Can I use multiple pieces of bands or tubing to increase the resistance of an exercise?
Do I need to have eye protection while using Thera-Band elastic resistance?
Do the bands or tubing stretch out over time with repeated use?
Do Thera-Band latex bands and tubing contain phthalates, PVC, or lead?
Do you have a handout of precautions for patients using Thera-Band elastic resistance?
What are the bands and tubing made of?
Why do the bands or tubing break, and what precautions should I take?
When should I replace my bands or tubing?
Can latex bands and tubing be used in a chlorine pool?
Why and under what circumstances is it better to prescribe latex-free Thera-Band bands over standard latex Thera-Band bands?
How do the Thera-Band latex-free bands compare with the original latex bands?
What is the shelf life of Thera-Band bands and tubing?
How do I connect the bands or tubing for exercise?
How does Thera-Band brand compare to other brands?
Why should I purchase Thera-Band brand instead of a competitive brand?
How do the forces produced by bands compare to tubing?
Are there any specific conditions under which bands would be preferred over tubing or vice versa?
How do bands and tubing compare to free weights (such as dumbbells)?
Do elastic bands and tubing provide similar results compared to free weights?
Doesn't the force increase at the end range, not allowing me to complete a full range of motion?
How long can I stretch the bands or tubing?
How many repetitions will the bands or tubing withstand?
How do I clean the Thera-Band elastic bands or tubing?
How do I exercise at the appropriate intensity during a Thera-Band workout?
How do I know when to progress to the next color band?
How many calories are burned when strengthening with elastic resistance?
Should I clean bands or tubing between patient uses?
What is the Thera-Band System of Progressive Resistance?
What color band or tubing should I use?
What exercises should I do with your bands or tubing?
What is RPE or "Rating of Perceived Exertion"
What is the history of the Thera-Band Brand?
What is the OMNI Scale, and how is it used?
What length of band or tubing should I use?
What resistance or force is produced by the bands and tubing?
Question: Can I exercise the same muscle with elastic resistance on consecutive days?
Answer: When strength training, it's important to give the muscle time for 'rest and recovery' between workouts in order to repair itself and grow. It's recommended to rest 24 to 48 hours between workouts of the same muscle group. During rehabilitation, lower intensities are often used; in this case, it's generally OK to exercise the same muscle group on consecutive days. Check with your healthcare provider for an appropriate exercise prescription for rehabilitation.
Question: Can I use multiple pieces of bands or tubing to increase the resistance of an exercise?
Answer: Yes, you may use 2 similar lengths of bands or tubing in parallel to increase the resistance. It will have a cumulative effect on the resistance provided during the exercise. You should always be sure to follow all precautions associated with elastic resistance training as well.
Question: Do I need to have eye protection while using Thera-Band elastic resistance?
Answer: First, never perform exercises that may cause the band or tubing to snap back towards the face and eyes. Be sure and inspect bands and secure the connection before using any elastic resistance products. Protective eyewear such as safety goggles or safety glasses are recommended for use while using elastic resistance. Regular eyeglasses may not provide the protection necessary. Lack of appropriate eye protection may lead to eye damage.
Question: Do the bands or tubing stretch out over time with repeated use?
Answer: All elastic bands and tubing elongate a small amount after their first use; this is a normal process that initially 'sets' the resting length of the elastic band. Once the band has been 'pre-stretched' a few times past 200%, the bands don't stretch out with regular use, as was demonstrated by Patterson et al.
Question: Do Thera-Band latex bands and tubing contain phthalates, PVC, or lead?
Answer: No. Our product is made from natural rubber latex and does not contain phthalates, PVC or lead.
Question: Do you have a handout of precautions for patients using Thera-Band elastic resistance?
Answer: Yes, you can download a PDF of Elastic Resistance Precautions here to hand out to patients.
Question: What are the bands and tubing made of?
Answer: Thera-Band resistive bands and tubing are made of natural rubber latex made into sheets and tubing. Latex-free Thera-Band resistive bands are made of synthetic rubber. The trademarked colors indicate the resistance levels.
Question: Why do the bands or tubing break, and what precautions should I take?
Answer: With normal daily use, the exercisers should last for many months. However, they won't last forever. They may break if stretched beyond 300% elongation, or if they are used with small tears or abrasions. These small tears and abrasions usually occur at the "connection point" of the band or tubing to an attachment device. Therefore, always inspect the band or tubing (particularly near the connection) before use. It is recommended to use the Thera-Band Door Anchor, Exercise Handle, and Assist for connection. Be aware that jewelry, fingernails, and other sharp objects may cause small tears or abrasions. Always protect the eyes during exercise with elastic bands or tubing. Do not stretch bands or tubing beyond 4 times their resting length (300% elongation).
