How to Use Theraband Exercise Bands

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Theraband and other exercise bands help build muscle tone and flexibility without impact on joints. They are particularly useful to someone who is just beginning an exercise program, or who wants to ramp up the intensity of an existing workout to get past a plateau. Exercise bands are used to isolate specific muscles and muscle groups, to assist a given limb with moving a little farther and expending a little more effort. Adding exercise bands to an existing workout can help avoid sticking at a plateau, the point where your body has adjusted to the exercise and is no longer increasing speed, endurance and strength.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 or more Theraband exercise bands Scissors
  • Hold your exercise band as if it were a jump rope, so that the center is just barely brushing the floor. Step both feet into that loop while holding each end of the band in your hands. Wrap each end around your palm once or twice. Pull hands to hips, then waist. This should require stretching the exercise band. If it does not, the band is too long. Cut 4 to 6 inches from each end until you have to pull the band tight to raise your hands to your waist. However, do not make the band so tight that it is never loose. There should be just enough resistance to feel a pull if you are lying on your back with the band across the bottoms of your feet with your legs fully extended, holding the ends of the Theraband exercise band in each hand at your hips.

  • Size a second exercise band for your arms by putting it across your back, holding one end in each hand. Extend your arms straight out in front of you, shoulder length apart. Open your arms horizontally to the floor to a 180 degree angle at the shoulder, the full extent of your reach to each side. If this does not require effort, shorten the band 4 to 6 inches.

  • Lie down on your back. Place both feet in a looped exercise band while your hands are at your hips on each side of your body. Raise both feet together to a 90 degree angle and recover by lowering both feet to the floor. This will work your gluteus and quadriceps muscles. Repeat 15 times a day for the first week 1, 20 times for the second week and 25 times in the third week.

  • Raise your legs to 90 degree position while lying down on your back. Place your exercise band across the bottoms of your feet with the ends in each hand. Pull legs apart horizontally to each side of your body, as wide as is comfortable. Hold at the widest point for 10 to 15 seconds, then pull just a little wider, but not to a point of causing pain. Hold again, 10 to 15 seconds. Slowly return to 90 degree position. This works your inner and outer thigh muscles. Repeat 15 times a day for the first week 1, 20 times for the second week and 25 times in the third week.

  • Lie down on your back, with the band looped around one foot only and with the heel of that foot as close to your bottom as possible, extend your leg flat on floor and recover. This works the gluteus minimus muscle. Repeat 15 times a day for the first week 1, 20 times for the second week and 25 times in the third week.

  • Stand with your legs shoulder width apart, run the band across your back and hold the ends in each hand. Extend your arms fully in front of your body. Draw your arms toward the midline of your chest, elbows out on each side. Upper arms should be parallel to the floor and lower arms should be at about a 30 degree angle. Return to extended position. Repeat 15 times a day for the first week 1, 20 times for the second week and 25 times in the third week.

  • Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and the band across your back, with arms at each side of chest midline, upper arms parallel to the floor, extend arms out to each side, full length, as if opening a set of swinging doors. Upper arms should not move. Movement should be from the elbow into a 180 degree extension. This works the pectorals and deltoids. Return to start position. Repeat 15 times a day for the first week 1, 20 times for the second week and 25 times in the third week.

  • Stand with the band across your back and hands at each side of mid chest, upper arms parallel to the floor, punch out with right fist, then return. Punch out with left, then return. This works your shoulder muscles. Repeat for both sides 15 times a day for the first week 1, 20 times for the second week and 25 times in the third week. For additional Theraband exercises and a free online fitness program, see Resources below.

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