Physical therapy bands, also known as resistance bands, are elastic bands that come in various sizes, colors, and densities. These elastic bands are used for strength training and muscle building, but did you know that you can prevent and overcome injuries by using these therapy bands?
You can use the great resistance bands for physical therapy to target strength training to specific muscles affected by surgery or another condition. As compared to weights, these elastic bands are easy on the joints, increase strength evenly, and are beneficial to help you make your muscles and tendons stronger.
Strength training is a great way to build muscle and bone strength, prevent fractures and falls, and reduce the risk of degenerative diseases. However, this is only possible if resistance bands are used correctly.
Generally, resistance bands are about 10 to 15 inches long. Some may come with handles at either side that you can hold with your hands or place under the feet to perform different exercises. However, most are without handles.
Resistance bands are now used in physical therapy. The five colors of physical therapy or resistance bands indicate the amount of resistance they offer.
Let us see how these simple elastic ribbons help build muscles and strength and why you should use them in your workouts.
Can You Build Muscle With Resistance Bands?
Definitely yes! You can build muscles with resistance bands as they provide tension, adaptation, and progressive overload, all needed for muscle growth. While you can also build muscles with bodyweight exercise, resistance bands will only enhance the muscle growth capacity by providing more tension.
However, building muscles is not a piece of cake. It requires much dedication, hard work, and consistency. You put a good deal of stress on your muscles while working out than they are usually used to.
As a result, the muscles get damaged, causing microscopic tears in the muscle fibres. Your body then repairs these damaged muscle fibres after you exercise. This is done through a cellular process that fuses muscle fibres and forms new muscle protein strands (myofibrils).
Soon your muscles will adapt to this stress, so you will need to ensure they are receiving enough stress, also known as progressive overload. You will need to repeat your previous exercise steps by adding more stress. Doing this will ultimately increase your muscle thickness and size. This is called muscle hypertrophy.
But, without adequate recovery (high protein diet, rest days, and sleep), your muscles will not grow properly, regardless of how much stress/tension you put on them. In addition, you should also increase the stress you place on your muscles over time, or your growth will plateau.
So to build muscle by using resistance bands, all you have to do is place enough stress over them for a long time and then let them recover. It may not be easy, but you can learn to do it with the proper techniques (and resistance bands).
Why do Physical Therapists Use Resistance Bands?
Physical therapists use resistance bands to heal specific muscles that have been injured or need post-surgery recovery. Resistance bands also provide the following benefits.
- These resistance bands are portable and cost-effective. You can use them at home or on the move.
- You can use resistance bands to give your whole body a workout or for the upper and lower extremities. You can strengthen your scapular muscles and challenge your core by using dynamic exercises. This will help you maintain a straight posture.
- All of the exercises done with resistance bands enhance circulation, which can help you heal.
- You can use bands for weight-bearing or standing exercises, as well as sitting and lying down.
- Resistance bands can be quickly advanced when the exercises are easy or ready to rechallenge yourself. It is as simple as changing the colours to increase resistance band density. You should be aware that brands can have different colour progressions, so be careful!
Benefits of Resistance Bands
After knowing the benefits of resistance bands, you would be more interested in using them to achieve your fitness goals. Following are the reasons why you should use them.
- You Want to Gain Muscle
You can use elastic resistance bands instead of dumbbells or machines to increase muscle strength and size. You can add them to your barbell exercises to increase neuromuscular performance and intensity.
- You Want to Lose Weight
Following a healthy diet, cardio and strength training is a great way to lose weight. You can add bands to your full-body circuit workout to perform various upper and lower body exercises, such as squats, chest presses or back rows. You will lose weight and burn calories by using the excellent bands.
- You Are Old Enough
Standard weights in the gym can be difficult and harmful for adults over 60. Resistance bands are excellent to keep your strength and muscle mass intact without being too hard on yourself.
According to research, training programs with elastic tubes can be a practical and effective way to increase strength in adults older than 65. The study suggests that resistance band training is one of the best ways to increase bone strength and prevent osteoporosis.
- You Are an Athlete
Athletes can be prepared for every movement with bands to increase strength and power and prevent injury.
Daniel Sanchez, 2004 National Boxing Champion, says that there is nothing better to make you stronger and faster than resistant bands. You can take it anywhere to ensure a successful workout session.
He also said, “resistance bands are essential for me as I train with shadow boxing, punching speed, and even toning without weight. I would pick bands over dumbbells every time.”