Question: When should I replace my bands or tubing?
Answer: Always inspect your bands or tubing for signs of wear, including small tears, abrasions, or cracks before use. Pay particular attention to the connection point. Always replace the bands or tubing with any sign of wear. With heavy use, such as in a physical therapy clinic, bands and tubing should be replaced every 1-2 months. The bands and tubing will not last forever, and will experience normal wear and tear with extended use. However, they should be safe to use as long as there are no visible signs of wear.
Question: Can latex bands and tubing be used in a chlorine pool?
Answer: Yes, but the product will deteriorate at a quicker rate due to the chlorine. After each use in the pool, rinse the bands in tap water and hang them to dry. For extended use on land, apply a light dusting of corn starch before use.
Question: Why and under what circumstances is it better to prescribe latex-free Thera-Band bands over standard latex Thera-Band bands?
Answer: The regular Thera-Band resistive bands and tubing contain natural rubber latex. Latex allergies occur in a small percentage of the population (about 5-10%). When patients indicate latex allergy or sensitivity, they should use the latex-free bands. Also, patients with spina bifida tend to be more at-risk for latex allergy. Anyone using the latex bands or tubing that experiences an allergic reaction (such as redness or swelling on the skin near the band) should use the latex-free bands.
Question: How do the Thera-Band latex-free bands compare with the original latex bands?
Answer: Latex free Thera-Band resistance bands are slightly stronger than the original latex bands because of the manufacturing process.
Question: What is the shelf life of Thera-Band bands and tubing ?
Answer: When kept in a cool, dark environment, the bands and tubing should last for many years. However, use, exposure to temperature extremes, chlorine, and sunlight decrease the "shelf-life".
Question: How do I connect the bands or tubing for exercise?
Answer: Always secure the bands or tubing to a sturdy, non-movable object. The Thera-Band Door Anchor should be used to secure one end of the bands or tubing for exercise. It isn't advisable to tie the exerciser to a door knob or to "close" them in a door; this leads to early breaking. The Thera-Band Exercise Handles and Assist can be used to grasp the exercisers. To connect to the legs or arms, use the Thera-Band Extremity Strap. For more details, download instructions on connecting bands and tubing here (PDF).
Question: How does Thera-Band brand compare to other brands?
Answer: The resistance values and color progression for Thera-Band bands and tubing are specific to the brand, and cannot be applied to other brands. Although there are several competitive bands and tubing, there is no published research demonstrating the specific resistance levels or performance characteristics of other brands.
Question: Why should I purchase Thera-Band brand instead of a competitive brand?
Answer: No other elastic resistive exerciser has been studied more extensively than Thera-Band bands and tubing. Thera-Band resistive exercisers have been clinically proven in use for over 25 years to improve strength, range of motion, balance, and functional activities in many different patient populations. The Thera-Band Academy also provides research and education for the use of all Thera-Band products. The exercisers are backed by the Hygenic Corporation, manufacturers of Thera-Band products.
Question: How do the forces produced by bands compare to tubing?
Answer: The resistances of bands and tubing are similar between similar colors at the same elongations. For example, a length of red Thera-Band band stretched to 100% elongation will have the same amount of force as a length of red Thera-Band tubing stretched to 100% (approximately 4 pounds).
Question: Are there any specific conditions under which bands would be preferred over tubing or vice versa?
Answer: Typically, the use of bands or tubing is a matter of personal preference. Both bands and tubing demonstrate similar properties in progressive resistance. However, bands allow more surface area to be covered during some resistive exercises.
Question: How do bands and tubing compare to free weights (such as dumbbells)?
Answer: Elastic resistance has different properties than free weights, in that elastic resistance doesn't rely on gravity to produce force. Both elastic and isotonic resistance provide similar strength curve patterns ("bell-shaped"), similar muscle activation levels (EMG), and similar strength gains. The main difference is that the resistance produced by elastics must be quantified by noting the amount of stretch in the band or tubing. For example, a red Thera-Band resisitve band produces 4 pounds of force at 100% stretch.
Question: Do elastic bands and tubing provide similar results compared to free weights?
