Thera-Band Exercises in Bed
Thera-Band is a system of resistance bands that are available in progressive resistances. The bands are color-coded according to level of resistance, such as tan for extra-light resistance to gold for maximum resistance. Resistance bands, such as Thera-Band, are often used in a rehabilitative setting or used to keep muscles toned and fit when a patient is on bed rest. With your doctor's approval, you can use Thera-Band resistance bands to keep your upper body, lower body and your core in shape when you are on bed rest.
Attach Thera-Band resistance bands to the head of your bed to perform arm exercises that will work your arms, chest and shoulders. Perform shoulder extensions while lying on your back in the bed by grasping a resistance band in each hand. Bend your elbow straight out and down. Attach a band to each side of your bed rail to do internal and external rotations, and then pull the bands toward the center of your body to do internal rotations. Keep your elbows at your sides when pulling the bands toward the center of your body to do external rotations for your shoulders. Do the number of repetitions prescribed by your doctor or physical therapist.
Perform leg exercises to keep your legs, thighs and hips in shape while confined to bed using Thera-Band resistance bands. Lie on your stomach to perform knee flexion exercises. Loop one end of the band around the end of the bed and the other end around your ankle. Bend your knee and pull the band toward your buttocks. Lie on your back to do leg kicks by looping one end of the resistance band around your foot and hold the other end in your hands, and then straighten your leg. Exercise both legs, and do only the number of repetitions prescribed by your doctor or physical therapist.
Keep your abs in shape and your core strong, even when in bed, by doing lower abdominal crunches and trunk curls. You can do lower ab crunches by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the bed. Attach resistance bands to the head of your bed and stretch the bands over your bent knees. Hold the end of each resistance band in your hands with your arms straight at your sides. Lift your knees and hips until your hips are off the bed, then hold for a few seconds and relax. Hold the resistance bands in your hands close to your chest, and then lift your upper body off the bed to do trunk curls. Hold for a few seconds and then relax.
Follow your doctor's and physical therapist's recommendations and instructions when doing exercises in bed. Stretch your arms and legs before doing resistance band exercises. Make sure the ends of the bands are secured to the bed frame before you begin exercising. A loose band may slip free and snap with great force and cause injury. Don't do any exercises that cause pain. Inspect your bands before you exercise and do not use them if they are torn, nicked, discolored or show signs of excess wear. Use latex-free bands if you are allergic to latex.
- Thera-Band: Consumer
- University of Washington Medical Center: Thera-Band Exercises You Can Do in Bed
- Ohio State University: Lying Thera-Band Leg Exercises
- Thera-Band Instruction Manual
- National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability: Thera-Band® Elastic Band Program For Kids: Precautions
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.