How to Rehab Shoulder Injuries with Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are a staple in physical therapy and with good reason. The lightweight bands don’t rely on gravity to create tension, can target specific areas of the body, and are relatively easy to control. If you’re prone to shoulder pain or you’re dealing with shoulder injuries, a resistance band could be your new best friend. Shoulder pain, in particular, shouldn’t be ignored. Not only does it limit your mobility, but it could be a cause of arthritis, a tear in the rotator cuff or labrum, or general instability.

Physical rehabilitation for shoulder pain aims to improve your range of motion as well as decrease pain. A typical physical therapist will work with ice or heat depending up on the stage of injury. Once you have progressed past the initial phase of rehabilitation, you may want to consider the use of resistance bands to help strengthen the area. Specific exercises with resistance bands can help you regain normal range of motion, especially after an injury. By creating tension, resistance bands strengthen both muscles and the attachment of tendons to bones. The exercises below especially aid in strengthening the shoulder and rotator cuff muscles.

Before starting any of these exercises, consult first with your physical therapist to ensure you are ready to proceed with resistance bands as well as to check that you’re using the correct bands. Resistance bands come in a variety of lengths as well as resistance. Additionally, if you experience any extreme pain or aches, swelling, difficulty raising your arms over your head or sleeping on your arm, stop the exercises and see your medical practitioner.

Shoulder Flexion

  1. Get into the starting position by standing upright with the resistance band under your left foot.
  2. Take hold of the band with your left hand and lift it in front of you. Keep your arm straight and your thumb pointing upward.
  3. Slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat and switch to the other side.

Shoulder External Rotation

  1. Secure the band by tying it to a stable object at approximately hip height, like a doorknob or a bar.
  2. Get into the starting position by standing side on to the anchor point and grasp the band with your hand furthest from the anchor point. Stand at a distance that creates some tension in the band.
  3. Place your elbow by your side with your forearm extended at 90 degrees in front of you.
  4. Slowly rotate your arm to the side (away from the anchor point) whilst keeping your elbow close to the side of your body. Your hand should reach no further than slightly past your hip. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps and switch to the other side.

Shoulder Internal Rotation

  1. Secure the band by tying it to a stable object at approximately hip height, like a doorknob or a bar.
  2. Get into the starting position by standing side on to the anchor point and grasp the band with your hand closest to the anchor point. Stand at a distance that creates some tension in the band.
  3. Place your elbow by your side with your forearm extended at 90 degrees toward the anchor point.
  4. Slowly rotate your arm to a position in front of you (away from the anchor point) whilst keeping your elbow close to the side of your body. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps and switch to the other side.

Shoulder Abduction

  1. Secure the band by tying it to a stable object at approximately shoulder height.
  2. Get into the starting position by standing side on to the anchor point and grasp the band with your hand furthest from the anchor point. Stand at a distance that creates some tension in the band.
  3. Slowly lift your arm out to the side until it’s parallel to the floor. Keep your arm in line with your body.
  4. Slowly lower your arm to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps and switch to the other side.

Wall Crawl

  1. Loop the resistance band around your forearms at a length that creates tension in the resistance band.
  2. Get into the starting position by leaning against a wall with your forearms shoulder-width apart and elbows bent at 90 degrees and your hands at around chin level.
  3. Crawl your forearms up the wall until your elbows are at approximately chin level.
  4. Crawl back down to the starting position and then repeat 10-15 times.

Sources: https://www.setforset.com/blogs/news/7-rotator-cuff-resistance-bands-exercises-for-rehab-prehab-and-strengthening

https://www.verywellhealth.com/shoulder-rotator-cuff-strengthening-exercises-2696618

 

Incorporating Resistance Bands in Your Workouts

Incorporating Resistance Bands in Your Workouts

When we think of resistance training, we usually picture weights like dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells. But, resistance bands, while lighter, can be just as effective in creating resistance. They make for easy and portable exercise equipment, especially if you’re constantly travelling or want to squeeze in a resistance workout while at the office. Resistance bands aren’t just limited to weight training either, you can also use them for stretching and mobility and warm-ups and rehabilitation.

Below are exercises that you can do to incorporate resistance bands into your workouts.

Squats

  1. Stand on the band with your feet at around shoulder width. This is your starting position.
  2. While holding a handle in each hand at your shoulders, bend your legs whilst moving your hips backwards and keeping your knees in line with your feet.
  3. Return to starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps.

