These little pieces of cardio burning, muscle building, charmers are used by novices and seasoned athletes all over the world.
You can use them on their own or with other pieces of equipment to add challenge and variety to your workout program.
They can be purchased at your grocery store or at top end sports stores and come in a variety of colors, resistance, with and without handles. Some are made for your ankles with Velcro straps and some for full body movement.
They even come on a stick!
Add Variety with Resistance Bands
The possibilities for use of resistance bands are endless. You can utilize them as a functional training aid or to target a specific muscle. Functional training is movements that you do that imitate real life, like mimicking a golf swing. Resistance training targeting a muscle would be akin to a bicep curl. You can run the long band under your feet and do a variety of upper body exercises or a combination leg and upper body.
If you do buy your first resistant band at the local department or grocery store you are likely buying one that doesn’t offer a great deal of resistance. Not to worry, when you are ready you can upgrade to a more difficult model and continue in your fitness development.
A general way of assessing the strength or resistance of a band is to test the degree of difficulty you have stretching it. The harder it is the more resistance it will offer. Combine this with varied body positions and you can tailor your workouts to fit with your strength level or the level of strength you want to achieve.
Add more or less resistance or tension on the band by by shortening or lengthening the band.
The 10 Minute Solution for Trouble Zones is excellent (by the way) see the video excerpt below and click the link for more information.
For example: if you are standing on the band to perform a bicep curl, add resistance by stepping your legs further apart, this shortens the band distance from your feet to your hands and thereby increasing the resistance.
You can combine the resistance band exercises with free weight training. When you lift free weights there are points in your lift that gravity and the fulcrum (the pivot point in your elbow) reduces in resistance so the full arm curl isn’t the same resistance all the way through.
Think about when you curl the weight and as the weights get closer to your body on the up swing it gets a little easier. But if you ad a band to your barbell or dumbbells, the resistance stays fairly constant. Another little trick you can add to your routine is to slowly lower the weight getting the most out of the negative contraction.
For myself I use a medium resistant band for most things and you can get them at any sport store. If you are just starting out and only want to spend a couple of bucks – I had found a rather decent pair at the grocery store too.