Researchers in Spain have shown that Thera-Band® elastic resistance is as effective as weight machines in improving strength in middle-aged women. They wanted to compare the effectiveness of elastic resistance training to weight machines and aquatic resistance exercises. 72 postmenopausal women were assigned to one of those 3 groups or a control group for 10 weeks, twice a week. They were tested for upper body, lower body and abdominal strength before and after the program. All 3 training groups significantly improved in their strength, supporting the use of different devices for short-term strength gains in postmenopausal women.
- Garcia-Masso et al. 2011. Use of different resistance training devices and its effects in the fitness of postmenopausal women. (Abstract). Med Sci Sports Exerc. 43(5):S579.
The Spanish researchers noted that one of the difficulties in using elastic resistance in training studies is the ability to quantify intensity of training, which also leads to difficulties in quantifying intensity of progression. Researchers have shown that using perceived exertion ratings such as the Borg RPE or OMNI-RES Scales can be effective at providing and progressing an appropriate training intensity; however, the validity of using the OMNI scale has not been validated specifically using Thera-Band® elastic bands. Dr. Juan Colado and his colleagues had 20 subjects perform a 15-RM single arm lateral raise with 3 different band grip positions; these grip positions were related to the different levels of resistance provided by the stretch of the band. They had the participants rate their ‘active muscle’ exertion using the OMNI scale while measuring their heart rate. They noted significant differences in perceived exertion and heart rate between the different band grip lengths, suggesting the OMNI scale is valid at discriminating between different elastic resistance intensities.
- Colado JC, et al. 2011. Monitoring intensity during elastic band resistance exercises using the OMNI-RES scale. (Abstract). Med Sci Sports Exerc. 43(5):S279.