Study Validates Elastic Resistance is Effective in Achieving Muscle Hypertrophy, Announces Performance Health

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Recent study shows that strength training with elastic bands and tubing is as effective as machine-based strength training.

Thera-Band Knee Extension Exercise

Despite the affordability, versatility, portability and popularity of elastic resistance exercise, there has been debate over its use for increasing muscle hypertrophy and strength. This debate persists despite several studies finding that elastic resistance is as effective if not better than isotonic resistance machines (Colado & Triplett 2008, Sundstrup et al. 2012). A study(1) conducted by Dr. Saied Jalal Aboodarda and colleagues further supports the use of elastic resistance devices as cost effective modes of training for muscle strength and hypertrophy in healthy individuals.

In this study, which was published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, researchers compared Thera-Band® elastic bands to Nautilus® weight machines on muscle strength and muscle damage on nine healthy male subjects. Each participant performed five sets of ten repetition maximum knee extension exercises with a Thera-Band elastic band and on the exercise machine. The participants were tested for their maximum quadriceps strength, delayed onset muscle soreness and indicators of muscle damage. The researchers found that both the elastic resistance and machine-aided exercises produced the same amount of muscle damage, which has been shown to be the underlying mechanism of further muscle hypertrophy(2). The researchers concluded that both modes of training provide a similar training stress, despite lower force generation during the elastic-resisted exercise.

“While popular in the rehabilitation setting, elastic bands and tubing are often underutilized in strength training. This stems from an unfounded assumption that elastic resistance products can only provide a low level of external force and is therefore limited in providing an appropriate resistance/stimulus for strength,” stated Dr. Phil Page, Director of Clinical Education and Research for Performance Health and author of Strength Band Training.

The authors concluded their paper with, “Considering that an elastic resistance device has long been accepted as an affordable, portable and versatile exercise training aid compared with other training equipment such as the Nautilus machine, the present data support the use of an elastic resistance device as a cost effective mode of training for achieving further muscle strength and hypertrophy in healthy individuals. This is contrary to many previous investigations that have rejected the potential of utilizing an elastic resistance device in athletic settings, because of a perception that an elastic resistance device does not provide adequate training stress.”

“We are grateful to the researchers for their work on this study, just one more among many others that validate the effectiveness of our Thera-Band resistance products,” concluded Page.

About the Academy
The Thera-Band® Academy was formed to scientifically document the benefits of resistance exercise and pain relief, guide the company in its development of new products and exercise programs, and to promote therapeutic exercise and pain management through professional and consumer education. The Academy web site is a unique resource that connects healthcare professionals and consumers to the ever growing body of knowledge on exercise. Registration is free and provides access to the largest database of rehab exercises, protocols, research and education in the world.

About Performance Health
Featuring leading brands like Thera-Band®, Biofreeze® and Pedigenix®, Performance Health offers a broad portfolio of products for the therapy, rehabilitation, wellness, massage, podiatric and performance markets. In addition to market-leading products, Performance Health provides practice building support, evidence-based protocols, clinical and product education, turn-key dispensing and pain management solutions.

(1) REFERENCE: Aboodarda SJ, et al. Muscle strength and damage following two modes of variable resistance training. J Sports Sci Med. 2011. 10:635-642.

(2) Muscle hypertrophy is a term for the growth and increase of the size of muscle cells. The most common type of muscular hypertrophy occurs as a result of physical exercise, such as weight lifting. Retrieved from http://sportsmedicine.about.com

Nautilus® is a registered trademark of a Nautilus, Inc.

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