Injury Rehabilitation With Exercise Bands

Injury Rehabilitation With Exercise Bands

What Do The Different Coloured Exercise Bands Mean?

So, you’ve been advised to start some strength exercises using exercise bands and don’t know what colour/s to get..?  Exercise bands are also frequently referred to as resistance bands or sometimes Therabands after one of the original brands of resistance band. They are a common exercise tool prescribed by physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, podiatrists, personal trainers…

  • but what do the different colours mean?
  • and which colour should you be starting out on in your rehab journey?

These are standard questions encountered by most physiotherapists when looking to prescribed patients resistance band exercises as part of a rehabilitation (or fitness program). Patients often have uncertainty regarding how much load the individual bands provide during a specific exercise (known as the length-tension relationship) and exactly where they should start off.

Rule Of Thumb: Light Colours Typically Mean Lighter Resistance

Simply put the different colours indicate different levels of resistance. Typically across most brands the lighter the colour the lighter the resistance and conversely the darker the colour the heavier the resistance.  Meaning when the individual bands are stretched to a particular length this length tension relationship will describe how much resistance the band will offer and the darker the colour the greater the tension at a particular length of stretch when compared to lighter coloured resistance bands.

Using the brand “Theraband” as you will see listed below, yellow is their lightest resistance band and this then progresses through from red, green, blue, black… getting heavier as the colours become darker. The exact band and its measured resistance are listed below (note this is specific to the brand “theraband” as extracted taken their website).  Actual pounds of resistance used for the different coloured bands may vary but as a basic rule of thumb yellow will normally be light and black will be heavy.

  • Yellow Resistance Band (lightest) – 1-6 pounds of resistance.
  • Red Resistance Band (light) – 2-7 pounds of resistance.
  • Green Resistance Band (light-medium)- 2-10 Pounds of resistance.
  • Blue Resistance Band (medium)- 3-14 Pounds of resistance.
  • Black Resistance Band (heavy)- 4-18 Pounds of resistance.
  • Silver/Gold (heaviest) – 10-40 Pounds of resistance.

Exercise Band Length Tension Variables

It is important to note that not every band will produce the exact same length-tension relationship, the precise load provided may vary between bands depending on a number of factors including:

  • the bands age
  • the number of times the band has been used
  • how far the individual band is being stretched out with each exercise
  • as well as variations previously mentioned between the different resistance band brands the above list of resistance offered by each band is a guideline only

Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic provides this information as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance on Injury Rehabilitation With Exercise Bands should consult his or her general practitioner, physiotherapist, medical specialist, or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.