Bigger, Better Muscles, No Weights Required

July 16, 2015  /  12:28 PM

Think you have to hit the weight room to make muscle? Think again. Research shows the same elastic bands physical therapists use in injury rehab work just as well as machines or free weight at improving strength and muscle size. In fact, double up the band and you can even get a high-intensity, strength-building workout.

Scientists once believed you needed to train to failure—or complete fatigue—to stimulate muscle growth. They now know that’s not the case. Using products similar to the TheraBand CLX creates the same hormonal response as doing a similar program on weight machines, according to a recent study in Journal of Exercise Physiology. This immediate effect triggers the long-term gains found in several other studies.

So, pick up your CLX and start building a better body today. Try the Knee Extension below. As you get stronger, try placing both ends of the band around your leg. 


Build muscle; Increase strength

  • step 1
    Attach your CLX securely to your CLX Door Anchor. Make sure your attachment is at knee level.
  • step 2
    Place your leg inside the easy grip loop, making sure you keep the CLX above the back of your knee.
  • step 3

    Standing in a semi-staggered stance slowly bend your kneed forward and straighten your knee back to starting position. The resistance of the CLX should be harder when you straighten your knee.

    <p>Standing in a semi-staggered stance slowly bend your kneed forward and straighten your knee back to starting position. The resistance of the CLX should be harder when you straighten your knee.</p>
  • step 4

    Hold briefly and return to starting position and repeat.

    <p>Hold briefly and return to starting position and repeat.</p>
  • step 5
    To increase the resistance and intensity, place the Easy Grip Loop at the other end of the CLX around your knee, too.

Dr. Phil Page


Phil Page PhD, PT, ATC, CSCS, FACSM, LAT is a licensed physical therapist, athletic trainer, and certified strength & conditioning specialist. He graduated from LSU in physical therapy and received his master’s degree in exercise physiology from Mississippi State University, as well as a doctorate in Kinesiology from LSU. He has been involved in rehabilitation and sports medicine for over 25 years. Dr. Page was recently named a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is currently the Global Director of Clinical Education and Research for Performance Health, manufacturer of TheraBand, Biofreeze & Cramer products. His duties include maintaining the Thera-Band Academy website, directing the international educational programs and managing product research around the world. Dr. Page is also an instructor in the Athletic Training curriculum at Louisiana State University and a Clinical Instructor of Orthopedics for Tulane Medical School in New Orleans.


Dr. Page’s clinical and research interests include the role of muscle imbalance in musculoskeletal pain, and promoting physical activity for health-related physical fitness, particularly for chronic disease management. He is a member of educational committee for the “Exericse is Medicine” initiative for the ACSM. He is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy and serves as a member of several national advisory boards. Dr. Page is on the scientific review committees for the APTA and ACSM. He regularly reviews grants and article submissions for several professional journals.


Dr. Page lectures extensively and provides workshops on a variety of topics around the world, including the Janda Approach to Muscle Imbalance. He was  awarded the Lifetime Excellence in Education Award by the Sports Physical Therapy Section of the APTA. He has presented over 100 international lectures and workshops on exercise and rehabilitation topics, and has over 50 publications including 3 books; most recently publishing Assessment and Treatment of Muscle Imbalance: The Janda Approach. He has worked with the athletic programs at LSU, Tulane, the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, as well as the United States Olympic Track and Field Trials. He lives with his wife and 4 children in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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