Dynabands, Therabands, resistance bands, stretchy bands, no matter the name, they are one of the best training tools for the fitness games we play and home exercise programs we teach and recommend.
Bands are perfect because they are portable, inexpensive and adaptable. Purchased in 3-4 foot lengths or cut to this length from 75 foot rolls, we use them for both upper body and lower body strengthening and stretching.
Upper Body Strengthening
Keep them as a single strip and grab closer to the center (for greater resistance) or closer to the ends (for less resistance). Upper body strength prepares athletes for tackles and challenges to the body and in the air and builds head and neck support they need when executing the skill of heading.
Lower Body Strengthening
Tie the ends together so the band becomes a temporary loop. Fix the loop around thighs for hip work, around shins for hip and knee work or double up and loop at ankles for foot and ankle work. Lower body strength prepares athletes for challenges on the ground, building round-the-joint support for hips, knees and ankles which will be more responsive and better protected against injury.
- Bands may be used at all angles and through a large range of motion at the joints.
- Band resistance can be varied by individual athletes so each gets an appropriate and safe workout.
- Band training may be used to assess imbalances in strength (right vs left).
- Band stretching may be used to identify limited or excess range of motion.
Fridays are for fitness here at Fit2Finish. Each week we will be posting a short video segment featuring a young athlete working with the bands. Try these exercises at home or on the field. For more videos you may enjoy, visit the Fit2Finish Youtube channel.