What the heck is… a Theraband?


Rubbery, colourful, versatile and fun, the Theraband will revolutionise the way you work out, especially if you’re pregnant. Jessica Ennis-Hill's physio  Ali Rose  tells us more…

When it comes to exercise accessories, we’ve probably all given a Swiss ball, dumbbell, foam roller and exercise step a go. But, have you ever seen a Theraband in action?

These perfectly portable stretch marvels enable you to do low-impact strength training through lots of different exercises, and have been used for decades by physios and their athletes. Thanks to Ali Rose and the Jennis Pregnancy programme, the secret is now out, with pregnant women also benefitting from the brilliant Theraband effect.

So, what exactly is a Theraband?

In a nutshell, a Theraband is a thin ribbon of stretchy material, which comes in a variety of colours. Used as accessories for various different exercise moves, they enable you to add light resistance in a controlled manner and they’re really fun to use, too.

Back in the day, these were only available in latex, but modern material developments mean that latex-free options are now widely available.

Throughout the Jennis Pregnancy programme, we used latex-free versions, which mean they are odour-free and don’t give off a chalky powder when you use them.

The secret is out, with pregnant women now benefitting from the brilliant Theraband effect

When was the Theraband invented?

Originally invented in 1896 by Mr Gustav Gossweiler in Sweden, it wasn’t until the 1960s that resistance bands became widely adopted, with physios and chiropractors recommending them to patients for their physical therapy benefits.

Why are Therabands good for pregnancy exercise?

We’ve added Therabands to the Jennis Pregnancy programme because they add important light resistance, they can be used at home (and don’t take up lots of space), they’re really effective and provide lots of versatility to your workouts, so you won’t get bored.

How do you use a Theraband?

We’ll show you how to use Therabands for different types of exercise and tell you which muscles they work as you go.

One of my favourites is The Crab Walk, which uses a Theraband around the knees to work your glutes (bum muscles).

There are also exercises where you can tie Therabands around posts or door knobs, or even get friends or partners involved to take the strain as you workout.

“There are also Theraband exercises where you can get friends or partners to take the strain as you work”

What do the different coloured bands mean?

You might notice people using different coloured bands, and there’s a good reason for this beyond the aesthetic. Therabands are graded by colour, with each manufacturer having a different shade depending on the strength (or amount of resistance the band has).

Generally, yellow bands are stretchier and offer lighter resistance, making them good for activating muscles and helping with stability around your joints. Green and red are medium resistance, and blue and black bands have the most resistance.

How do you choose the right Theraband for you?

Muscles are best worked through their full range, so never use a band that is too hard for you, as it will reduce the effectiveness of what you’re trying to do.

As a general rule, it’s best to start with thinner bands or those with the least resistance (yellow). As you get stronger or heal from an injury, you can advance to a higher resistance level. 

Is there anything else I need to know?

As with most exercises on the Jennis programme, it’s the quality of the movements rather than the pace and reps that counts, so always use slow and steady movements when working out with your Theraband.

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