Resistance Bands for More Strength and Flexibility
Did you know you can replace just about an entire gym with a resistance band? Resistance bands are incredible for flexibility AND strength training! Some find them more effective than weights because you need to exert in both directions while using a band which, you already know, is key for dance!
What Resistance Band Should You Use?
Don’t jump right to the strongest resistance – every strength of band has a special use. If you need to choose ONE band then a medium strength band is the way to go. For more resistance you can double up the band for some exercises!
You can buy flat bands, or the tube style with handles. For dancers, we recommend the flat style as you can wrap them around your foot or tie them around your knees for additional resistance or support for flexibility exercises. Handles can get in the way!
You can always adjust your grip using bands with tubing by gripping below the handles, if they are all you have handy.
Lower Body Exercises
● Plies and squats with the band tied around your knees or thighs
● Side leg lifts with the band around your calf or shin will really target your hips
● Heel raises from the hands and knees position with the band wrapped around your raised foot
Source: Get Healthy U
Strengthen Your Feet
Whether you do pointe work or not, bands are an excellent way to make your feet and ankles stronger, and less prone to injury. Practice pointing and flexing your toes with the middle of the band wrapped around your toes and the ends held in your hands to control the tension.
● With your legs extended straight in front of you, point and flex your toes using the added resistance.
● Cross your legs at the ankles, keeping the band wrapped the same way, and rotate your foot to the left and right with both pointed and flexed toes
● Cross your legs at the knee (legs in a #4 position) and point and flex the feet again. Repeat on the opposite side.
3 Basic Theraband Exercises to Increase Turnout and Strengthen Feet
Maximize Your Flexibility
You probably have a stretching routine already, but have you tried adding flex bands? By using bands to it, you will be able to both build strength in the muscles you are working to lengthen AND the band will allow you to get a bit deeper into the stretch!
Here is a great demonstration of how a theraband can help with your dance training:
This can be applied to many held positions you need just a bit more flexibility to master.
Other Great Uses
I was first introduced to resistance bands when I was rehabilitating an ankle injury. With the band wrapped around my foot I just flexed and rotated my ankle for a few minutes each day. I was amazed that such a simple tool could be so effective.
I really fell in love with bands, though, when I realized that nearly every exercise I learned on the Pilates reformer could be recreated using flex bands – suddenly I could do most of my cool reformer stuff at home, not to mention using them in mat Pilates classes to make the work more challenging.
Whether you’re looking to build or regain strength, or find a new depth to your flexibility, you’ll want to be sure you have resistance bands handy.
What is YOUR favourite use for bands? Let us know in the comments.