Resistance bands are commonly used in the fitness world, including in rehabilitation programs and strength training routines. These bands are portable, easy to use anywhere (office, home or even the hotel), and come in a wide range of levels of resistance. Here are four exercises that you could do with resistance bands to keep your body in good shape, whether you're rehabilitating or not:
1. Glute Bridge
Tie your resistance band around both of your legs just above the knees. Lie flat on the floor. Bend your knees at 90 degrees while keeping your back and feet on the ground. Raise up with your hips until you are able to align your knees and hips with your shoulders. Throughout this move, make sure to contract your glutes in order to obtain the best results. You should do somewhere between 10 and 20 reps.
2. Lateral Pulldown
If you need to work your upper back, this is the exercise to do it. Whether it is a sturdy tree limb or an overhead horizontal bar, anchor your resistance band. Bring the free ends to your sides and kneel down facing your anchor. The resistance bands should be in front of you and your hands should be just a bit wider than your shoulders. Your arms should be extended overhead. While bending your elbows, bring the bands down to the floor. When you perform this movement, contract the muscles in your back. Once you reach your shoulders with your hands, raise them back slowly to the initial position. Do five to 15 reps.
3. Front Forward Raise
This exercise targets your shoulders. You will want to stand on middle of your resistance band and keep your feet roughly shoulder-width apart. Your palms should face toward your body and each handle should be at your side. Take your right arm straight in front of you without locking up your elbow. Do this until your arm has reached shoulder height. Lower your arm back down. Perform this exercise for five to 12 reps and then switch arms.
4. Russian Twist
For the ultimate core workout, this exercise is really all you need. Sit on the ground with both of your legs fully extended. Take the center of your resistance band and wrap it around the bottom of both of your feet. With both ends in your hands, bend your knees slightly with your feet on the floor and lean backward at 45 degrees. Take your left hand and bring it across your body and take your right hand and place it down by your right hip. Contract your abdominal muscles throughout this movement while bringing your left hand down to your right hand and hip. Return to your original starting position and do the same movement with your left hand. Once finished, this is one repetition. Do five to 10 reps total.
Resistance bands can be a great addition to your physical therapy, but you should never do anything like this without consulting with your therapist first. Check out sites like http://www.parkavetrauma.com. You are in physical therapy for a reason and you don't want to do anything to negatively jeopardize your progress.