More Elite Sportspeople Are Using Therabands. Why?
Therabands, or Resistance Bands, are latex bands that can be used to perform strengthening exercises. They are incredibly versatile, and can be used to strengthen and muscle group in the body. High quality bands can last you for years, despite only costing a fraction of what good quality dumbbells or kettlebells cost. And certainly they are easier to carry with you to the gym or when travelling than a kettlebell!
But how effective are they? I looked at a study of college level tennis players in the US, the kind of people who are trying to break into the professional ranks. In the study, players were given a series of exercises to do and measured before and after a 4 week training block. In the grand scheme of a tennis career, 4 weeks is not very long, so I was interested to see if any change could be made that quickly.
The results showed that a change certainly can be made! Overall, the people who did the exercises with their theraband experienced significant improvements in a number of functional performance parameters including:
- Internal Rotation Torque
- Peak Torque to Body Weight Ratio
- Total Acceleration Energy
- External Rotation Torque
- Peak Serving Speed
- Average Serving Speed
Now, these measures might not mean much to you and I, but they mean a lot to a professional tennis player. And to experience significant changes so quickly means you can up your game from one tournament to the next to get an advantage over your competitors.