Tips From ‘The Prose’: Theraband Exercises
Theraband is a piece of exercise “equipment” PT’s often use in the clinic with their patients to help build strength. It comes in a variety of colors depending of the amount of resistance you need or desire. But outside of the PT clinic, Theraband can be a great tool to add to your home exercise routine for additional strengthening or if you need a piece of exercise “equipment” that travels well, you aren’t going to get much more portable than a stretchy band.
Below is a short list of exercises a person could do to help build both upper and lower extremity strength using Theraband.
1. Bicep curls:
Sitting or standing with the band under your feet and the ends held firmly in your hands, start with your arms straight. Then begin to bend your elbows as far as you can. The resistance will be the most at the end of your bend, so slowly begin to straighten your elbows fighting to not let the band pull you back to your starting position. You can vary this exercise by having your palms facing up or your thumb pointing up.
2. Tricep extensions:
Sitting or standing in a slightly squatted position with the band under your feet and the ends held firmly in your hands, bend slightly forward with your trunk. Your arms should be along side of your trunk with your elbows bent to about 90 degrees. Slowly extend your elbows to a straight position. The resistance will be the highest at the straightest position of your elbow, so slowly begin to bend your elbows, fighting to not let the band pull your elbows bent. You can vary this exercise by having your palm facing forward or back or having your thumb point straight ahead.
3. Sideways walking for hip strength:
Stand with the band under your feet and firmly holding onto either end, slightly bend your knees standing in a slight squat position. Look down to make sure as you bend your knees that your knees do not drift over your toes. Begin to walk sideways, pushing out into the band and feeling the hip muscles work. The trick to this exercise is to make sure that as you step to the side your upper half does not lean in the opposite direction and that your knees do not roll in (again look down to make sure your knees are lined up with your toes). You can vary this exercise by changing your speed (form is always the most important so do not go so fast as to lose your form) or pull up more on the band which will increase the resistance.
4. Hamstring Curls:
Make a loop in one end of the band and put in around your ankle ( I like to make a slip not for the loop) and tie the other end around a firm object (coffee table; or have someone hold the other end). Start with your leg straight and begin to bend your knee, pulling your foot back towards you. Make sure as you bend your knee, the back of your thigh stays in contact with the chair your are sitting on. Your body may want to cheat and will do so by lifting your knee up towards the ceiling as you pull your foot back. You can vary this exercise by changing your speed.
These are just a few of so many Theraband exercises out there. Of course during all of these, your core in engaged, your form is maintained and you should never have pain other than feeling the muscles work to some level of fatigue. I hope you find theses helpful and please do not hesitate to contact me or any other OSI PT if you have any questions.