8. Preparing to Use the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 – Checking Your Correct Leg Band Pressure

For who? Tactical athletes, physical therapists, KAATSU Specialists
For what? Recovery

The KAATSU Air Bands should be placed snugly on your upper legs. Snug – but not tight.

When you put on the KAATSU Air Bands on your legs, you should be able to place one finger between your skin and the KAATSU Air Bands. If you can place two or more fingers between your skin and the KAATSU Air Bands, the bands are too loose and you may want to slightly tighten the KAATSU Air Bands.

However, if you manually tighten the KAATSU Air Bands too much, you will not be able to place a finger between your skin and the KAATSU Air Bands. In this case, slightly loosen up the bands. KAATSU Air Bands are elastic Blood Flow Moderation bands with an inner air bladder; KAATSU Air Bands are neither a tourniquet or blood pressure cuff.

Occlusion training or blood flow restriction (BFR) training use tourniquets and blood pressure cuffs in order to restrict arterial flow (i.e., blood flow from the torso to the limbs). This is NOT what KAATSU Air Bands do, although KAATSU is the original BFR. KAATSU Air Bands were specifically designed and engineered to modify venous flow (i.e., blood flow from the limbs back to the torso). This is a major and very important difference.

In order to confirm that your pressure is safe and optimized and your bands are on adequately tightly enough, you can check your Capillary Refill Time (CRT). On your legs, press your thumb into your thigh (quadriceps) just above your knee (patella) if you are wearing shorts. If you are wearing leggings or long pants, press your thumb into your calf near your ankle. The skin will temporarily blanch (i.e., go white) and then will refill back up with blood and return to normal color.

The duration of time for the blood to refill and the blanched spot to return to color should be less than 3 seconds. If your skin does not turn back to its normal color within 3 seconds, the bands are on too tightly and should be loosened. When your leg turns a pink color (or rosy red or even a purple tone), this means that your capillaries are thoroughly engorged in blood, thereby improving your circulation.