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Too busy to hit the gym?Do these exercises with the thera-band for a strong and fit body

travel Updated: Jul 03, 2010 11:29 IST

The thera-band is one of the
best ways to continue your
exercise regimen at home, in
case you have to skip your
gym session. As we mentioned
last week, while they're not a substitute
for a gym workout, thera-bands
provide a full strength and resistance
workout if you use them with the right
set of exercises.


One of the main advantages of the thera-band is that you are limited only by your imagination. Since the band is so light and easy to tie to just about anything, you can change your angles and planes of movement without sacrificing any resistance or load. The band's resistance increases the more you stretch it. This means it gets tougher till either the band runs out of stretch or you run out of oomph.

The exercise band has thousands of loads built into it -- the load is directly proportional to the amount of stretch you put into the band. No more looking for weights and compromising because you can't find the right dumbbell. Just adjust the tension and you're good to go.

The downside to the thera-band is that you need to be careful about how you use it. It can snap and recoil very quickly, resulting in a painful welt. It's a good idea never to stretch the band more than 90 per cent of its maximum capacity and inspect your band for nicks and weaknesses. If these weaknesses grow, you can be sure that at some point the band is going to snap at that spot.

Here are a set of exercises you can do without having to fasten the band to any fixed point.

A fullbody workout with the Thera-Band
These exercises can be performed with the T-band placed under your feet. To set the tension in the band, wrap them around your hands. Start with three sets of 10 repetitions and gradually increase to three sets of 30 reps. Remember to keep your body posture right and don't stretch the band to more than 90 per cent of its maximum capacity.

Lunges

Do this exercise only if you don't have any knee pain. From a kneeling position, bring one foot forward and anchor the band under it. Pull the band up to your chest. Straighten the leg as far as it goes and don't shift your weight backward. Return to the floor. Avoid involving the back leg muscles.

Deltoid Flys
Anchor the band under your feet and raise the band out sideways as high as you like. This is great for building your shoulder muscles.

Heel Raises
Anchor the band under your feet and pull up to the chest. Now raise your heels and descend slowly. This helps tone your calf muscles using your body weight as natural resistance.

Shoulder Press
Stand on the band and stretch it up to your shoulders. From there straighten your arms out to stretch the band above your head as if the ends were two dumbbells. Return to shoulder height to complete one repetition. The shoulder press is a simple way to train your upper body.

Triceps Extension
You need to have a painfree range of motion in the shoulder. Keep your hands behind your head. Now raise them with the elbows straight. Return to starting position.

Biceps Curls
Place the band under your feet. Wrap it around your hands to set the tension with your arms extended fully. Pull the band upwards bending your arms at your elbows.

Hip Abduction
Anchor the band under your feet. Keeping one leg fixed, move the other leg sideways to stretch the band out. This helps strengthen the sides of the gluteus region.

Squats

Keeping the band under your feet, get into a squat position with the band in front of your shoulders. Then, as you straighten your legs, stretch the band out till your hands are in front of your shoulders. Squats are a great way to train your thigh and glutes.

Heath is a sports physiotherapist at the Kokilaben Hospital Sports Medicine Centre