Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Elastic Resistance and the new Theraband CLX

by Clare Frank, DPT, MS, OCS, FAAOMPT

Some folks downplay the use of elastic resistance as “wimpy” but there are over 100 published clinical trials that have used elastic resistance. In fact, half of these are randomized, controlled clinical trials, the highest level of evidence available. In addition, there are over 40 basic and applied studies that have been published to describe the scientific foundation for elastic resistance, including electromyographic (EMG) evidence and biomechanical analysis. The most comprehensive and updated list of these references is available at www.Thera-BandAcademy.com.
Sometimes elastic resistance is preferred over machine-based resistance (pulley-resisted or selectorized machines) for several reasons (Page et al. 2000) e.g. Elastic resistance provides a strength curve similar to human strength curves (bellshaped) as opposed to some rope-and-pulley devices and selectorized machines and Eccentric (negative) resistance of elastics is the same as concentric, opposed to some pulleys that produce twice as much concentric as eccentric force

I'm a fan of elastic resistance as it’s very versatile and portable.  It’s my “gym in a bag” when I travel.  Most of my workouts consist of using my body weight as resistance and sensorimotor-training (SMT) that was advocated by Vladimir Janda.   Elastic bands can be used as a resistance as well as an assistive/facilitatory tool depending on the intent of the exercise.  Theraband recently came out with their consecutive loop – CLX elastic bands.  Instead of having to physically tie loops, or teaching people to wrap the band in a specific ways to minimize the “tonic” muscle activity, this process has been made painlessly easy with the built-in loops. In addition, Theraband has also made available a free app -Theraband CLX that you can download. Thank you, Theraband! 

I’ve been toying with some exercises using the CLX and these are some of the ones that I came up utilizing developmental positions.   All these exercises must be preceded by an established stable base by activating the integrated spinal stabilizing system (ISSS) and intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) regulation, in accordance to the Dynamic Neuromuscular Approach (DNS).   Another important thing is to ensure centration of all joints during the movement and its quality.  

Triple Flexion Position (6 month developmental age)

Loop the bands around feet and hands as shown.
Press feet towards the ceiling without straightening the knees.  
This exercise is a good way to activate the lower portion of the abdominal wall and pelvic floor muscles if performed correctly. 

Shoulder Rotation
Loop band several times around the proximal portion of the humerus, and then around the contralateral thigh as shown in the picture.  This will create a slight inferior glide of the humerus as the  band is pulled taut when the RIGHT shoulder rotates around a stable glenoid fossa. 

Low oblique sit position
(Ipsilateral Pattern)

With arm reach towards ceiling
with Body rotation over a fixed humerus.

Tripod position

Looped band around thigh to create a lateral femoral rotational assist.

Hanging stance
Looped band around stance thigh to assist in facilitating femoral lateral rotation.

Prone creep position -  4 1/2 month Contralateral Pattern
Loop band around Right knee and left midfoot.

Reach with RIGHT hand and rotate LEFT foot into
dorsiflexion and eversion.

Prone creep position - contralateral pattern.

Loop band around Right knee and right hand.
Reach with RIGHT hand.

Hanging Stance
Loop band around RIGHT knee, LEFT distal thigh and LEFT hand.

Tension on the band will assist LEFT femoral lateral rotation as LEFT arm reaches out.

Hanging Stance
Loop band around RIGHT knee, LEFT distal thigh and both hands.

Keep hands clasped together as you             rotate torso/pelvis over fixed/stable           LEFT femur.

Update: Registration is open for our 2020 courses in Los Angeles, Washington DC, and the Bay Area in Northern California. 

Clare Frank is the founder of Movement Links, Inc, a company borne out of a desire to enhance clinicians’ understanding of the movement system. She is the program director of Azusa Pacific University Advanced Fellowship in Movement & Performance and clinical faculty of Kaiser Permanente Spine Rehab Fellowship.  Clare is a lifelong learner, implementor and advocate for the movement system.

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