Getting Back to Living Better After Surgery or Injury with Resistance Bands

Surgery or an injury can be very stressful and physically demanding. Resistance bands can help speed up that recovery time! Here are 5 resistance band exercises that can help you get back to living better! Before beginning any exercise program, consult with a healthcare professional.


 1. External Rotator Cuff Exercise - Improves posture and defines shoulders.

This exercise is especially helpful for shoulder recovery. It works the rotator cuff above your bicep to regain muscle strength and endurance. To complete this exercise, you are going to want to lie with your back on floor, knees bent up and elbows tucked against your torso. Raise your fists towards ceiling and keep your palms facing towards each other. Hold the resistance band securely with your hands approximately shoulder width apart. Shortening the band length with create more resistance. Hold the band with one hand to keep it anchored in front of your body while pulling the other arm halfway to the floor. Avoid twisting the wrist and you’re your shoulders flat against the ground. Do not extend farther than is comfortable. You will want to hold this position for 1 second then return to the starting position. Repeat. [i]


 2. Thigh Abductor Exercise - Firms and tones outer thighs

This exercise helps with hip or thigh recovery. To start this exercise, you will stand with your feet 12 inches to 18 inches. You will then want to secure the band under one foot. Loop band around your other ankle, and keep your toe pointed straight out. Place your hand on a chair back for stability and balance. Then adjust your position so the band is pulled tight. Pull your leg away from body, keeping your knee and toes straight. Do not bend your waist and hold this position for 1 second. You will return to the starting position and repeat. [i]


 3. Short Range Biceps Curl - Firms and tones the front of the arms

This exercise will help with elbow and bicep recovery. You will want to stand on the band with feet approximately 12 inches to 18 inches apart, neck relaxed, chin pointed forward. Grasp the band with your arms resting at your sides and you will want your palms facing up. Anchor your elbows in front of your hips/abdomen and alternately raise your hands up towards your shoulders, bending at the elbows. You will hold this bend for approximately 1 to 2 seconds then return to the starting position. Repeat and alternate arms. [i]


 4. Front Pull Aparts – Reduces neck pain and increases strength in shoulders and upper back

Stand up straight and hold an exercise band out in front of you at around chest height. Your hands should be shoulder width apart. Then pull the band apart, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Then return to the starting position. Try to get through 30 a day. You can change the resistance of your band if it’s too easy or hard. To increase your workout, you can also try diagonal pull aparts which are the same concept but with one hand around stomach/hip level and the other chest level. This exercise is a little harder than level pull aparts however it offers a greater shoulder workout. [ii]


 5. Lying Leg Extensions – Builds/Tones leg muscles as well as working core strength

Lie faceup with both legs extended, arms bent by your sides while holding the ends of the band. Bend your right knee into chest, with your right foot in the center of band (try to position band along the arch of your foot so it stays in place). Press your elbows into ground and lift hips off floor as right leg extends out straight at a 45-degree angle. Lower back to the ground and repeat about 20 repetitions per side. [iii]