Well as we all know my rather unfortunate incident with the ice and the subsequent damage to my limbs has created the base for a few posts now, but as I am now recovering nicely this may be the last one I can draw from it.
I have been using Therabands to restrengthen the hamstring which leads me to post about these wonderful pieces of equipment. Theraband is a trade name as well as a generic term (a little like Hoover 😀). You may also of seen these in sports shops and chemists bearing the title of resistance bands, exercise bands, gym bands etc. they also come in flat or tubular form, some even with handles!
A little while back I blogged about why a cross trainer makes a good all round piece of single, one equipment in terms of overall fitness. However, if somebody were to ask me what is the single most versatile and effective piece of resistance /strength building equipment they could have at home was, I would not be suggesting dumbbell sets, or multi-gyms and weights benches I would be recommending a set of therabands / resistance bands. They start easy (yellow) and progress to nigh on impossible! (black), although different makes do have different colour systems just to keep you on your toes!
But why would I recommend this innocuous, seemingly flimsy piece of equipment? Well, with a band or tube you can work virtually any muscle group with minimal equipment 👍. A multi gym is great and allows us to perform some exercises we cant achieve with free weights. However, it also takes up a lot of room and because the weights travel up and down rails and the handle's pivot around axles, we are following the line of the machine rather than the natural line of our body, and we are all, of course, individual. Additionally, as those weights follow the rails and can't move around, we are required to use minimal stabilisation of the weights ,so can end up with strong prime mover muscles but weak stabilising muscles, which is a recipe for injury.
Dumbbells on the other hand allow us to follow the lines our individual mechanics and also require us to stabilise in the direction that the weight is travelling in, therefore, negating the weak stabiliser problem. However, there are a quite a number of exercise that we can access with a multi gym, that we cannot re-create with free weights😔.
With a band or tube however, we can do it all😁!
Exercises of any type, along our natural lines of mechanics and always requiring stabilisation. Hey.... that's all boxes ticked!
By way of example : If I want to perform a Lat pull down (and if I have been doing shoulder presses I must do this or I will build an imbalance and eventually hurt my shoulder. More on this in the next blog!) I will need a multi gym with a pull down bar, because I cant perform a pull down with dumbbells, unless I hang upside down from something! But I can perform it with a band by using an 'over door hook system' which can be purchased as an accessory....so no need for a space taking multi gym.
Now, this applies for any exercise at all, with a few bits of add on kit we can hit any muscle group we want, whilst working our individual mechanics and experiencing the instability we need to work the whole muscle group.
But, the best bit? Your bands can travel with you on holiday, on work trips, even to your in laws🤔!
And how do you come up with a good programme, well right here at The Reinge Clinic of course. Full exercise programmes using bands, tubes and minimal equipment are by far and away the most common type of workout we are asked to design😀.