Book Review: Injury Rehab With Resistance Bands

Author: Dr. Karl Knopf, EdD
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Book Publication: 2015

We all know that exercise is key to both feeling good and preventing a host of health conditions: diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and obesity to name a few. However, when exercise is overdone, or done incorrectly, injury and pain can result. This adversely affects not only our regular exercise routine but daily functions as well. The solution, says Dr. Karl Knopf, director of the International Sports Science Association, is to train smarter. In his new book Injury Rehab with Resistance Bands:Complete Anatomy and Rehabilitation Programs for Back, Neck, Shoulders, Elbows, Hips, Knees, Ankles and More he demonstrates how to do this.

To train smarter, says Dr. Knopf, you have to acknowledge when you are hurting, then back off and incorporate some corrective exercises into your fitness regime. Exercise physiology research has shown that corrective exercises, along with improved body mechanics, play a significant role in decreasing the incidence and severity of common orthopedic issues such as bursitis, tendinitis, and sprains.

The exercise tools that Dr. Knopf uses to help clients return to pre-injured status are resistance bands. They are, says Dr. Knopf, the perfect rehab tool because they are light, easy to adjust, and add resistance in multiple directions. They are also inexpensive and very portable. In fact, studies indicate that programs using elastic band resistance can provide more functional strength, better injury prevention, greater ability to change muscle emphasis during exercises, and greater muscle power development than free weights.

Part I of the book provides an overview of the use of corrective exercise in the rehabilitation process, how and why elastic bands or tubing have come to play a key role in rehab, how to choose a band, and advice and tips on beginning your own program.

The next section, called “Corrective Routines”,  addresses degenerative disorders or injuries such as shoulder impingement, arthritis of the hands and wrist, and knee ligament injuries; and offers a variety of exercises and stretches which will aid in recovery and prevention. Photos and detailed instructions on how to perform these exercises appear in the last section of the book.

If one body part is misaligned, overused or hurt, it can often adversely affect body mechanics elsewhere. Dr. Knopf addresses this concern with a segment on practising perfect posture with clear directions and excellent photos depicting how to correctly align your body – standing, sitting, and lying down.

If you’ve never tried resistance bands, you may be surprised at how much benefit you can get from what is essentially a reinforced rubber band. Whether it is to reduce pain, build strength, or get back to your everyday activities, Injury Rehab will be a valuable resource for using this incredibly simple, but remarkably effective, exercise tool.


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