A Stretch in Time…
November 4, 2015 | Brigitte Carrier
If cats could talk, they would shout from the rooftops that nothing beats a good stretch!
Stretching is more spontaneous in the morning when hopping out of bed after a long period of immobility. Jump-starting your day with a good stretch loosens muscles and increases blood flow to all parts of the body, which boosts concentration and sharpens senses. Stretching helps support energy throughout the entire day, while also being an excellent relaxation method and stress reducer.
According to a recent study, short high intensity active breaks in class help improve elementary student behaviour and decrease their signs of agitation and distraction.
During the day, students must stay seated for long periods of time, with shorter or longer breaks for recess and lunch. On bad weather days, students stay indoors, usually in their classroom or school daycare room. In such cramped facilities, how can they use up their energy?
Advantages and Benefits of Elastic Resistance Bands
This is where elastic resistance bands come to the rescue! Among other benefits, they increase balance and help maintain good muscle tone and overall flexibility.
Bands are light, versatile, easy to use anywhere, each student staying in their spot, and can be rolled up in no time for storage in a very small space, preferably away from direct sunlight. That’s why they’re ideal for use at school!
Choosing your Elastic Resistance Band
We offer latex-free Thera-Band® bands in 5 colour-coded resistance levels determined by thickness of the band, allowing you to base selection on users’ age and muscular strength. All bands are 10 cm wide and come in 2 lengths: Thera-BandTM - Latex-Free Resistance Bands
Elastic Resistance Band Exercise Tips
Take short breaks between sets of repetitions. Perform the exercises in a controlled manner: you control the band, it does not control you! Do not allow the band to snap back by letting go. Breathe slowly and remember not to hold your breath.
Getting your Elastic Resistance Bands Ready & Exercises
Using scissors, cut your band in 2.25m long lengths and give one to each student. Then, simply wrap the ends of the band twice around each hand and grasp firmly. You are now ready to go!
Note:In the case of users with a smaller stature or who need more challenge, you may suggest they shorten their band by wrapping the ends several times around their hands.
Standing Position Exercises – Do at Least 5 Repetitions of Each:
- The Ladder
- Standing with both feet on the band, hip distance apart, pull band upward, one hand after the other, as if climbing on a ladder.
- Repeat the exercise, this time pulling band upward with both hands at the same time, like a superhero flying away from Earth.
- The Big X
- Standing with both feet on the band, hip distance apart, cross the band in front of the body, keep elbows straight and lift arms sideways, as high as they will go without “forcing”.
- Now bring one foot forward to stand on the band and repeat the exercise.
- I’m cold!
- Fold the band in two, bring it behind the back at shoulder blade level and hold it in both hands. Push arms forward then fold the arms over the body, wrapping the torso as if freezing.
- 1-2, 1-2
- Arms straight out in front, pull one arm back, until the hand is close to the shoulder. Push arm forward, while pulling other arm back. Continue alternating arms, as if shadow boxing.
Made to Measure Menu
Now, imagine all kinds of variations, in standing and sitting positions (both on a chair and on the ground). Remember resistance of the bands increases with range of motion: the smaller the motion, the easier the exercise. Why not take a picture of the exercises, ask students to give them funny names, and create an album from which to select a “menu du jour”? You’ll have a fantastic time moving and stretching!
A Foot Swing – Great for Children with ADHD
Students tie their band between the front legs of their chair, creating a horizontal line approximately 15cm off the ground. Sitting on their chair, feet on the band, they are now free to “swing”. Simply perfect for children who can’t sit still!
With the bands, you decide how slowly (in a yoga-like fashion) or quickly you want to do the exercises, depending on the desired effect. Have fun!
Caring for your Elastic Resistance Bands
Immerse the band in a sink filled with clean, fresh water or under a running faucet. Rub a few drops of mild hand soap over the wet band, then rinse in fresh water. Lay the band flat to dry or drape it over the back of a chair until thoroughly dry. Once dry, rub a small amount of talcum, baby powder or cornstarch over the surface of the band to prevent sticking.
Product Safety Warnings
- Resistance bands are not toys and should be used under constant adult supervision. Important: Never let children wrap the bands around their neck or head.
- Resistance bands are not intended to be used for oral motor exercises. Do not place bands in the mouth or chew them.
- Avoid exercises that involve stretching the resistance band in such a fashion that it may snap toward the head and cause injury to the head or eyes.
- Always examine the bands before use for signs of wear, small tears or punctures. If you find any flaws, discard the product.
- Do not stretch bands by more than 3 times their resting length. For example, a 1m band should not be stretched to more than 3m total length.
- Remove all jewelry (especially rings) before use.