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The concept of elastic resistance training is a basic one. As you stretch the elastic band, the resistance will increase. The increased resistance provides a progressive stimulus to the muscle, which in turn builds strength and help increases muscle mass. Elastic resistance training has some unique benefits. It can work single or multiple joints at one time. This makes the exercises more functional and efficient. With traditional exercise equipment such as machines and free weights, gravity is the force that opposes the resistance. The user is sometimes limited to one specific exercise for each machine. In contrast, elastic resistance does not rely on gravity. Instead, its resistance is dependant on how far the band or tubing is stretched. Additionally, a variety of exercises can be performed with a single band or tube. You can progress the resistance by moving to a thicker band.
Unlike traditional machines, elastic resistance exercises can be performed in many planes of movement. This makes them more functional, especially if you are developing a sport-specific training program. Additionally, unlike most exercise machines, elastic exercises provide resistance in both the eccentric and concentric phases of muscular contraction.
Elastic tubing products include resistance tubes, which have handles, therabands, which are flat bands without handles and smaller ankle bands for leg exercises.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|