By Bart van der Velden
Who invented the resistance band? The use of elastic resistance has been around for over 100 years. Let's take a step back in time to discover the origins of this useful fitness tool and understand how it evolved into the modern resistance bands we know today.
The Early Invention - 1895:
In 1895, the very first patent application was filed in Switzerland for a product very similar to today's resistance bands. Gustav Gossweiler, a pioneer in the field, was the man behind this groundbreaking invention. He created an elastic cord with handles and called it a "gymnastic device". A year later, in 1896, this device was also patented in the United States.
The Whitely Exerciser - 1901:
The Whitely Exerciser, an elastic cord and pulley system, was marketed in 1901 as a strength training aid. This was an early attempt to commercialize and integrate elastic resistance into fitness exercises. Although it did not gain the same fame as later inventions, it was an important step in the development of resistance bands.
The Breakthrough - 1978:
The real breakthrough in the world of resistance bands occurred in 1978. It was then that two physical therapists approached what is now known as the Hygenic Corporation with the idea of using their Dental Dam product for physical therapy. This led to the invention of the original flat THERABAND resistance band and its associated progressive resistance system. Today, the THERABAND brand is a trusted name in resistance training and has expanded its range to include other resistance bands and fitness products.
The Modern Resistance Band - Today:
Resistance bands have come a long way since then. Modern resistance bands are made of durable rubber or latex and come in different resistance levels, often indicated by color codes. They are used in various training programs, from rehabilitation to strength training and yoga.
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