by Bri Dandrea
In my most recent video on our Advance Therapy YouTube channel, I discussed the use of & care for resistance bands. Here I’ll be adding to the video by sharing a little extra information on this topic.
We use resistance bands in the clinic for multiple exercises and often send patients home with them to use with their home exercise programs (HEPs). There are multiple benefits of resistance bands.
- Bands are an excellent way to increase strength evenly. This means they are able to help achieve both concentric strengthening and eccentric strengthening. Concentric strengthening is when the muscle shortens during the movement. Examples include lifting objects like the initial lift/upward motion of a bicep curl. An eccentric exercise is one where the muscle is lengthening while under load. An example of this is the downward motion of the bicep curl.
- Resistance bands are easy on the joints. This makes them ideal for patients with arthritis or those who are pre-habbing or rehabbing after a joint replacement surgery.
- It is easy to increase the level of difficulty with the exercise just by moving up a resistance level. At our Advance Therapy clinic, we have resistance bands staring at level 0 going up to level 7. This helps us progress our patients forward as needed.
- Bands make for easy and convenient exercise while at home or traveling. Unlike large exercise equipment, with resistance bands you simply roll them up and stick them in a suitcase, closet, or drawer. Their compact size means they can be conveniently kept out of the way and don’t take up extra space in your home or hotel room. Using resistance bands means no longer having to worry about missing out on those exercises while on business trips or vacations.
- Resistance bands are affordable! Traditional exercise equipment such as dumbbells or exercise machines can be costly. Bands are readily available at sporting goods stores or online. You can even stop by our clinic and request a few sample bands to get you started.
Tips to keep resistance bands clean and help them last for a long time.
It is best to wash resistance bands in warm water or wipe them off with a damp cloth. If at all possible, try to avoid harsh soaps, cleaners, and sanitizers. If you have to sanitize the band go ahead, but avoid doing this after every use. To dry, either let your bands hang dry or run them in the ‘no heat/fluff’ cycle. It can help to add a small towel to the dryer to aid in absorption.
For storage of your resistance bands, keep them in a cool, dry place. Most importantly, keep them out of the direct sunlight. This can cause the material to wear out and affect the resistance of the bands.
Resistance bands are a great tool to have when rehabbing from an injury, surgery, or just trying to improve your general strength and health. Our patients benefit greatly from including bands into their wellness programs and they help to keep patients strong after completion of their in-clinic treatment.