How to Make a Handle for Your Resistance Bands

Physical therapist working with man exercising
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If you have an injury or illness, you may benefit from the skilled services of a physical therapist to help you fully recover. Your PT can assess your functional mobility and offer exercises to improve your range of motion and strength.

One great exercise tool to improve strength and mobility is a resistance band. The bands, like Theraband, can be used to improve strength, and they may also be used as a strap for flexibility exercises. One problem with a resistance band: It can be hard to hold and it may irritate your hands.

So how do you keep your resistance band from slipping from your hands? How to do prevent irritation form tightly gripping the resistance band in your hands while exercising? Simple: you make your own handle. 

DIY Handle for Your Theraband

To make your own handle for a resistance band, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Tie a small loop at each end of your resistance band.
  2. Obtain two small hand towels and roll them up.
  3. Stretch the loops open on each end of your resistance band, and insert the towel into the loops.
  4. Be sure the loops aren't too big or else your towels will just fall out. The loops should be small enough to hold the towel in place.
  5. Now, grip each towel at the end of your Theraband, and you're all set and ready to exercise. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Who May Require a Handle on a Resistance Band?

Some folks can just grab their resistance band and wrap it around their hands to get exercising. Others may have a hard time gripping it. Conditions that may cause difficulty gripping a therapy band may include:

  • Hand weakness
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • After upper extremity fracture
  • People with sensitive skin

Any time you are using a resistance band, you may just want a little extra comfort. That's perfectly fine; just make your own handles for your band and you are ready to exercise.

Using Your Resistance Band

Your physical therapist may give you a resistance band as part of your rehab home exercise program. The band should be used according to your physical therapist's instructions. Be sure you are able to hold the band tightly with your handles. If you cannot, you should talk to your physical therapist who can prescribe alternatives to holding onto the band.

Common exercises that you can use with your resistance band outfitted with your nifty handles include:

Be sure to check in with your doctor and physical therapist to ensure that exercise is safe for you to do.

Avoid Injury With Your Resistance Band

Did you know that you can get hurt using your resistance band? You sure can! Although rare, you may become injured if you exercise improperly or if the band breaks and snaps back at you while exercising. Injuries may include:

  • Eye injuries
  • Facial and skin welts where the band has snapped at you
  • Loss of balance and falls due to a therapy band breaking while you are using it
  • Muscle or tendon injuries

Bottom line: Use your resistance band properly. Inspect your resistance band regularly for rips, cracks, or brittle areas, and replace your band if you see anything wrong with it. If you are unsure if your resistance band is safe to use, bring it to your PT. They can inspect your band and offer you a new one if needed.

If you are using a resistance band as part of your home exercise program, you may benefit from using a towel to make your own handles. This can help you keep a firm grip on your resistance band and can maximize your comfort while you exercise.

By Brett Sears, PT
Brett Sears, PT, MDT, is a physical therapist with over 15 years of experience in orthopedic and hospital-based therapy.