What resistance bands are used by the NHS?

In this article, you will discover the key types of resistance bands that the NHS incorporates into their fitness routines. Whether you’re a health enthusiast looking to incorporate new workout accessories or simply curious about the NHS’s approach to exercise, we’ll uncover the specific resistance bands utilized by the NHS. From loop bands to flat bands, you’ll find out which ones are favored by healthcare professionals and why they are an integral part of the NHS’s fitness regimen. So, let’s dive right in and explore the world of resistance bands in the NHS!

What resistance bands are used by the NHS?

Types of Resistance Bands Used by the NHS

When it comes to incorporating resistance bands into their treatments, the NHS utilizes a variety of options to cater to different needs and goals. Here are some of the types of resistance bands commonly used by the NHS:


Therabands are one of the most popular types of resistance bands used in the NHS. These bands are made of latex and come in a wide range of colors, each indicating a different level of resistance. They are highly versatile and can be used for various exercises and therapy purposes.

Exercise Bands

Exercise bands, also known as resistance bands with handles, are another common choice used by the NHS. These bands feature handles on each end, which offer a comfortable grip during exercise. They provide a great option for targeting specific muscle groups and can be easily adjusted to increase or decrease the resistance level.

Flat Bands

Flat bands, as the name suggests, are flat in shape and do not have handles. These bands typically come in different levels of resistance and are often used in Pilates and physical therapy sessions. Flat bands offer a wide range of exercises and are particularly beneficial for strengthening the upper and lower body.

Loop Bands

Loop bands, also referred to as mini bands or resistance loops, are small and circular in shape. They are commonly used in physiotherapy and rehabilitation settings to target smaller muscle groups and improve joint stability. Loop bands are available in different resistance levels, allowing patients to progress gradually.

Tube Bands

Tube bands consist of a rubber tube with handles at each end. They are commonly used in strength training exercises targeting both the upper and lower body. Tube bands offer a smooth and controlled movement, making them suitable for both rehabilitation and muscle strengthening purposes.


Superbands are wider and longer than other types of resistance bands, providing a higher level of resistance. These bands are particularly popular for strength training exercises, as they are designed to challenge muscles and provide a more intense workout. Superbands are often used by physiotherapists to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation process.

Figure 8 Bands

Figure 8 bands feature the shape of the number 8 and are often used for lower body exercises, such as squats and lunges. These bands offer a comfortable grip and provide resistance in multiple directions, targeting different muscle groups simultaneously. Figure 8 bands are commonly used in physiotherapy sessions for improving lower body strength and stability.

Mini Bands

Mini bands, similar to loop bands, are small and circular in shape. They are commonly used for both upper and lower body exercises, providing targeted resistance and muscle activation. Mini bands are particularly beneficial for activating the glutes and stabilizing the hips during various movements.

Pilates Bands

Pilates bands are specifically designed for Pilates exercises, focusing on core strength, flexibility, and body alignment. These bands come in varying levels of resistance and are typically used in combination with Pilates equipment or as a standalone tool. Pilates bands facilitate controlled movements and help improve posture and balance.

Stretch Bands

Stretch bands, also known as ballet bands, are long and thin resistance bands used primarily for stretching and enhancing flexibility. These bands are often used in dance and ballet training, as well as in physiotherapy sessions for promoting joint mobility and stretching tight muscles.

Applications of Resistance Bands in the NHS

The NHS utilizes resistance bands in various applications to enhance patient outcomes and promote overall well-being. Here are some of the key applications of resistance bands in the NHS:


Resistance bands are extensively used in physiotherapy settings to assist in the rehabilitation of injuries and improve mobility and strength. Physiotherapists incorporate resistance bands into tailored exercise programs to target specific muscle groups, improve joint stability, and enhance flexibility.


Resistance bands play a vital role in rehabilitation programs, helping patients regain strength and mobility after surgery or injuries. The controlled resistance provided by the bands aids in rebuilding muscle mass and improving joint range of motion, facilitating a smoother recovery process.

Muscle Strengthening

Resistance bands offer an effective means of muscle strengthening, catering to individuals at different fitness levels. By providing variable levels of resistance, these bands allow for progressive muscle development, targeting both major and smaller muscle groups.

Flexibility Training

Flexibility is an essential component of physical fitness, and resistance bands are valuable tools for improving flexibility. Whether used for static stretching or dynamic movements, resistance bands increase the tension on muscles, helping to enhance the range of motion and overall flexibility.

Post-surgery Recovery

After undergoing surgery, it is crucial to gradually regain strength and mobility. Resistance bands provide a safe and controlled method for post-surgery recovery, allowing patients to rebuild muscle strength and regain joint stability at a pace appropriate for their healing process.

Balance and Coordination Training

Resistance bands can be used in balance and coordination training programs to improve proprioception and stability. By incorporating bands into exercises that challenge balance, individuals can enhance their ability to control movements and prevent falls.

Fall Prevention

Falls are a common concern among older adults, and resistance bands can play a vital role in fall prevention. Through targeted exercises that enhance leg strength, stability, and coordination, resistance bands can help individuals maintain their balance and reduce the risk of falling.

