A new athlete wellness trend just dropped

2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials - Day 1
Distance runner Galen Rupp is using blood flow restriction during the Tokyo Olympics. | Photo by Cliff Hawkins / Getty Images

Athletes love a good wellness trend. Anything that promises to boost performance or give the slightest edge to anyone competing at the highest level of their sport is going to find the ears of elite athletes and Olympians — even (or especially) if it looks like a torture device.

In 2016, the fad was cupping: a technique that used suction cups as pain relief, leaving athletes like Michael Phelps looking like they’d just fought off a giant octopus. This year, its blood flow restriction, The New York Times reported. Some swimmers and runners are applying tourniquet-like bands to their arms and legs in the hopes that it’ll boost their training.

The strategy was first developed in 1966 by Japanese powerlifter Yoshiaki Sato, but it’s only…

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