Exercise equipment comes in all shapes and sizes, but not all is needed. One piece of equipment that is extremely versatile and valuable is a theraband. Let’s explore the benefits of a theraband and why it should be part of any home exercise equipment list.
For those who are not familiar, a theraband is a flat elastic band, typically 1-2 meters in length. Therabands come in different colours, with each colour determining their strength. Using the traditional theraband colour headings, the order from easiest to difficult is yellow, red, green, blue, and black.
No pun intended! A theraband gives you the ability to train every body part with resistance. While some body parts can be trained with body weight alone, other areas are more difficult to exercise with bodyweight only or require an advanced level of strength to perform. A theraband allows you to perform exercises at a scalable level for all areas of the body.
As a theraband is an elastic band that increases its tension while you perform an exercise, it requires you to exert more force in what is called the eccentric phase of the movement. This is when the muscle develops tension while it lengthens. At the band returns from the position of greatest stretch back to the starting position of the exercise, the muscles work hard to control the speed of the movement against the pull of the band. Exercises that focus on this part of the movement have been shown to be the most effective at developing strength. The same focus can often not be achieved using hand weights.
While an exercise ball or a set of weights takes up significant space, a theraband is small and easy to store. This makes it the perfect tool to take with you if you are away from home, allowing you to continue to build or maintain your strength. It is extremely lightweight, yet can provide a good resistance to ensure that you can challenge the muscles making it the ideal travel exercise tool.
While a dumbbell will typically start at anywhere between $5-10 per kg depending on weight, a theraband is comparatively cheaper as modifications to the tension and stretch on the band will provide incremental increases in the difficulty of an exercise without requiring the purchase of any additional equipment. In contrast, to increase the difficulty of an exercise using dumbbells will often require the purchase of additional weights to increase the load.