- You are Recovering From an Injury
After any injury, rehabilitation is crucial. A simple rubber exercise band can help you heal your body. You can use it for multiple purposes after your injuries are healed.
You can use the resistance bands in case of injury to joints or muscles and increase flexibility if you have arthritis. They are especially effective for knee injuries, tennis elbow, ankle strains, or shoulder dislocation.
- You are Pregnant
Exercise is essential during pregnancy to improve energy, sleep, mood, and prepare for childbirth. However, this is not the right time to start any intense weight-training workouts.
Light muscle-toning, resistance bands and high repetitions (15-20) work ideal. You can hit all your major muscles with one light and one moderate band without straining your muscles.
You can start using resistance bands today if you are on the list above. Try them out right away, and let us know how they work for you! Now that you know that you are aware of the benefits of resistance bands let us see why you should use therapy bands instead of free weights.
Why Use Therapy Bands instead of Free Weights?
Gyms may be full of machines, dumbbells, and various free weights. But, using resistance bands can offer many other benefits that standard weights cannot.
- Same Muscle Activity, Lesser Chance of Injury
According to research, training with elastic bands provides similar and sometimes even greater muscle activity as weight training. The main difference is that elastic bands use less force on the joints.
This means that they can stimulate more muscles with less risk of injury. Resistance bands can also help you perform exercises that are impossible with dumbbells.
- More Muscle Stimulus
Variable resistance is applied throughout the entire range of motion during an exercise. This is a significant difference between resistance bands and free weights. Free weights can cause muscle fatigue at specific exercise points, such as the top of a bicep curl.
According to Dr. Jim Stoppani, this means that resistance bands provide more resistance at the most vital points of the range of motion, allowing for greater strength adaptations.
To maintain your form during exercise, the constant tension of bands provides a stabilization element to your body. To balance, you will need to activate your core often.
You will need to keep them from snapping back in place to get greater stimulation and strength. The pull of the bands also reduces your ability to cheat by using momentum.
- Improved Strength and Athletic Performance
Power resistance bands influence athletic training because of their increased load, variable resistance and instability.
According to the study, experienced powerlifters’ strength and conditioning professionals claim that combined with traditional training, elastic band resistance has resulted in strength gains over several years.
A bench press and back squat test with elastic tension revealed that the combination helped double the tension for the bench press. The one-rep max improvement for the back squat was nearly three times greater after using bands.
Research has also shown that weight training with bands can improve neuromuscular performance, strength and endurance more than just weight training. These bands can also speed up and improve agility for different athletic purposes.
- More Exercise Options
If you have specific body positions, you can only use gravity with dumbbells and barbells. But with resistance bands, you can do exercises in the horizontal and vertical planes.
You can do a back row or chest press in a standing position instead of a bench. You can also improve lateral movements, like swinging a golf club or baseball bat and everyday tasks such as opening doors or moving boxes, making it an ideal gear for athletes.
You don’t need any machines or weights because you can do multiple exercises with the same band. A set of physical therapy bands is a great way to save money on weights and space if you work out at home.
DMOOSE offers quality therapy bands to help you gain long-term muscle stabilization, reduce fat, improve mobility, and help with injuries rehabilitation. This is an excellent option for people who don’t want to go to the gym every day.
- Stretching and Mobility
For post-workout mobility, any flat or tube band will work. Your flexibility and range typically limit you, so it is essential to have something else apply pressure to the muscles.
You can instead use bands to help you stretch. They will extend your reach and apply pressure to the muscles when doing hamstring stretches. You can also use power bands to assist mobility if wrapped around a sturdy object such as a squat rack.
- Perfect for Travel
It can be challenging to find a gym or fit in a workout when you travel. You can work out in a room, outdoors or with minimal equipment by packing a band. These bands won’t add weight to your bag, but they will give you a full-body workout.
They are ideal for fitness competitors, bodybuilders, and models to tone up before a show or photoshoot.
The Bottom Line
Physical therapy bands are elastic bands that work for strength training and muscle building and are also ideal for rehabilitation from muscle and joint injuries. These bands provide progressive tension that allows advancing in your workouts, thereby helping you gain more muscles.
Whether you want to lose weight, be an athlete, recover from an injury, or gain strength during pregnancy, you can benefit from these bands. These bands provide the slightest injury, increased core stabilization, and more exercise options for your at-home workout routine compared to free weights.