Thera-bands are great to have even if you have a gym membership. They're small, convenient and weigh about 50 grams, which means they're perfect to take on holiday. They can be used in or outdoors and are great fun.
Because of its flexibility, there are endless possibilities when it comes to creating workouts with the thera-band, and as you get more advanced you can start creating your own individual workouts, but here are a few upper body movements we have designed for you...
Lie down on a bench or flex ball. Extend your arms in front of you, holding a thera-band. Stretch the band until the middle of it touches your chest, hold for a count of one and return to the starting position, relax and repeat.
Sit on a chair with your back straight. Hold a thera-band directly in front of you, with your arms extended outwards. Pull the band outwards you as far as you can, until the middle of it touches your chest. Hold for a count of one then return to the starting position. Relax and repeat.
Lay the thera-band flat on the floor and stand along the length of it with one foot almost in the middle. Bend down and grab the front section of the band with your left. Stand up, and without bending your elbow, lift the band until your arm is extended straight out and your hand is at the same level as your forehead.
Sit on a chair with your back straight, holding the thera-band above your head, thumbs touching each other. Keeping your arms straight, pull the band outwards. Hold for a count on one and return to the starting position. Relax and repeat.
Sit on a chair with your back straight. Hold the thera-band behind your neck, as if you were holding a bar, hands slightly further than shoulder width apart. Pull the band outwards. You should feel the squeeze in your shoulder blades. Hold for a count of one and return to the starting position. Relax and repeat.
Wrap the band around your left food and stand with your right foot just behind, hip distance apart. Stick your buttocks out, hold your back flat, resting your left hand on your front knee. Grab the thera-band with your right hand, keeping your fist pointing towards the ground. With your elbow close to your side, lift and lower the band.
Sit up straight on a chair. Hold the thera-band lengthways behind you. Your right arm should cross above your head, the left hand grabbing the band underneath. Keeping your left arm still, lift the band with your right arm until it is extended straight. Lower and repeat.
Lay the band flat on the floor, and stand along it lengthways with one foot towards the middle. Bend down and grab the band just behind you foot. Stand up keeping your arm parallel to the floor. Without moving your elbow, lift your fist until your arm is straight. Hold for a count of one, lower and repeat.
Wrap the band around one of your feet. Stand back, putting your weight on your opposite foot. Grab the ends of the band, keeping elbows tucked and fists facing front. Lift your hands to shoulder height, hold for a count of one, lower and repeat.
Place a thera-band across your neck. Wrap the band around your left arm to hold the one side above your head. Using your right hand, grab the other side and pull, so that your arm is extended straight out to the side. Hold for a count of one, relax and repeat.
Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart. Place the thera-band behind your neck. Make sure you keep it straight and tight, holding it at both ends. Keeping your hips still, turn your body as far as you can to the right, then to the left. Make sure you keep your abs contracted.
Lay the band flat on the floor. Stand with you feet slightly more than shoulder width apart. Grab the ends and, keeping your arms straight and the band tight, pull the band as high as you can with your left arm while bending your body to the right. Hold for a count of one, relax and repeat with the opposite side.
Creating workouts with your thera-band can be both fun and effective, so keep stretching those bands and coming up with new ways to this technology to keep your body fit and healthy.
About The Author
Dimi Deliyiannis is the founder and editor of GetFIT.co.za, a free online magazine with information on training, diet and nutrition. She regularly writes articles for top South African magazines, including: Fitness, Muscle Evolution and Women's Value. Visit her website on www.getfit.co.za.