• July 7, 2020

FITNESS: Resistance bands provide alternate way to stay in shape - Odessa American: Sports

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FITNESS: Resistance bands provide alternate way to stay in shape

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Posted: Monday, June 29, 2020 7:14 pm

With gyms among places being shut down during the coronavirus pandemic, fitness buffs have had to look elsewhere in order to get in their workouts.

One solution has been the use of fitness bands for resistance training. Such exercises can be conducted at home with a minimum of set up required, but may not be the best option for meeting one’s fitness needs.

“I use them for some physical therapy stuff, corrective exercises,” said Dr. Bill Dodson of Paradigm Physical Therapy. “I typically like to use what we call speed pulleys because you can put them in functional ranges of motion and the resistance stays constant.”

Dodson stressed the need for proper instruction in the use of any exercise equipment.

“There are plenty of sites on the web that can help you do it safely,” he said. “When I give my patients a resistance band or elastic band, I always show them what to do. I always give them something they can see to take home, and I always make sure that I catch up with them.”

For general workouts, Dodson said, bands have their drawbacks.

“The problem with resistance bands is they’re not what we call a functional resistance,” he said. “The further range of motion goes, the stronger the resistance, so it’s not a functional exercise. However, you can get strength with fitness bands, doing it in the right direction.

Dodson added that it might do more harm than good to other parts of the body.

“Also, fitness bands have been shown to be not good for the shoulders,” he said. “The shoulder muscles are small and the fitness band, again, as they go through a full range of motion, get more and more resistance. So, if you have a tendon problem or if you have some kind of shoulder pathology attention, it’d be worse.”

Dodson, who mainly works with patients rehabilitating from injuries or surgery, said exercises with bands are more effective when the range of motion is limited.

“You need to make sure you’re not impinging joints,” he said. “The shoulder’s the main area where resistance bands would be detrimental. Everything else, you can use them. Hips are fine, knees and elbows are fine.

“And you have to have a line of pull. It’s very difficult to get a full angle without it rolling up on your shin if you’re using a leg, or whatever.”

While acceptable for the short term if used properly, Dodson said the use of bands is not like to replace gyms after the pandemic ends.

“If it would have, it would’ve already happened because they’re very inexpensive, it’s just not real safe,” he said. “What I’m seeing now is people are going outside and doing calisthenics. I’ll go for a walk in the evening at a little park and I’ll do push-ups on this special little area. That’s kind of how I work out.

“The fitness bands, I don’t think it’s going to take over the world. I think they’re a good substitute for right now, however, they’re just not a realistic resistance exercise.”

>> Follow Sam Waller on Twitter at @OA_Waller

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