Answer: Yes. Elastic resistance has been proven to be as effective as free weights in developing strength. Elastic bands and tubing are often substituted for free-weight exercises
Question: Doesn't the force increase at the end range, not allowing me to complete a full range of motion?
Answer: As with any resistive exercise, elastic resistance must be used properly. While the force of the bands and tubing does increase with elongation, the "strength curve" of elastic resistance is physiologically similar to human joint strength curves. This provides less torque at the beginning and end ranges, where the muscles can't produce as much torque.
Question: How many repetitions will the bands or tubing withstand?
Answer: Elastic bands and tubing can last for a very long time with proper care and use. Thera-Band elastic bands and tubing have been tested in laboratory settings at over 10,000 repetitions without any breakage.
Question: How long can I stretch the bands or tubing?
Answer: We don't recommend stretching bands & tubing beyond 300% elongation (4 times resting length; for example, a one foot length of band stretched to 4 feet). The bands and tubing are more susceptible to breaking with greater than 300% elongation.
Question: How do I clean the Thera-Band elastic bands or tubing?
Answer: Immerse the band or tube in fresh clean water in a sink or under a running faucet. Rub a small amount of mild hand soap over the wet band or tube and then rinse in fresh water. Lay flat to dry, or drape the band or tube over the back of a chair or similar object and allow to thoroughly dry. Once dry, rub a small amount of talcum, baby powder, corn starch, or similar powder over the surface of the band or tube to prevent sticking.
Question: How do I exercise at the appropriate intensity during a Thera-Band workout?
Answer: While traditional resistance training utilizes a "percent of 1 repetition maximum" (ie, 6-80% 1RM), such intensity designations are not appropriate for elastic resistance. Instead, it's recommended to use the 'perceived exertion' scales, such as Borg or OMNI scales, in combination with a 'multiple repetition maximum' (RM), or the amount of resistance that can be moved over a certain number of repetitions. For example, exercise as a moderate perceived exertion* for 8-12RM for strength training to 20-25RM for rehabilitation. Once an individual can easily complete a prescribed number of sets and repetitions below the 'moderate' RPE level, progress to the next color level, and reduce the number of repetitions to the lower RM number. *Moderate intensity on a Borg Scale is 12-14, while the Omni Scale uses 5.
Question: How do I know when to progress to the next color band?
Answer: Gradual increase of resistance through the training program is the key to gaining strength. In general, the resistance level for each exercise should be matched to the strength capacity of the individual using a "rating of perceived exertion" or RPE ("moderate" intensity*). Exercise intensity is set with a 'multiple repetition maximum' (RM), or the amount of resistance that can be moved over a certain number of repetitions. This can range from 8-12RM for strength training to 20-25RM for rehabilitation. Once an individual can easily complete a prescribed number of sets and repetitions below the 'moderate' RPE level, progress to the next color level, and reduce the number of repetitions to the lower RM number. *Moderate intensity on a Borg Scale is 12-14, while the Omni Scale uses 5.
Question: How many calories are burned when strengthening with elastic resistance?
Answer: The Metabolic Equivalent (MET) rate for light to moderate weight lifting is estimated at 3.0 METs. One MET is equal to 1 calorie per kg of body weight. For example, a 180 pound person would burn about 243 calories in one hour of a light elastic band or tubing workout.
Question: Should I clean bands or tubing between patient uses?
Answer: We are not aware of any studies that have evaluated the transfer of bacteria through elastic resistance products. Repetitive application of disinfectants to elastic resistance exercise products will damage the product; this process can change physical properties and cause premature deterioration and failure of the product. Bands or tubing can be used once and disposed, or they can be dispensed per patient. An alternative infection control measure is to attach bands and tubing to Thera-Band exercise handles, which can then be cleaned between patient uses. Simply remove and discard the foam covering from the handle and clean with soap and water or apply disinfectant the handle between patients.
Question: What is the Thera-Band System of Progressive Resistance?
Answer: The Thera-Band System of Progressive Resistance consists of 8 color-coded resistance levels. The color of the band or tubing denotes it's resistance level. Tan = Extra Light Resistance Yellow = Light Resistance Red = Medium Resistance Green = Heavy Resistance Blue = Extra Heavy Resistance Black = Special Heavy Resistance Silver = Super Heavy Resistance Gold = Maximum Resistance
In general, tan and yellow are used for early rehabilitation or very frail individuals. The most common resistances are red, green & blue. Black, silver and gold are typically used by athletes.
Question: What color band or tubing should I use?
