Exercising

Resistance Bands – A Workout Breakthrough

Do you feel intimidated at the thought of going into a Gym? Does the correct use of some Exercise equipment leave you scratching your head? Does the fact that the majority of Home exercise equipment is big, bulky and expensive stop you from exercising at home? Or are you simply looking to find a convenient and effective method of exercise?
Well there is one answer to all of these questions and that is to utilize the benefits of performing workouts at home with Resistance Bands. If you are unfamiliar with Resistance Bands here is a definition and description.

What are Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands are elasticized lengths of cord that can effectively replicate the resistances found with the use of Barbells or other Hand weights. They are encased in a length of colored, rubber tube and fitted with handles on either end.

These bands come in various resistances depending upon the number and thickness of the elastic cords that comprise each one. Normally the greater the resistance offered the longer and thicker the band.

There is also a secondary form of Resistance Band, which is an elasticized strap that can be twisted around your hands and stretched. This form usually has a lesser resistance than the cords and is predominately used in rehabilitation and therapy applications.

What do Resistance Bands Offer

Resistance Bands have the ability to offer a continual variable resistance. This means that as the bands are stretched during an exercise, the resistance that they offer increases. This differs from hand held free weights as these are preset and only offer resistance up to the point where a movement (exercise) is at its least point of efficiency. This is all to do with how muscles work and where they are attached in the body and therefore resistance bands make muscles work through their entire range of motion.

women standing resistance band

Resistance Bands offer tremendous versatility as they can replicate all major resistance exercises with the inclusion of only two simple attachments. There are no pins or plates to adjust and no time-consuming equipment alterations needed to change from one exercise to another. The resistance offered can be easily changed depending on how and where you anchor the bands in relation to your position.

With the assistance of a door anchor or ankle attachment your resistance band workout will have every angle covered from over head to floor exercises. This effectively covers the entire body and opens up the opportunity to perform multiple exercises that are included in many popular training principles.

Are Resistance Bands Effective

Some people may have a tendency to view their simplicity as not being effective, but nothing could be further from the truth. You will be able to successfully target all your major muscle groups, such as legs, chest, back, shoulders and arms with their inclusion to any home workout routine. They also compliment exercises that utilize your basic body weight, such as push-ups, lunges, squats and calf raises, all of which can be enhanced with the introduction of resistance bands.

Resistance bands are lightweight, compact and easily stored unlike other exercise equipment on the market. That makes them a practical and portable full body workout system that can go anywhere. They have been around for years and even mainstream gymnasiums are embracing their adaptability and introducing them in their classes and on the Gym floor.

Once you have experienced their versatility first hand, that is when you realise the endless possibilities that they offer. You can perform strength training or circuit workouts that will present results equivalent to other options that come at a much higher cost.

Exercise is the very foundation to good health and well being and resistance bands are at the forefront. They will give you the opportunity to improve your strength and fitness levels at your own pace in your own home.

Benefits of Resistance Bands

When someone wants to start exercising, they are often confused by the wide array of exercise equipment on the market. Someone can find themselves easily spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a piece of home gym equipment that they found on an infomercial or in a magazine ad. If they decided to join an actual gym or fitness club, then they can wind up even deeper in the hole as they pay for services that they never use and struggle to find the time to make the trip to the gym.

Fortunately there is a very low cost and portable option – resistance bands. Resistance bands, or fitness bands, are flexible pieces of rubber or elastic that can be used in place of most weights and workout machines. The principal behind resistance bands is simple : as you pull on the band it provides resistance as it tries to snap back to its original size. The further you pull the band the harder the resistance becomes, increasing the intensity of the exercise in a steady manner.

Resistance Bands are Easy to Use

There is nothing simpler than using a resistance band as it is simply a matter of pulling the band in a way that targets a specific muscle group in the body. By standing on the midpoint of the band you can pull up on the ends to simulate curls, push ups, overhead presses and more. By attaching the band to something such as a door or a poll, you can target your abs, shoulders, and back. Even the legs and glutes can be worked by arranging the resistance bands so that you can push against them with your legs.

man resistance band

Arranging the bands for exercise is made easy by the dozens of charts and videos available all over the internet or in books and DVDs you can purcahse through Amazon. Just about any exercise machine you can find at the local gym can be replaced by proper use of resistance bands.

