Theraband exercises can help develop a strong and stable core that can help reduce stress on the spine, improve hip stability, and improve athletic performance, according to Dr. Craig Liebenson, owner of LA Sport and Spine. Unlike traditional resistance tools, Therabands can be used to load the body in multiple dimensions, more keenly replicating the demands placed on the body during activity.
The abdominal muscles are designed more to prevent spinal motion rather than produce motion, according to physical therapist and author of Mechanical Low Back Pain, Dr. Carl DeRosa. Train them to resist rotation with the anti-rotation press. Attach a Theraband at bellybutton height to a doorway or post. Kneel down on one knee with your hips and shoulders perpendicular to the fixed point. Grasp the band in both hands and press your hands directly in front of your chest while resisting the rotary force. Do three sets of 10 repetitions per side.
Straight Leg Lowering
Straight leg lowering is an exercise that can improve your strength and trunk stability while improving hip mobility, which is important for active people according to physical therapist Gray Cook, owner of Functional Movement Systems. Lie on your back with a Theraband looped around one foot. Raise both legs so that your feet are pointing toward the ceiling and grasp one end of the band in each hand. Place tension on the band and lower the free foot to the floor and return to the starting position. Do 3 sets 5 repetitions on each side.
The bird dog exercise simultaneously trains the rotary function of the abdominals and gluteals, making it ideal for any athlete involved in rotational sports like soccer, baseball, or hockey, says Cook. Assume a quadruped--all fours--position with a Theraband looped aroun your right foot and left hand. Simultaneously extend your right leg and left arm like you are reaching, hold for two seconds, and return to the start. Do three sets of 10 repetitions on both sides.
All exercise carries with it a risk of injury. Work with a qualified professional to ensure that you are performing exercises with proper technique and doing activities that are appropriate for your current condition.
- Rehabilitation of the Spine; Craig Liebenson, DC
- Mechanical Low Back Pain: Perspectives in Functional Anatomy"; Carl DeRosa, PT, PhD and James Porterfield PT
- Secrets of the Hip and Knee DVD; Gray Cook PT