Resistance bands are a great device to use in a home program and a fun, easy way to add resistance to your work out. This article lists some great exercises that can be used to improve your range of motion, strength and balance.
Types of Therabands
Resistance bands come in different forms and can be found online or at your local sports store.
Tube Resistance Bands
When performing these exercises make sure you are working within your range of motion and are not causing yourself any pain while performing the exercise.
Key tips when using resistance bands:
Make sure you have a stable base of support. If you have difficulties balancing, do the exercise on a chair or have a stable surface to hold onto.
Start with the lowest resistance and gradually increase as the exercise becomes easier.
Aim for 10 –12 reps and three sets to achieve the best results.
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, please consult your GP before commencing exercise.
Internal Shoulder Rotation
Purpose: Strengthens the front of the shoulder and the rotator cuff muscles.
Instructions: Begin with one end of the band securely attached. Grasp the other end of the band with your elbow at your side at a 90-degree angle pulling the band inward towards your body. Hold and slowly return. If you have a reduced range of motion, place a towel under your elbow.
Purpose: Strengthens posterior rotator cuff.
Instructions: Begin with one end of the band securely attached. Stand with the band across your body and elbow bent at 90 degrees. Keeping your upper arm steady and rotate your arm out.
Shoulder Lateral Raise
Purpose: Strengthens the middle portion of the shoulder (deltoid) muscle.
Instructions: Standing in the middle of the band, grasp the end of the band and, with straight arms, lift the band upward. Make sure you keep your shoulder blades down and thumbs up.
Straight Arm Front Arm Raise
Purpose: Targets the front part of the shoulder (anterior deltoid).
Instructions: Stand with the middle of the band under your feet. Grasp the ends of the band and lift upward with your arms straight and palms facing down. Hold and slowly return.
Scapula Stabilisers Exercise
Purpose: Strengthens the muscles around the scapula and shoulder joint.
Instructions: With a theraband tied around your elbows, rest on the wall at 90 degrees (shoulder height) and slowly contract your back and shoulder muscles while pushing into the wall. Hold and slowly release.
Purpose: Strengthens core and back stabilizing muscles.
Instructions: Stand or sit with your legs hip-width apart. Begin with one end of the theraband securely attached and hold onto the opposite end with your arms straight. Slowly rotate across your body away from the direction of the theraband. Once reaching the other side and the theraband is across your body, hold and slowly return.
Straight Arm Pull Downs
Purpose: Strengthens core and lower back.
Instructions: Standing or sitting with legs hip-width apart to allow a firm base of support, begin with the theraband tied in the middle securely above your head. Starting with straight arms, reach up and grasp the two ends, pulling down with straight arms until they touch your thighs. Hold and slowly return.
Purpose: Strengthens the hip flexors (iliopsoas).
Instructions: With one end of the theraband securely attached, stand with your legs hip-width apart and the theraband attached to one of your ankles. Slowly pull your leg forward until it is in line with the other leg. Hold and return. Keep your back straight and avoid leaning or bending over.
Ankle Plantar Flexion
Purpose: Strengthens the muscles of the calf including the gastrocnemius and soleus.
Instructions: Sitting in a chair or lying upright on a flat surface, wrap the middle of the band around your foot. Grasp the two ends of the theraband at your waist. Holding your hands static, slowly push your foot down into the band. Hold and return.
Ankle Dorsi Flexion
Purpose: Strengthens the muscles on the front of the leg (tibialis anterior).
Instructions: With one side of the theraband securely attached, create a loop at the opposite end and place around the top of your foot. Lift the foot attached to the theraband toward your body. Hold and slowly return. Repeat for the other side.
Purpose: Strengthens the hip abductors.
Instructions: With one end of the band securely attached to a stationary object on floor-level height and the other to your ankle, stand with the non-attached leg to attachment side-on. Slowly move your leg outward, away from your body. Hold and slowly return. Avoid leaning or bending your back. Repeat for the other side.
Purpose: Strengthens the hip adductor muscles and muscles around the groin.
Instructions: With one end of the band securely attached at floor-level height and the other to one of your ankles, stand side-on with the attached leg facing the anchor point. Transfer your weight onto the unsecured leg and slowly bring your other leg towards your body. Hold and return.
Purpose: Strengthens the muscles of the hips and knees.
Instructions: Tie a theraband around both of your knees and stand with your legs shoulder-width apart bending down in sumo-squat position. Maintaining this position, slowly step sideways against the band while keeping your back straight. Take a couple of steps and return to standing position. Repeat in the opposite direction.
Side-lying Abduction (clams)
Purpose: Strengthens the gluteal muscles (glute meds).
Instructions: Tie the theraband around both your knees while lying on your side with knees bent. Slowly lift the outside leg away from the other while squeezing your gluteal muscles. Hold and slowly return. Repeat for the other side.
Now I’ve read this, what do I do now?
Speak to an Exercise Physiologist to discuss your exercise plan. They may be able to tailor the exercise program to your needs and address strategies to help you improve your health and wellbeing.