Push-ups

  1. Place yourself in a regular push-up position. Wrap the resistance band across your back (above the shoulder blades) and secure the band under your hands.
  2. When lowering your body toward the floor, ensure the natural arch of your lower back is maintained. If necessary, the knees may be lowered to the floor.

Prone Leg Curl

  1. Lie down on your belly and loop the band around your right ankle and secure it to a support, like a bench or leg of a couch.
  2. To create tension, move away from the anchor point.
  3. Bend your leg at the knee and tighten your core while bringing your heal toward your glutes, as far as comfortably possible.
  4. Slowly lower your leg and repeat for 10 to 15 reps, then switch to the other leg.

Glute Bridge

  1. Lie on your back and bend your knees at 90 degrees with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Hold a resistance band across your hips and secure the ends of the band to the floor beside your hips with your hands.
  3. Lift your hips up until your shoulders, hips and knees align.
  4. Slowly lower and repeat 15 to 20 times.

Supinated Clamshell

  1. Loop and tie a band around your legs, just above your knees.
  2. Lie on your back and flex your hips and knees to 90 degrees.
  3. Create tension by pulling apart your knees.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position and then repeat 10 to 15 times.

Band Pull-aparts

  1. While standing, hold the opposite ends of a resistance band.
  2. Create tension by pulling the band apart at shoulder-width as far as possible. If you find the exercise to easy, move your hands closer together at the starting position.
  3. Bring your hands back oward each other until minimal resistance in the bands and then repeat 10 to 15 times.

Lateral Band Walk

  1. Loop and tie a band around your legs, at the ankles. (Note that wrapping the resistance band around your legs higher will make the exercise easier).
  2. To create tension, spread feet apart to shoulder-width.
  3. Form a half-squat and step sideways to the right with your right foot and then bring the left foot to a position so that your feet are shoulder-width again.
  4. Take 8 to 10 steps in each direction, i.e. to the right and left.

Benefits of Resistance Band Training

Benefits of Resistance Band Training

There’s a secret to making the most out of your workouts and it’s light, easy, and affordable–resistance bands! Resistance bands can really get your muscles to work and they can add some variety to your routine. These elastic bands are incredibly versatile and the resistance they create can improve muscle strength, endurance, and stamina. You can incorporate resistance bands into nearly every exercise, whether you’re on a machine at the gym, practising yoga, or performing squats at home.

So, how do resistance bands work? These bands come in different sizes or lengths, allowing them to target different areas of the body. As you use resistance bands, all your muscle fibres are contracting, resulting in improved muscular and bone strength. If that’s not a good enough reason for you, here are some more excellent benefits of using resistance bands.

Assistance and safety

Resistance bands also provide stability when performing more physically challenging exercises. This makes them great for beginners and anyone with all sorts of fitness needs. For exercises that require assistance, such as pull-ups, you only need to attach the resistance band to a bar and under your knee or foot. The band will support your weight through the resistance it creates. Additionally, resistance bands lower chances of injury as well as fatigue. You can truly push yourself with less worry.

Enhanced stretching and jumping

Benefits of Resistance BandsWe’ve mentioned how resistance bands can improve and tone your muscle and bones. It makes sense, then, that resistance bands can also improve your overall workouts. Similar to other resistance training equipment, like dumbbells, resistance bands maximize the effectiveness of your workout. Mobility also becomes easier as the resistance allows for some awareness and control, resulting in a greater range of motion. With a resistance band, you’ll find it easier to deepen your stretches. Warming up with resistance bands has been proven to be beneficial as well. One study in particular shows that warming up with resistance bands enhanced jump power to the same degree as barbell squats.

Adaptable

Nearly everybody can find some use for resistance bands. Even those who love to work out with serious weights, like barbells, will appreciate the many benefits of resistance bands. Unlike weights, resistance bands don’t need gravity to create tension. You can even perform exercises with resistance bands while sitting down. The versatility of resistance bands make them a favourite of physical rehabilitation professionals. They don’t apply excessive pressure and are easier to control.

Variety

Tired of the same old workout plan? You’ll be surprised how a tool as simple as a resistance band can switch things up. Even if you think your muscles have reached their limit, a little push (or pull) from resistance bands can activate those muscles further. Resistance bands also allow greater range of motion than that of regular weight training.

Portable

Always on the go? Want to squeeze in a quick workout while at the office? Don’t want to slack off while on holiday? Throw a resistance band or two in your bag. They’re lightweight, compact, and evidently provide a fantastic array of exercises and benefits.