Have you ever wondered just who came up with the idea to create a stretchy band for exercise use? The History of the resistance bands? Was it ever intended for exercising in the first place? We will give a short who, why, where, when and how in this article. Take the information and use it to really appreciate the inventor and invention as well as the breakthroughs that are being made in resistance band technology since that first invention.

The first recorded patent that looked similar to a resistance band was a stretchy, handled rope type thing invented in Switzerland by Gustav Gossweiler. Mr. Gossweiler patented his invention on May 28, 1895 in Switzerland and on June 26, 1896 in The United States. In his patent he describes his exercise bands as ”a gymnastic apparatus“. With its clips and handles, which Mr. Gossweiler cautions should be “wide enough to not injure the hand“, it is a mirror image of certain resistance bands today.
Where and how did it all start?

Mr. Gossweiler excitedly describes his invention and all of the benefits exactly as we would describe resistance bands today. He emphasizes the attributes of portability and space saving ability as well as the benefits of the many exercises that can be done with the device. The exercises positions it makes available and the form that his invention has is uncanny in its similarity to resistance bands. The drawings on the patent for The United States show a man exercising in various positions just as we would be positioned today with the use of resistance bands. The shoe definitely fits to make Mr. Gossweiler’s invention the “world’s first “resistance band.

As we see, this type of exercise device was originally intended for physical fitness. No real advancements, that can actually be recorded, were made until the 1960’s. This is when resistance bands were beginning to be used in resistance training for physical therapy applications. That slowly began to change as a fitness revolution started taking place. At this point not only the therapists and chiropractors were using resistance bands, but the general public as well. By the 1980’s that revolution was perhaps at its strongest point. It was during that period of time that new companies who specialized in resistance band exercises were born and raised. Bodylastics – one of the most well known of these companies is still around.

The physical therapy applications came back into the mainline as new technologies developed that recorded the benefits and results of resistance bands in therapeutic uses. Research was put into use and helped to develop new and better resistance bands as well as better exercises that could be performed. One of the biggest advances was the mass of accessories that became available. Physical therapists and sports medicine doctors were thrilled to have this great resource for their patients. In example, Thera-Band is one of the leading brands of resistance bands that are used by therapists and is endorsed by the American Physical Therapy Association.

Up until recently, people with latex allergies had to miss out on this fantastic resource. However, since the elastic FDA approved polymer resistance band even this problem has been solved. Thera-Band has the APTA endorsement for its latex-free form of resistance bands to add to its original endorsement.

Today, you can find so many varieties and brands of resistance bands with the staggering number of accessories that it can be hard to choose from. A great number of videos and web as well as good old print manuals and resistance training resources are easy to obtain. This makes for entertaining workouts that can help you to get the most from your fitness routine.

Mr. Gustav Gossweiler would probably be very proud that he had an influence in creating this great exercise device and the positive changes it has made in so many lives. It seems as if there has been a pattern of why people use the resistance band. Invented for exercise and personal fitness then focused on therapy, back to fitness and then on to therapy again. In the present it is both. Even with the wealth of resources that accompany the modern day resistance band, there is still the great similitude to its ancestor. When you choose resistance bands for your fitness or therapy needs, you can be assured that you are using a time tested and scientifically proven device. You can have confidence in your resistance bands working for you. Mr. Gossweiler had the right idea about resistance bands and he also had the excitement about his device because he saw its potential and the benefits. We can look and see that resistance bands can be the right choice for us also because someone saw the benefits first and the scientific evidence backs up the choice.

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