Meet Your New Stretching Partner: The TheraBand CLX

July 16, 2015  /  12:32 PM

A good workout buddy can motivate you to get to the gym, spot you in the weight room, and even push you to a more effective stretch.

That’s right—a technique called contract-relax stretching improves flexibility more than merely holding a toe-touch or quad pull. To do it, you contract each muscle immediately before lengthening it. Experts believe this alters brain signals in a way that allows additional lengthening.

The only problem: A partner must provide the resistance, leaving solo exercisers out of luck. Until now. A recent study found an elastic band similar to the TheraBand CLX works just as well for contract-relax stretching. By pushing against the resistance of the band before lengthening, participants increased hip flexibility just as much as when stretching in pairs.

Try this CLX move to loosen your hamstrings. You can also use it to stretch your quads, calves, and Achilles tendon. 


Increase flexibility

  • step 1
    Lie on your stomach with the foot of your stretching leg through the middle Easy Grip Loop.
  • step 2
    Allow that knee to bend as you reach over that same shoulder to grasp the ends of the CLX with the same-side hand.
  • step 3
    Keeping your hips flat on the ground, push your foot down into the resistance of the strap, as though attempting to straighten your leg. Hold this contraction for 3 to 5 seconds.
  • step 4
    Breathe out, release the contraction, and pull the CLX further over your shoulder, pulling your heel toward your buttocks to stretch your quads. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.

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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