4 Way Stretch Band Exercises

By Mary Tolley Rhodes

Stretch bands offer an effective mechanism for strength training and are an inexpensive addition to your home gym. Available in a variety of styles and resistance levels, they can be attached to any stable surface, are readily portable for travel or a quick workout on your lunch break. Four-way hip exercises can be completed with resistance bands while standing, which will allow you to work your legs and build balance and trunk control.

Hip Flexion

To complete hip flexion in standing, secure your stretch band to a stable surface near the floor, a heavy table or behind a closed door. Attach the band to your leg. While standing on the other leg, slowly move your leg out in front of you. Make sure you are standing tall and not allowing your back or pelvis to shift. Hold onto a stable surface if necessary to maintain your balance. Raise your leg approximately 12 inches from the floor. Pause briefly and return the leg to the starting position. Keep your toes flexed so your foot doesn’t rest on the floor. Repeat 10 to 20 times. You want to make sure the stretch band is in the same line as the direction you are moving your leg.

Hip Extension

Hip extension is the act of bringing your leg behind you. To perform this exercise, you will stand erect, hold onto a stable surface if needed for balance. Keep your knee straight and flex your toes. Bring your leg behind you 12 inches or as far as you can while maintaining your posture. Return to starting position. Repeat 10 to 20 times.

Hip Abduction and Adduction

Hip abduction is completed by moving your leg to the side of your body. Stand erect with your knee straight. Flex your toes and raise your leg to the side 12 inches, and return to starting position. Repeat 10 to 20 times. Hip adduction is the action of moving your leg across your body. Keep your knee straight and stand erect. Bring your foot slightly forward so it is in front of your other leg. Flex your toes, and lift your leg across your body. Return to starting position and repeat 10 to 20 times.

Tips

For all exercises, it is important to maintain your posture and keep your abdominal muscles tight. You can stress your lower back and potentially injure yourself if you allow your back to bend. To get the most out of the exercises, you should pull the stretch band in a straight line. To complete these exercises, turn your body to maintain proper alignment with the band each time you switch directions.

References

About the Author

Mary Tolley Rhodes has been a practicing physical therapist since 2000, working in various settings across the southeastern United States. She serves as the chairwoman of the West Virginia Physical Therapy Association's Education Committee. Rhodes holds a master's degree in physical therapy from West Virginia University.

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