Resistance Bands are Portable

The typical resistance band weighs less than a pound, so even if the user has 3 of them plus a door anchor the whole set can be put into a small bag. They can be taken on vacation or on business trips so that a workout never has to be missed. When not in use even a full set of 5 bands plus accessories can easily be tucked away into the corner of a closet or a dresser drawer.

Resistance Bands are Affordable

Unlike most other fitness and weight loss products, resistance bands are cheap. An individual band can be had for less than $10 and entire sets of bands with door anchors and accessories can be had for $50 or less. Because they are so inexpensive fitness bands are often bundled alongside of workout books or DVDs. For the variety of exercises and ease of use that resistance bands provide, someone would be hard pressed to find a better piece of equipment that offers the same benefits for such a low cost.

Resistance Bands are Effective

Resistance bands work! They can be used for strength training, calorie burning, or cardio. By providing a steady increase and decrease in tension resistance bands allow you to work your muscles and joints at your own pace. Unlike bulky hard gym machines, resistance bands allow you to exercise the full range of motion of your arms and legs. There is no big hunk of metal restricting how far you can stretch or extend.

Resistance Bands for Rehabilitation

If you suffer from a disability of the nerves or you know some who does, then you’re aware of how hard it is to keep up an affected body part’s flexibility and circulation. Even walking, not to mention exercise, can be a painful or even dangerous experience due to the impact of the area(s) in question.

If the problems of flexibility and circulation are not addressed, then the possibility of limb amputation may become a reality. To correct this issue, physical therapists have turned to the use of resistance bands as a way to get the blood flowing for nerve damaged victims.

With resistance bands, there is virtually no impact on the joints or bones which minimizes the pain a patient feels when using them. This has a large impact on the ability to keep blood flowing through legs and arms and keeping the circulation flowing throughout the body.

Resistance Bands for Obese Individuals

Another attribute of resistance bands is that they can be used by those who are over weight. For obese individuals, exercise can be nearly impossible and terribly daunting. But resistance bands allow them to use a relatively light amount of resistance with little to no impact without the need to support their own weight.

Resistance Bands for The Elderly

Elderly can also benefit from resistance bands. Although many have taken up the exercises of walking and swimming, resistance bands can be a great alternative to for maintaining and building muscle. Resistance bands are convenient and have virtually no set up, so they can be utilized not only at a doctor’s office or gym, but can be used at home.

Resistance Bands for Children

Even children can participate in resistance band exercises to promote and tone muscles while also learning how to stretch the muscles they have. Many schools are using resistance bands to help incorporate exercise programs into the curriculum of young kids along with their outside social development time.

Using resistance bands is not cure all for some of the ills slated in society today. But when combined with a sensible exercise plan, a healthy diet and done in moderation, it can assist in the increase development of flexibility. It can also help increase circulation in patients and even be used as an exercise platform for the young and old.

Maybe you should try a pair of exercise bands. Grab some from your local sports store and try performing exercises in front of the TV or when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed. You’ll not only feel the difference, but you’ll see the difference too.

Bicep Resistance Band Strength Exercises

Let’s learn how to use this fantastic tool for sculpting your biceps! The rules for the resistance band are different then dumbbells as far as sets and reps go. The resistance band is more endurance than strength, so it will still be incredibly demanding in the beginning.

Beginners aim to do three sets, with ten reps. Position the band during these sets so there is a lot of tension, so you can just manage the final rep, but cannot perform another. Intermediate exercisers, try to reach 15 reps for three sets. Advanced exercisers will have developed the endurance necessary to take it up to 20-25 reps for the three sets.

The exercises

Bicep Band Curl

Stand on with feet hip-width apart, grasping the handles of the resistance band, palms facing in front of you. Stand on the band, so that there is little to no slack on each side of you (the band will look like a “U” shape because of the way it is held and they way that you are standing on it).

Inhale as you slowly curl your lower arms to meet your upper arms, keeping the upper arms glued to the sides of your body. Pause briefly at the top, to receive the full tension. Exhale as you slowly lower the band to starting position.

