save wear and tear on your joints and help prevent injuries.

When shopping for occlusion training bands, you’ll want to look for a set that is large enough to easily wrap around your biceps or the tops of your thighs, is marked to track pressure, and has a no-slip, quick-release fastener. The best models are made of thick, durable fabric that won’t lose elasticity. Wider bands also produce better results than narrower bands.

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There are some studies that suggest using occlusion training bands promotes angiogenesis, or the formation of new blood vessels.

Key considerations

The purpose of an occlusion training band is to limit blood flow through the veins. To accomplish this task properly, you need a band that is long enough to encircle the arm or leg and can fasten securely.


Occlusion training bands come in a variety of sizes. Before purchasing, measure the circumference of your biceps at its widest point and the circumference of your upper thigh. The occlusion training bands must be at least a few inches longer than those measurements in order to be the appropriate size. However, you’ll likely want to get a set of bands with extra length to allow for muscle growth.


Whether it’s a quick-lock buckle or Velcro, your occlusion training bands need to fasten securely so they will not loosen during your workout. Buckles should not be too large and should be designed not to slip or pinch during exercise.


Number of bands

Many occlusion training bands come in sets of two. If they are long enough, you can use these bands on either your arms or your legs. Other sets include four bands: two for your arms and two longer bands for your legs. You’ll pay more for sets with more bands, of course.


Wider occlusion training bands are more effective. Typically, widths range from one to two inches. If you want the best bands, look for two-inch models.

Ease of use

When you are putting your occlusion training bands on your arms, you will only have one hand to tighten and fasten the bands. Bands that are specifically designed to facilitate tightening and fastening with one hand will be greatly appreciated.

Likewise, when releasing your occlusion training bands from your arms, you will only have one hand available to complete the task. The best models have a quick-release button that allows you to easily remove the bands.

No-slip bands

Look for no-slip occlusion training bands. If the band loosens while you’re working out, the training won’t be as effective.

Pressure markings

The amount of pressure on the veins in your arms or legs should not be an estimate. Purchase a set of occlusion training bands that feature pressure markings so you can be certain the tightness will remain consistent from day to day.


You’ll want to purchase a set of occlusion training bands that have a loop, like a belt, so the ends of your bands are held in place and not left to dangle while you work out. Even better are bands that use Velcro to keep the ends in place.


If you want the best workout experience, look for a set of occlusion training bands that includes comfort features like a no-pinch buckle, soft-stitched edges, and a comfort liner.


Your occlusion training bands need to be elastic so they can provide constant pressure while you work out. The bands also need to be durable enough to hold up to rigorous stretching. Once the fabric loses its elasticity, the bands will be less comfortable and less effective.


Some sets of occlusion training bands come with a free travel bag. This is not a necessity, but it can come in handy when transporting your bands.

For more detailed instructions on how to perform BFR training, purchase a set that comes with a booklet of exercises, either hard-copy or digital. These booklets will provide specific placement instructions as well as exercises and workout programs so you can get the most out of your occlusion training bands.

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It is possible to experience delayed onset muscle soreness and bruising when using occlusion training bands. Be careful to monitor and record any adverse side effects you may experience.

Occlusion training band prices

The price range for occlusion training bands runs from about $15 to $30.

In the $15 to $20 range, you will find two-packs of thinner bands, 1 to 1.5 inches in width, with a Velcro fastening system.

In the $20 to $25 range, you will find wider 2-inch bands, but the rest of the features will be comparable to the lower price range.

From $25 to $30 is where you’ll find 2-inch bands that may come four to a pack. Additionally, the occlusion training bands in this price range usually have a buckle that you can easily pull to tighten, and they feature reinforced stitching for increased durability.

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Did you know?
Wearing occlusion training bands on your upper arms can benefit not only your arms but your chest and back as well.


To receive the greatest benefit from occlusion training bands while exposing yourself to the least amount of risk, there are a few things you need to know.

  • Tighter is not better. Increasing the pressure of your bands too much reduces their effectiveness while increasing the chance for negative side effects.

  • There are warning signs. If the bands are too tight, you may experience numbness, dizziness, discomfort, or pins and needles in your limbs.

  • Blood flow should be limited, never blocked. It is vital that blood still flows freely to the limb being exercised.

  • Placement matters. The occlusion training bands should be placed on the largest part of your biceps for arm and chest training and near the top of your thighs for lower limb training.

  • Keep your loads low. It is important to remember that a BFR workout should be done with very low loads, only about 20% of your maximum load.

  • Repeat often. For best results, you should train with your occlusion training bands a minimum of four to five days each week.

  • Less is more. You only need to incorporate four to six occlusion band exercises into your workout for the bands to be effective.

  • But add more reps. You will see the most dramatic results when doing three to 10 sets of 20 to 50 reps with your occlusion training bands.
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One of the potential benefits of using occlusion training bands is lowered blood pressure after use.


Q. What are the benefits of occlusion training bands?
Incorporating occlusion training bands into your workout routine allows you to gain lean muscle mass without lifting heavy weights. Additionally, they can help strengthen ligaments and tendons, which can help prevent injuries.

Q. How does BFR training work?
The concept behind BFR training involves maintaining oxygenated blood in your muscles while working out. Arteries carry oxygenated blood to your body’s organs, while veins carry blood that is low in oxygen away from your organs and back to your heart. Slight pressure first affects your veins, which restricts the blood flow that is leaving your muscles, thus allowing the inflow of blood to be maintained while the outflow is slightly restricted.

Q. Is BFR training safe?
The current stance on using occlusion training bands is that if they are used properly by individuals with no underlying conditions, BFR training is a safe way to build or rehabilitate muscle.

Q. How tight should an occlusion training band feel?
On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the tightest, aim for a six. Everyone’s body is a little different, so as you become comfortable with the workouts, you may want to move up or down to a seven or five in tightness, but that’s about it. It is vital that the occlusion training bands are never too tight.

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