Physical therapist focus on improving your overall quality of life through focusing on your mobility and flexibility. When joints and the surrounding ligaments and tendons become injured or lose mobility, you begin to notice changes in your daily life.
These changes could be in your posture, the way you walk, or even pain felt routinely within your joint(s). The only way to improve your health and become stronger is through movement. Movement is life, and a physical therapist assists you with improving these problem areas.
However, the costs can become pricey because the movement is progressive and not going to become fixed in one session. If you have the health and ability to work out on your own, you can invest in resistance bands to become your own physical therapist and improve mobility and flexibility.
What are Resistance Bands?
Resistance bands are made of elastic materials that allow the bands to stretch and place resistance against your body. Resistance is needed to improve the development of strength and muscles surrounding your joints, and the specific movements performed with them carry over to mobility.
This type of equipment does not just fall under one similarity such as dumbbells. There are a wide variety of resistance bands available intended to be used for different motions. This includes hip circles, pull-up assist bands, tube bands, and the Therabands.Click to find out more about these bands.
When it comes to investing in home equipment, the two best choices from these are hip circles and pull-up assist bands. Both are highly effective in providing resistance, and another plus is they are easier to use for a large variety of exercises.
Therabands are the type used by physical therapist, but they are quite thin and rip easily overtime. This is why they come in huge rolls where you have to cut the length you want. Avoid the trouble of dealing with this and just get an assortment of different color strengths that can last for years.
Who Benefits from Resistance Band Training?
Everyone benefits from using resistance bands for mobility and flexibility. Athletes routinely use these to warm up before training, or even as part of their full exercise program. For example, powerlifters focus on strength for their sport.
When lacking mobility and strength in their hip joints, the process of increasing their maximum lift becomes stagnant. Injury may even become a possibility due to a lack of joint strength and mobility. Knowing that even athletes use these gives you an idea that mobility is quite important for all, and these little bands do a whole lot for you.
Think about the following questions:
- Is it hard to walk full strides?
- Can you reach objects overhead?
- Are you able to get out of a chair without assistance?
- Do your joints experience any pain?
If you answered yes to any of these, then you to will benefit from resistance bands to become your own physical therapist. The thought may be easy, but executing mobility and flexibility training requires patience and motivation.
Physical Therapy Exercises to Perform at Home
There are several exercises you can perform daily to improve your overall health and get your joints stronger. You want to focus on performing the exercises smoothly and not go too fast. Discomfort or slight pain may occur, which is typical for tight joints that lack movements.
However, if you experience intense pain, then the joint is being forced too much, and you should stop the exercise or reduce the range of motion (ROM) for the time being until there’s more flexibility.
Side-Lying Leg Lift
Targets your hip flexors, abductors, and glutes while protecting the joints from impact.
Perform this with the hip circle. Take a seat and slide your feet into the circle pulling the band to position 3-4 fingers below the knees.
Lay on your side with arm floor-side down extended fully out. Legs are extended fully out with outer foot on top of the other foot. Execute by keeping legs straight as possible and lift the opposing leg against the resistance then lower back to starting position.
Perform without a band first if the lightest resistance is too difficult.
Named after what the exercise appears to resemble. Targets glutes, hip flexors, and groin.
Perform this with the hip circle. Take a seat and slide your feet into the circle pulling the band to position 3-4 fingers above the knees.
Lay on your side with arm floor-side down extended out. If this is uncomfortable, you can bend at the elbow and place a hand behind the head. Stack your legs and place a bend in your knees. Execute by focusing on separating your knees to open your legs mimicking and clamshell opening up.
Alternative: Take a seat in a chair that sits you parallel with the floor and facing forward. Band above the knees, place your feet together sitting at a 90 degree, and execute the same way.
Band Front Pull Apart
Targets the upper back and shoulders. Opens the chest muscles to improve posture if you slouch.
Perform with a pull-up assistance band. Stand body fully erect with feet shoulder-width apart to form a base. Grasp the ends of the band firmly and extend arms out forward. Execute by pulling your hands apart until parallel with your body. The band will stretch across the chest. Control the band as you close your arms and repeat.
Wall Walk Exercise
Improves shoulder mobility and flexibility. Engages the back as well for a good upper warm up.
Wall walks are performed with your hands, not your feet, and uses the hip circle band. Stand arm’s length away from wall and place hands in the circle positioning it at the wrists. Place your hand’s palms down on the wall with them spaced out to feel the tension on the band.
Execute by shifting one hand open laterally, either the left or right and bring back in. Repeat with the opposite side. Once both hands have opened laterally, shift the first hand usedup around 6 inches while the other stays in place. Now using the next hand, slide that hand straight up offset from the other.
Essentially, you’re walking the wall with your hands.
Improve Your Mobility and Start Today
Take the initiative and go get the resistance bands today while the thought is on your mind. A large number will not take action if nothing is done the day of, so don’t become like this and take a trip to your nearest store that sells anything sports-related. You will almost always find the two described resistance bands within this section of the store.
You can become your own physical therapist with the exercises discussed, and after you get used to them, research more and start adding in another each time. The body needs to be focused on as a whole. Don’t skip an area even if it becomes more sore than the other.