Mechanical evaluation of the resistance of elastic bands

BACKGROUND: Elastic bands are frequently used for resistance training, however the selection of the bands to progress through the levels of elastic resistance is done in a subjective manner. This is due to the lack of quantitative data on the value of the material's resistance as a function of its tension. Objectives: To investigate the elastic resistance generated by each of the eight color-coded resistance levels of elastic bands, using 100% elongation, and to quantify the resistance variation from one level to the next. METHODS: Tensile testing was performed in compliance with ASTM Standard D412-06a. The sample consisted of 80 die-cut test specimens (Die C) taken from the eight color-coded resistance levels. The sample was submitted to tensile testing in the universal testing machine EMIC DL-3000. Each of the tension cycles was performed at a speed of 500mm/sec. Statistical analysis was done using one-way ANOVA, with a significance level of p<0.05. RESULTS: The sample showed a significant difference between all levels of resistance, except for the yellow (thin) and red (medium) elastic bands. The variation in resistance between the bands shows that the gold (max) band offers 5.13 times more resistance than the tan (extra thin) band, and that the greatest variation in progressive resistance is between the black and the silver bands. In addition, Young's modulus showed linear behavior between the different colors. CONCLUSIONS: The results showed that the elastic resistance and stiffness of the material exhibits a linear and progressive variation. In addition, the data suggested the possibility of progressing from the tan band to the red band, skipping the yellow band, when prescribing resistance exercises.

elastic bands; elastic resistance; tensile testing

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