In the field of sport rehabilitation, an easy, valid, and reliable assessment of maximal strength is crucial for efficient muscle rehabilitation. Classically, it is performed on fitness equipment that is not necessary available in the field. Thera-Band has developed elastic bands with different resistances depending on the color of the band and on the percentage of its stretch. This may allow testing maximal strength.
To determine validity and reliability of maximal-strength assessment of knee flexors and extensors using elastic bands.
Reliability and validity study.
22 healthy participants (31.3 ± 7.0 y, 175.5 ± 8.5 cm, 70.7 ± 12.9 kg).
Participants performed 2 maximal-strength assessments, separated by 7 d, of the knee flexors and extensors using elastic bands. After the 2nd trial, a maximal concentric isokinetic test at 60°/s was performed.
Main Outcome Measures:
Correlations between 1-repetition maximum using elastic bands and peak torque on an isokinetic dynamometer were used to determine the validity of the proposed method, while ICC, CV, and SEM were used to determine reliability between the 1st and 2nd trials.
The validity of the proposed method was found to be very high (r = .93 for both knee flexors and extensors). The relative reliability was found to be very high (ICC = .98 and .99 for knee flexors and extensors, respectively), while absolute reliability was also very satisfying (CV = 3.44% and 2.33%; SEM = 1.70 and 2.16 kg for knee flexors and extensors, respectively).
Thera-Band is a valid and reliable alternative to the use of fitness equipment to test maximal strength of the knee flexors and extensors in healthy subjects. The ease of use, accessibility, and low cost of elastic bands should allow regular assessment during the rehabilitation process.
Guex is with the Dept of Physiotherapy, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland, Lausanne, Switzerland. Daucourt and Borloz are with the Swiss Olympic Medical Center, CHUV-DAL, Lausanne, Switzerland.