When would I consider Elastic Band exercises?
Strength training is part of the final stage of rehabilitation after an injury. It is important to do strengthening exercises to regain the muscle power you have lost and to prevent re-injuring yourself. Elastic bands are an inexpensive, effective and versatile method of strengthening muscles in a functional way.
Indications for using elastic bands include:
- Correcting muscle imbalance
- Posture correction
- After joint sprains e.g. twisting the ankle
- Post surgery muscle re-education e.g. Knee arthroscopy, rotator cuff repair
- Shoulder impingement syndrome
- Improving balance and hip control
- Stabilizing hyper-mobile joints
- Correcting wrong training techniques
- Core strengthening
And many more…
What are elastic band exercises?
Elastic bands are strips of stretchable rubber that come in different colors depending on the level of resistance. They are used to perform strengthening exercises for your muscles by providing resistance during the entire movement, causing your muscles to work both concentrically (while shortening) and eccentrically (while lengthening).
When are elastic band exercises preferred above weight exercises?
In order to return to your daily activities or specific sport it is important to not just strengthen the individual muscles, but to do functional strength training. Functional strength training focus on doing exercises which involve rotation, pushing, pulling and diagonal movements. Exercises with weights only apply resistance in one plane using gravity, limiting you to bending and straightening movements, while with elastic band exercises resistance can be applied in all planes of motion. This prepares you to return to rotational sports such as hockey, golf or baseball, or household activities such as making a bed.
Every resistance-training exercise has a strength curve. The weight you can lift from the starting position may be less than the weight you can lift when the muscle is fully contracted. When using elastic bands the resistance at the start of the movement is less and increases as you complete the movement.
Tips when training with elastic bands:
- While doing any elastic band exercise a neutral posture should be maintained. Concentrate on aligning the shoulders and hips, contracting the abdominals, and bending the knees slightly.
- Use the band strength prescribed by your physiotherapist and stick with the prescribed sets and repetitions. Remember to rest between every set.
- Perform all exercises in a slow and controlled manner.
- Avoid going into extreme joint positions when exercising e.g. locking the joint at the end of a movement.
- Breathe evenly while performing these exercises. Exhale while contracting the muscles and inhale while releasing. Don’t hold your breath.
- Start off by performing the exercises without the elastic band until you are comfortable with the movement, then add the resistance.
For more information on elastic bands and what type of exercises may be appropriate for you, contact us for a consultation at 604-770-1144 or through our email address: