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Amplifying Warm-Ups with Preparation BFR at Martin Nugent Elite Performance

Preparation BFR is becoming increasingly embedded into pro athletes’ routines as the use and understanding of Performance BFR as an innovative training tool widens. Martin Nugent and his team at Martin Nugent Elite Performance have optimised warm-up routines by adding in Blood Flow Restriction to enhance pre-training sessions.

Athlete performing bike flush wearing Hytro BFR Performance Shorts

Preparation BFR is the arm of Performance BFR that focuses on utilising the benefits of Blood Flow Restriction to enhance an athlete’s warm-up pre-exercise. Its popularity is increasing as the understanding of its benefits is widened throughout the pro sports community. Hytro BFR wearables enable the adoption of this method by enabling athletes and coaches to embed Preparation BFR easily into their existing pre-exercise routine due to the simplicity and ease of use of the wearables.  

Martin Nugent Elite Performance, a prestigious Strength and Conditioning service led by the renowned Martin Nugent, offers athletes expertise in professional and development sport. Martin and Strength and Conditioning Coach Joe Johnson have been leading the implementation of BFR via Hytro BFR wearables, exploring the extensive benefits made available by Hytro’s innovative technology. 


Joe Johnson of MN Elite Performance coaching athlete in gym environment


Embedding Preparation BFR  

With the warm-up being a huge part of their process, finding ways to maximise this crucial time with an athlete is always top of their agenda. With the team’s knowledge and understanding of BFR, and how to facilitate athletes to utilise Hytro BFR wearables, they are optimising exercise preparation. At MN Elite Performance, they follow a RAMP protocol as part of a generic warm up for each athlete they work with, and then create bespoke add-ons with specific components to meet the needs of the athlete in front of them.  Preparation BFR is used throughout both to microdose robustness training whilst only gaining minimal fatigue.  

Martin Nugent understands the importance of preparing the body pre-exercise and has enabled his team to utilise Preparation BFR through the use of Hytro wearables. He shared, “Preparation is as important as the primary phase of a session, the utilisation of BFR and Hytro at the preparatory stage allows for a greater range of movement (ROM). I have found using Hytro extremely valuable when working with older athletes who struggle with joint issues and stiffness.” 

Joe shared how injury prevention is a key priority: “We know from research that a lot of football injuries occur in sites such as the hamstrings, quadriceps, adductors, and groins. With this in mind, we believe Preparation BFR is an effective way to hit these common injury sites before getting into the bulk of the session. This could include movements such as Banded Clamshells, Isometric Spanish Squats, Banded VMO Extension, or Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat Holds.” 

The benefits aren’t limited to reducing the risk of injury, Preparation BFR effectively prepares muscles and tissues for training with enhanced performance. Joe shared “We utilise BFR during mobility parts of the RAMP warm up. We know from key research that BFR can increase the ROM in athletes, which is hugely important.  As a performance centre that isn’t in control of our athletes full training schedules, it is vitally important that we utilise methods, research and equipment to allow our athletes the best opportunity to improve.” 

Changing sessions at very late notice due to scheduling or injury is not unusual for the team to deal with. This challenge means the team need tools that are versatile and enable them to adapt quickly. Joe shared how Hytro wearables support this: “The Hytro shorts provide the versatility to adapt sessions, exercises and loading on the go and we believe that this convenient adjustment is worth its weight in gold. Further to this, he explained how the Hytro BFR Performance shorts have been used: “The Hytro shorts are a huge part of the more specific components within the warm-up, especially with athletes who may be rehabbing from an injury.” 


Athlete at MN Performance gym strapping in to Hytro BFR Performance Shorts


Examples of how the team use Preparation BFR

Preparation BFR can simply be performed by strapping in with a Hytro BFR Performance Shorts or Training Tee to perform an existing pre-exercise warm-up and stretches. At MN Elite Performance they have some core protocols that they use to magnify the warming of muscles and tendons pre-exercise: 


BFR Cycling to Raise Body Temperature 

The team generally utilise a Watt Bike as part of their preparation for any session within Martin Nugent Elite Performance to raise the body temperature of the athlete.  Joe shared his insight: “The Hytro shorts allow for a faster process thus maximising the time for more coach intensive input later in the session. We have also found that the athletes have reported increases in range of motion from this element of the warm-up as well as feeling “fresher” following the flush element of the BFR shorts.  We feel that this may be due to the pin and stretch nature of the shorts during movement.”  


Banded Clamshells Plus for Activation 

They also often include a Banded Clamshell+ as a glute activation exercise as part of their floor based pre training routine, aiming to complete 3-5 sets of 8-10 repetitions.  Joe explained why they incorporate the Hytro BFR Performance Shorts: “Our athletes have reported feeling an increased intensity whilst performing this exercise using the Hytro shorts.  The shorts also help to increase hip mobility in preparation for the subsequent training session.”  


Athlete at MN Elite Performance gym stretching wearing Hytro BFR Performance Shorts


Hip and Groin Mobility 

Mobility is a staple in their warm-up process, with the hip and groin usually needing the most improvement. Movements such as Fire Hydrants, Hip Flexor Pulses and Hurdle Walks are adopted to ensure the hips are prepped for the session ahead. Prescription for these exercises vary from 2-5 sets of between 5-10 repetitions. 


Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat Holds 

The Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat Hold is used as a primer exercise to help with activation or as a main exercise for an athlete returning from an injury. This exercise prescription would depend on the athlete, their injury status and the load involved. Joe added further context: “The Hytro shorts are utilised frequently with this exercise as it allows us as coaches to drive adaptation without the need to load an athlete externally. This is especially important with the rehabbing athlete as an external load could compromise the exercise and increase the risk of an exercise.”   


The integration of Preparation BFR at Martin Nugent Elite Performance exemplifies how innovative training tools can be utilised by coaches to significantly enhance an athlete’s warm-up. By incorporating Hytro BFR wearables, Martin Nugent and his team optimise exercise preparation, ensuring athletes are primed for peak performance while minimising injury risks. Hytro’s simple and versatile technology not only amplifies the effectiveness of warm-ups but also offers a solution adaptable to the ever-changing demands of pro sport training. As more athletes and coaches recognise the benefits, Preparation BFR is fast becoming an indispensable component in the elite training, driving an evolution of sports performance and injury prevention. 


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