Bicep Band Hammer Curl

Stand on with feet hip-width apart, grasping the handles of the resistance band, palms facing your sides. Stand on the band, so that there is little to no slack on each side of you (the band will look like a “U” shape because of the way it is held and they way that you are standing on it).

Inhale as you slowly curl your lower arms to meet your upper arms, keeping the upper arms glued to the sides of your body. Make sure the thumb meets is facing the upper arms at the top of the movement. Pause briefly at the top, to receive the full tension. Exhale as you slowly lower the band to starting position.

Bicep Reverse Curl

Stand on with feet hip-width apart, grasping the handles of the resistance band, the back of the hands facing in front of you. Stand on the band, so that there is little to no slack on each side of you (the band will look like a “U” shape because of the way it is held and they way that you are standing on it).

Inhale as you slowly curl your lower arms to meet your upper arms, keeping the upper arms glued to the sides of your body. The back of the hands will face the upper arms at the top of the movement. Pause briefly at the top, to receive the full tension. Exhale as you slowly lower the band to starting position.

Bonus: Triceps Extension

The movements within this exercise will fully engage the entire triceps muscle group. Begin by choosing a band that is challenging, but not excessively difficult. With your left hand, hold one end of the resistance band and bring this hand behind your back.

Grab the other end of the band with your right hand and with your elbow bent, bring the right arm above your head. Engage the triceps by slowly extending your right arm into the air and pause the movement before your elbow is fully extended. Slowly return your right arm back to the starting position and repeat.

Perform these moves three days a week, leaving at least one resting day between each working day, and you’ll achieve strong, sculpted arms- without touching a dumbbell!

The Importance of Using Resistance Bands in Your Weight Loss Program

Study after study has proven the benefits of adding resistance training to any fitness program, and a weight loss program is no exception. If you are trying to lose weight, something as simple as adding a few basic resistance exercises after your cardio routine can help you to see faster results, and add more shape to your body, helping you to reach for that lean sexy look and feel that most everyone wants.

You Can Train Everywhere

Resistance bands offer a full range of motion, and the resistance of each band can be adjusted by simply stepping on the band in a different place to shorten the band, or by coiling the band for the same affect. Most exercises that you can do with weights can be duplicated with resistance bands, but weights cannot be tossed into your luggage or stowed away in a dresser drawer when not being used.

You can carry resistance bands in your car and do arm curls while waiting for the kids to get out of school, take them on your business or camping trip to make sure you don’t miss your workout, and yes, you can even use them at home!

Workout At Home

Anchor a hook of some sort on the wall for your bands and you can perform rowing movements or add resistance to your AB routine. Secure them to a spot above your head for lat pulls or pullup movements, or step on the band in various resistance positions to complete arm curls, tricep exercises, overhead presses, side lats, upright rows, and much more. You can even add resistance to squats and calf raises! You are limited only by your abilities and your imagination.

Is The Resistance Band Brand Important?

There is a definite difference in quality between some brands of bands. I have used bands from my local discount store, and bands from a quality manufacturer, and the difference is amazing. I feel more safe, and better about my workouts when using B-Line Bands.

Quality resistance bands like the B-Line bands come in a range of resistances of 5 to 50 pounds and can be purchased in sets or individually. A full set of these bands that can be used by multiple people at once, depending resistance needs, can be purchased for less than a few pair of dumbbells, or around $120.00.

You can also find these bands sold in smaller sets, combining the most popular bands into different levels of resistance. You might select a set that is more popular with the ladies, a set that is more popular with the men, or an extreme set that contains the heavier bands for about $40.00.

Some of these bands can be found individually for less than $20.00, for when you need to supplement a set you already have, or don’t anticipate the need for additional resistances. I strongly recommend buying a set, just because of the cost savings per band.

Final Thoughts

If you are not using resistance training as a part of your fitness or weight loss routine, consider adding this to your program, and if you are currently using resistance bands that you are not happy with, look into upgrading to a better quality band like the B-Line bands.

As always, make sure you check with your doctor before beginning any fitness or weight loss program. Your health is important to everyone around you, take care of yourself and make a difference for everyone.

If someone is looking for a new piece of home gym equipment, or simply wanting to change up their current exercise routine, then resistance bands are the way to go. Affordable, portable, and easy to use, resistance bands can help you tone up and trim down for far less than a gym membership or set of free weights.

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