Resistance Bands


One of my favourite tools to use in the gym with my gymnasts are resistance bands. If you’ve not heard of them before, these bands are stretchy elastic resistance bands which are used to flexibility and strength. The bands are most commonly used in rehabilitation after injury by Physical Therapists. As John Howard points out;

…one of the most effective, in terms of time-efficiency and rapid progress, and scientifically documented (by renowned U.S. gymnastics scientist, Bill Sands) methods of stretching involves using TheraBand™ elastic resistance bands in active stretching

I use the bands to work on both strength and flexibility, using them for split jumps, straddle jumps and for strengthening the various muscles of the body. It’s also fun for the gymnasts to offer some variation into their conditioning as opposed to using the floor, the wall and Yoga balls all of the time. There are numerous resistance band exercises out there to target the muscles you want to stretch or strengthen.

They’re great, so many times I’ve heard “I couldn’t do my conditioning because I didn’t have my mat with me”, resistance bands are inexpensive and can fit in your pocket – perfect for home exercise programs.

Where can I get resistance bands?

There are numerous place to purchase resistance bands. For the gym, we buy a big 25 yard roll from a medical or physical therapy supply store, bands can also be bought in pharmacies, physiotherapy clinics and online on eBay and Amazon. Just be careful for children who may have a latex allergy. Non Latex bands are available.

What colour resistance band should I be using?

The bands are colour coded to identify their different levels of resistance. It really depends on what you what to achieve strengthwise. Yellow is used for people in the early stages of rehabilitation, then they move onto the mid rang which is red and then green. Blue and black (silver and gold also available) offer the highest level of resistance. The blue and black bands are ideal for gymnasts who need more resistance due to flexibility.

How do I know what length to mesaure for my gymnast?

Tammy Biggs has a video on The Gymnastics Minute which will show you just how to measure for your gymnasts.

You can read more from John Howards post “Improving leaps, straddle jumps and wolf jumpshere.

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