Physical therapists use a number of techniques and pieces of equipment to help you achieve the functional improvements you’re looking for, and one of those tools that we use frequently in our clinic is a resistance band. A resistance bance, also sometimes referred to as a Theraband or an elastic band, is a flexible band of material that you can use in a variety of ways to help your body move against some resistance. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some of the benefits of resistance band exercises and why they can help you become more physically fit.
How Resistance Bands Work
As the name implies, a resistance band works by providing some natural resistance, which makes movements harder. For example, if you looped a rubber band around your index and middle fingers and then tried to separate the pair, it would get a little harder to continue moving your fingers as the rubber band began to stretch. This resistance makes our muscles work harder, which helps to develop them.
A resistance band is essentially a much larger rubber band that you can either tie to itself to form a circular band, or you can tie one side of the band to a fence or similar object and then hold onto the other side of the band to complete your resistance exercises. This simple piece of equipment can be very beneficial for a number of different reasons during your rehab, as you’ll see below.
- Specific Muscle Targeting – You can hold the band in one hand or loop it around your leg to target almost any muscle group in the body, making it an extremely versatile piece of equipment. Your physical therapist can help walk you through different motions and exercises to target whatever muscle groups you’re hoping to build.
- Stabilization – Resistance training also helps you to stabilize muscles and tissues that hold your joints in place. Resistance band exercises are great for athletes who put a lot of strain on their shoulders, hips and knees.
- Doesn’t Overload The Patient – If you’re trying to perform a lift in the weight room and you try to lift too much weight, you can overload muscle groups and injure them. With a resistance band, the amount of resistance you feel is relative to the force you exert on the band and how long your band is, meaning it’s very easy to control the level of resistance you’ll face, and it’s unlikely you’ll ever hurt yourself because the resistance was too great.
- Adjustable – You can also easily adjust the level of resistance you face with your band by tying the band off or making it shorter. The less slack there is, the more resistance you’ll face. This means you’ll easily be able to adjust your resistance as your rehab progresses so that you can provide your muscles with more of a challenge as they develop and get stronger.
- Versatile – As we touched on in the first point, a resistance band is extremely versatile, meaning you can target a wide range of muscles. Some much larger pieces of equipment really only help a small group of muscles, whereas your resistance band can target your shoulders, back, hips, glutes, hamstrings, knees, calves and more!
- Small – Therabands are also very small, and you can easily keep one in your purse or at the office if you ever want to perform your stretches when you have a free moment.
- Cost – Compared to other therapy tools, resistance bands are very affordable. It’s usually about $1 per yard depending on the size of your resistance band, and sometimes clinics will simply give them out to the patient to ensure they can start performing their home-based exercise routine right away.
To learn more about therapy bands, or if you’re interested in seeing if a resistance band routine would help you prevent or treat a lingering injury, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today.