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Question
Posted by: Bianca | 2005/12/12

Theraband

How effective are therabands as a form of resistance training and using them to exercise with the end result of loosing weight.

Where can I find good quality ones, I stay in Jo'burg.

Thank you.

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Our expert says:
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Hi Bianca

They are good for home resistance exercise, there is a surprising amount that you can do with them. Most often, they are used for rehab purposes, when there is some form of strength training required, say for example a muscle injury that needs to be restrengthened. They provide variable resistance, because they are elastic, and so obviously the further they stretch, the greater their resistance. That means it's easy to 'grade' exercise difficulty because if someone is very strong, they can pull hard and get higher resistance. If someone is weaker, they don't have the problem of being pulled too hard by the band.

As for weight loss, there I am not so sure. I believe that the theraband can be used very effectively for injury rehab, for strengthening of muscles and joints and for stretching, but for weight loss, it's not nearly as effective. Weight loss requires elevating your metabolic weight, both acutely and in the long term, and the most effective way to do this is regular cardio training, like cycling, running, walking etc. You need to do these for between 40 and 60 minutes each time to get a really good consistent benefit. To this, you would add the theraband exercises, but the cardio is really essential with a view to losing weight.

As for where to get them, try a physiotherapy practice - you don't need to be a patient, you can buy them anyway at most practices.

Good luck

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