Sports Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation

Athletes and individuals involved in sports activities can benefit from resistance bands in preventing injuries and aiding in rehabilitation. These bands offer a way to target specific muscle groups, strengthen weak areas, and improve overall athletic performance, reducing the likelihood of injuries during sports activities.

Gait and Mobility Training

Gait and mobility training involve exercises and movements aimed at improving walking patterns and overall mobility. Resistance bands are often incorporated into these programs to provide additional resistance and support, helping individuals reinforce proper movement patterns and enhance their gait mechanics.

Pregnancy Fitness

Resistance bands offer a safe and effective way for expectant mothers to maintain their fitness during pregnancy. These bands can be used to perform gentle exercises that help strengthen the muscles required during pregnancy and childbirth while minimizing impact and strain on the joints.

What resistance bands are used by the NHS?

Benefits of Using Resistance Bands in the NHS

The utilization of resistance bands in NHS treatments and interventions brings forth numerous benefits for patients. Here are some of the key advantages of incorporating resistance bands into healthcare practices:


Resistance bands offer a multitude of exercises and applications, making them highly versatile tools in the NHS. From muscle strengthening to rehabilitation and flexibility training, resistance bands can be utilized to target various goals and cater to different patient needs.


Compared to other exercise equipment, resistance bands are relatively affordable, making them accessible to a wide range of patients. This affordability allows healthcare providers to incorporate resistance bands into treatment plans without significant financial burden on patients or the healthcare system.

Progressive Resistance

Resistance bands enable progressive resistance, meaning that as patients become stronger, they can easily advance to higher levels of resistance by using bands with greater tension. This progressive nature of resistance bands allows for constant progression and continuous improvement throughout the rehabilitation or fitness journey.

Safe and Low Impact

Resistance bands provide a safe and low impact alternative to traditional weights and machines. They offer a controlled form of resistance that reduces the risk of joint strain and impact-related injuries, making them suitable for patients of all ages and fitness levels.

Muscle Isolation

Resistance bands allow for targeted muscle activation and isolation, contributing to more effective and efficient workouts. By focusing on specific muscle groups, patients can enhance muscle strength and address imbalances or weaknesses.

Portable and Compact

One of the notable advantages of resistance bands is their portability and compactness. They can be easily stored, transported, and used in various settings, making resistance band exercises accessible to patients beyond the healthcare facility. This portability enables patients to continue their therapy or exercises at home or while traveling.

Variety of Exercises

Resistance bands offer a wide array of exercises that can be tailored to meet individual needs and goals. From full-body workouts to specific muscle group targeting, resistance bands provide countless exercise options, promoting engagement and preventing monotony in rehabilitation or fitness routines.

Suitable for All Fitness Levels

Resistance bands are suitable for individuals at all fitness levels, from beginners to advanced athletes. The tension levels can be adjusted to accommodate different abilities and gradually increase as patients progress. This adaptability makes resistance bands an inclusive training tool that can be used by a wide range of individuals.

Suitable for Different Body Types

Resistance bands are versatile enough to accommodate different body types and fitness levels. They can be used by individuals with diverse body shapes, sizes, and abilities, promoting inclusivity and ensuring that everyone can benefit from this form of exercise.

Can Be Used Anywhere

Resistance bands do not require bulky equipment or specialized training areas. They can be used virtually anywhere, from physiotherapy clinics to home environments or even outdoors. This convenience allows patients to continue their exercises or rehabilitation efforts seamlessly, regardless of their location.

What resistance bands are used by the NHS?


Therabands are among the most widely used resistance bands by the NHS due to their versatility and effectiveness in various applications. Here is a closer look at Therabands:


Therabands are made of latex and come in different colors, with each color representing a different level of resistance. They are generally long and flat, allowing for a variety of exercises and stretches. Therabands offer a comfortable grip and are typically used without handles.

Tension Levels

Therabands are available in different tension levels, ranging from extra light to extra heavy. This variety allows healthcare professionals to select the appropriate resistance level based on the patient’s capability and the intended exercise or therapy purpose.


Therabands find extensive use in physiotherapy, rehabilitation, muscle strengthening, flexibility training, and post-surgery recovery programs. They provide a controlled and adjustable form of resistance, which proves invaluable in aiding patients’ recovery and reaching their rehabilitation goals.

Examples of Exercises

Therabands can be utilized for a wide range of exercises to target different muscle groups. Some examples include bicep curls, shoulder presses, seated rows, lateral walks, and clamshells. These exercises can be tailored to the patient’s needs and abilities, ensuring effective and personalized therapy or training sessions.

By incorporating a variety of resistance bands into their treatments, the NHS enhances patient care and promotes overall well-being. From Therabands to loop bands and stretch bands, each type serves a unique purpose in physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and fitness training. With the versatility, affordability, and numerous benefits they offer, resistance bands have become a valuable tool in the NHS, allowing patients to progress in their recovery journey, strengthen their muscles, and improve their overall health and fitness.

What resistance bands are used by the NHS?

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