Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Human Performance


Exercise Science (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Scott Drum


PURPOSE: To determine if blood flow restriction (BFR) training improved performance and physiological factors in collegiate swimmers. METHODS: Participants (n=10) separated into 2 groups (control [CON] & experimental [OCC]), completed 9 supervised trainings within 3 weeks. Pre- and post-testing included: VO2max, Wingate, swim time trials (TT), strength, and DEXA. Training was identical except OCC underwent bilateral thigh BFR [blood pressure (BP) cuffs inflated 70-90% of systolic BP]. Training: treadmill walking 20 minutes (5x3-minutes at 3 mph, 5% grade, 1-minute rest), followed by bodyweight strength training (squats, lunges & step-ups). Pain levels (scale: 1-10) were taken after the second set of lunges, cuff inflated (PainA), and after all lunges, cuff deflated (PainB). Paired t-tests determined significant change within groups, independent t-tests determined significance between groups, ReANOVA determined significance of pain levels. RESULTS: Both groups increased 1 RM leg press CON: 18.0 ± 8.155 (kg) (p=0.008) and OCC: 15.200 ± 5.805 (p=0.004); 1 RM chest press (kg) increased significantly in OCC (p=0.031). Mean peak power (W/kg) increased 1.530 ± 2.389 (p=0.225) CON and 3.772 ± 3.088 OCC (p=0.052). Pain levels were significantly different between days (p=0.012), and between PainA vs PainB (p=0.008). No significant change in swimming TT, VO2max, total work, fatigue index, or body fat occurred. CONCLUSION: This BFR training program did not improve swimming performance but indicated adaptation to pain may occur.

Access Type

Open Access