From Openwaterpedia
KAATSU Aqua was nominated for the 2015 and 2016 WOWSA Awards, a recognition of outstanding men, women, performances and offerings around the globe sponsored by the World Open Water Swimming Association in the category of World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year
KAATSU AQUA bands on the upper arms of a competitive swimmer
KAATSU AQUA bands on the upper legs of a competitive swimmer practicing her backstroke breakouts
KAATSU Training belts patent drawing
KAATSU Training belts effect on venous return on right arm
BLUEMiND's 100 Days of Blue, swimming with KAATSU Aqua
BLUEMiND's 100 Days of Blue, swimming with KAATSU Aqua

noun - KAATSU Aqua (Japanese: 加圧アクア) is an aquatic application of KAATSU Training developed by Dr. Yoshiaki Sato in 1966 in Tokyo, Japan. It is a safe, enjoyable, patented methodology to (1) effectively improve blood circulation, (2) enable the natural secretion of growth hormones, (3) quickly increase muscle strength and power, and (4) increase bone mass.

KAATSU Training

KAATSU Training (or 加圧トレーニング in Japanese), including KAATSU AQUA, is a patented exercise methodology developed by Professor Sir Yoshiaki Sato, M.D., Ph.D., FNAI, the inventor of KAATSU Physiology of Medicine. There is mounting evidence that KAATSU Training serves as a stimulator of muscle growth even when performed at low intensities.

KAATSU Training is a methodology that tightens designated areas of the body with the tightening belts and applies appropriate pressure to properly restrict blood flow in order to fatigue muscle and actively promote secretion of various hormones as well as strengthening muscles and causes many useful and effective results in human body (including all the training under the moderation of blood flow.


KAATSU AQUA is an exercise and rehabilitation methodology performed in the water where the water supports the body and stress on the joints is minimized. KAATSU AQUA can be performed any time in a competition pool, therapy pool or hotel pool. Ideally, KAATSU AQUA is done at least 3 times per week.

KAATSU AQUA is a protocol that tightens designated areas of the body with the tightening belts and applies appropriate pressure to properly restrict blood flow in order to fatigue muscle and actively promote secretion of various hormones as well as strengthening muscles and causes many useful and effective results in human body.

North Shore Lifeguards Association Doing KAATSU


KAATSU AQUA is a revolutionary means to quickly improve the level of fitness or to rehabilitate from injuries for individuals. Land-based KAATSU Training methodologies are used by Olympians and professional athletes throughout Japan, China, and the United States, but are also used by individuals of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to achieve the following:

• Sports Performance: improve muscular strength, speed, agility, aerobic capacity and endurance
• Fitness: burn fat, body sculpting/slimming
• Physiological Benefits: strengthen blood vessels, improve metabolism, prevent osteoporosis
• Rehabilitation: quicker recovery from injury, surgery or disease, avoidance of muscle atrophy


KAATSU Training, including KAATSU AQUA, incorporates exercise or rehabilitation with the addition of pressure through KAATSU Training equipment. This additional pressure is applied to the arms and legs. The additional pressure is created through the use of special KAATSU AQUA or KAATSU Training arm and leg belts.

Local and Systemic Mechanisms

Dr. James Stray-Gundersen of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association explains the local and systemic mechanisms of KAATSU Training


KAATSU (加圧) is a Japanese word and copyrighted brand that means "additional pressure" in English.

Introduction to KAATSU Training


Boston-based swimming coach Chris Morgan explains KAATSU Aqua with Brent Rutemiller of Swimming World Magazine at the 2017 American Swimming Coaches Association World Clinic in Washington D.C.

Intellectual Property

KAATSU AQUA and KAATSU Training are protected under 47 patents and various copyrights and trademarks in several countries.


The patents cover various KAATSU equipment and methods utilized in KAATSU Training. These patents include Japanese Patent Numbers 3447701, 4361282, 4531337, 4028394, 4392187, 4426217, 4342849, 4322591, 4283065, 4597840, and 4688947, as well as a number of pending patent applications.

Patents issued in the United States include United States Patent #6,149,618 issued 21 November 2000, Tightening Tool for Muscle Training and Muscle Training Method Using Same.

Additional patents include European Union Patent #0654287, UK Patent #0654287, Germany Patent #69412210,6, France Patent #0654287, Italy Patent #0654287, and Australia Patent #740865 (87490/98).


United States copyright of KAATSU Training is No.1-9J5SPW: KAATSU and KAATSU Training. Similar copyrights are registered in Japan: No. 34795: KAATSU and KAATSU Training at the Agency for Cultural Affairs. The KAATSU Training copyright can be asserted in 163 countries around the world.


KAATSU Japan owns trademark registrations for the brand KAATSU.

KAATSU Technology

KAATSU AQUA incorporates training bands that introduces customized pressure on the upper arms and upper legs in an individually-tailored training or rehabilitation regimen.

The objective of applying pressure with a KAATSU AQUA or KAATSU Training belts at the upper arms and upper legs is to properly and safely moderate the flow of blood to the limbs. By applying an appropriate pressure, blood circulation to the arms and legs can be temporarily and safely regulated, particularly in terms of venous return. This enables a highly specialized environment for muscle training and rehabilitation. After the KAATSU AQUA or KAATSU Training is completed and the pressure is released, the blood circulates more freely in comparison with the period before the pressure was applied. This results in quicker recovery cycles and a lack of residual fatigue.

However, the frequency, intensity and pressure levels must be carefully monitored. In particular, selecting the optimal pressure for best results is of paramount importance.

Research has shown that KAATSU Training even at low-intensity levels sufficiently recruits both slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers. During KAATSU Training, much more numbers of muscle fibers, both fast-twitch and slow-twitch, are recruited unlike conventional low-intensity exercise where fast-twitch muscle fiber is not generally recruited.

Certified KAATSU Instructors

External links