Answer: Thera-Band bands and tubing are color-coded to identify the level of resistance. The color band or tubing you use depends on the results you want to acheive with your strengthening routine. The lighter resistance levels (tan and yellow) are good for persons in the early stages of rehabilitation. Medium levels of resistance (red and green) are good for those persons starting a strengthening program, or for persons increasing muscular endurance. Higher levels of resistance (blue, black, silver, and gold) are for more advanced exercisers needing more resistance. Consult with an exercise or healthcare professional to determine which resistance is best for you. NOTE: Thera-Band bands and tubing provide similar levels of resistance within the same color. NOTE: "Percent Elongation" refers to the amount of stretch in the band or tubing compared to resting length. For example, a 100% elongation equates to stretching a band to twice its resting length.
Question: What exercises should I do with your bands or tubing?
Answer: It's very difficult to answer that question online because everyone is different. Before exercising, you should consult a healthcare or exercise professional to guide you in developing a safe and effective program. Thera-Band offers pre-made exercise programs you can search for by body part here.
Question: What is RPE or "Rating of Perceived Exertion"
Answer: The Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is a subjective rating of the amount of exertion someone experiences during an exercise. This measure helps identify the intensity of the exercise. There are 2 types of RPE scales: The Borg Scale and the OMNI scale. Each scale has been used in elastic resistance training studies. Visit www.humankinetics.com to find books on both scales.
Question: What is the history of the Thera-Band Brand?
Answer: Thera-Band brand products comprise the world's leading line of progressive elastic resistance exercise products for professional rehabilitation, athletic training and home fitness. They are developed and manufactured by The Hygenic Corporation. Thera-Band resistance exercise systems are used as tools for rehabilitating and restoring muscle and joint functions and for improving conditioning, balance and building strength. Thera-Band product lines include latex and latex-free bands, natural rubber tubing, exercise balls, hand exercisers, flexible bars, exercise mats, stability trainers, aquatic exercise products, specialized kits for athletes and enthusiasts, and paraffin heat therapy. The Thera-Band brand name was first introduced by The Hygenic Corporation in 1976 and has since gained an international reputation with therapists and sports trainers for quality and effectiveness. The Hygenic Corporation, headquartered in Akron, Ohio, is a multinational firm with two divisions: OEM and Specialty Products, which produces a diverse array of non-therapy products for use in a wide range of industries from medical devices to fishing lures, and the Thera-Band division, which manufactures and markets the Thera-Band brand product line. The Thera-Band division is the industry leader in new product development and supporting scientific research on the benefits of exercise in rehabilitation, strength building, injury prevention and fitness. In 1999, the company founded the Thera-Band Academy, an international organization composed of leading physicians, therapists, athletic trainers and university faculty to identify new research for funding and develop an international body of knowledge on treating and preventing injuries and disease through various types of exercise. The Hygenic Corporation was founded in 1925 by Walter P. Keith when he acquired the Hygenic Dental Rubber Company. Today, the company has approximately 300 employees worldwide. In addition to its Akron headquarters and manufacturing plant, it operates manufacturing and distribution centers in Ipoh, Malaysia and Hadamar, Germany.
Question: What is the OMNI Scale, and how is it used?
Answer: The OMNI scale was developed by Dr. Robert Robertson to help exercisers rate their perceived exertion (RPE) visually with pictures. The scale has been proven valid and reliable in a variety of exercise modes and populations. Several studies have shown that the OMNI scale is effective for Thera-Band resistive exercise (Colado et al. 2008, 2009). For more information on the OMNI scale book by Robertson, visit Human Kinetics Publishers.
Question: What length of band or tubing should I use?
Answer: The most important consideration is to be sure your band is not too short. If your band is too short, you increase the risk of snapping. A general rule of thumb is to use a length of band or tubing equal to the length of the limb you are exercising. The pre-cut lengths of Thera-Band resistance bands are 5 feet long (1.3 m), which is typically long enough for most exercises.
Question: What resistance or force is produced by the bands and tubing?
Answer: Thera-Band bands and tubing produce similar forces between similar colors. The force produced by bands and tubing is directly related to elongation. Each color will provide a specific amount of resistance at the same percent elongation, regardless of initial resting length. For example a 1-foot piece stretched to 2-feet (100% elongation) will have the same force as a 2-foot piece of the same color stretched to 4-feet. The force slowly increases as the band or tube is stretched. In general if you "double" the band or tube by using a loop for example, the resistance doubles as well. The Thera-Band loops produce the same force-elongation properties as 'doubled' band.
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