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Thera-Band Exercises for Legs

by
author image Jeremy Hoefs
Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.
Thera-Band Exercises for Legs
A woman using a Thera-Band on a yoga mat. Photo Credit 4774344sean/iStock/Getty Images

Thera-Bands are specialized resistance bands originally used by physical therapists, chiropractors and athletic trainers for rehabilitation. With the ability to add resistance to basic leg exercises, the Thera-Band is also used by athletes, senior citizens or general workout enthusiasts for improving lower-body strength, function and flexibility. Consult your doctor or physical therapist before starting a Thera-Band exercise routine.

Knee Raises

Knee raises are a basic Thera-Band leg exercise performed while sitting in a chair or on a stability ball to improve balance and hip mobility. With the easy difficulty rating of knee raises, they are commonly performed by senior citizens or someone recovering from a leg injury. Wrap one end of the Thera-Band around your right knee and the other end around the left foot. Slowly lift your right knee straight up while keeping the knee bent and return to the starting position. Repeat for 10 repetitions and switch the Thera-Band to the left knee.

Leg Abduction

Leg abductions improve the strength and function of the lateral thigh muscles along with the muscles in the hip. You can perform leg abductions while sitting on a chair or stability ball. Wrap the Thera-Band around both thighs and slowly push both legs out as far as possible and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions. Gradually increase the resistance of the Thera-Band as your strength improves.

Squats

Squats are a functional leg exercise that improves the strength of the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calf muscles. Adding the Thera-Band to the squats increases the resistance to match your fitness and strength level. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and place the Thera-Band under your feet. Hold the Thera-Band at your waist and keep your elbows straight as you lower your hips and knees into a squat position. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat for 10 repetitions.

Calf Raises

Calf raises are an isolation exercise that improves the strength and function of the gastrocnemius and soleus in the lower leg. Use a moderate-to-heavy resistance Thera-Band for this exercise. Grab the Thera-Band at your waist with the band placed under your feet. Keep your elbows straight as you lift your heels to go up onto your toes. Stay at the top for two to three seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.

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