Resistance bands are most often made of elasticated or rubberized material. With proper care and attention, they are useful for a variety of upper and lower body exercises and can last for several months. However, if you don't care for or tether them properly, they can snap. For best results, follow the care guide specific to the resistance bands you own.
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Resistance bands come in two basic forms -- either a flattened piece of rubber that is cut and doesn't have a handle, or a tube form that typically includes handles at either end. If you are using your band as part of a rehabilitation process, your physical therapist might provide you with the flat rubberized type. These bands are endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association.
The bands are typically made of latex to provide stretch and provide resistance, although latex-free versions are available. Avoid placing the bands in direct sunlight, as sunlight will dry the bands out and cause premature wear. Also, avoid using oils or creams on your hands just before using them, as the bands can become slippery and glide or snap out of your hands. In addition, the oils can break down the material in the resistance band.
Inspect your bands before you use them. Tears typically occur close to the handles. In addition, your fingernails and jewelry can also slightly abrade or tear the material, so check the band's full length before you stretch it. When you use the band, don't stretch it beyond its capacity, which is generally about three times its length. If you see tears or abrasions, replace the band to ensure your safety.
Some exercises require that the band be tethered at one end or wrapped around a steady object to provide a base for the exercise. In this case, you can use a product sold as an accessory to the band. However, most people just tether the band by tying it to a doorknob or wrapping it around a post. Make sure the knot is tight, as the band can slip out of the knot and snap you as you're working out. If you're wrapping the band around a post, make sure you've inspected it so that pulling it won't cause it to break and snap back as you stretch the band.