Summer may still be a few months away but it’s never too early to start getting your body buffed and toned for swimsuit season. One of the most convenient ways to exercise is through using handy resistance bands. Resistance bands are actually simple, ultra-sized rubber bands that you can use for strengthening your body and improving flexibility. The best thing about resistance bands is that they are so easy to carry and transport, so you could bring them along even during business trips. Read on for some guidelines to remember when using resistance bands.
- Know the importance of strength training. You may not really be that interested in building up your muscles; you just want to lose weight. So why strength train with resistance bands? The best and most effective of exercise routine is a blend of aerobic exercise and strength training. Aerobic exercise (such as jogging, running, etc) works your heart and lungs, while strength training exercises work the muscles out. Muscles that are regularly exercised and built-up will continue to burn calories even while you rest which is great news for anybody interested in shedding pounds. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week, combining strength and aerobic exercises (at least 10 minutes per type of exercise).
- Choose the resistance bands right for you. Though there are many brands and types of resistance bands available, you may find that the major factor you will have to choose (apart from the price) is the resistance level. Generally, resistance bands go under four categories: light (3 to 5lbs resistance); medium (8 lbs resistance); heavy (12 lbs) and extra-heavy (16 lbs resistance and up). If you are just a beginner, it’s best for you to opt for light bands.
Resistance bands can go anywhere from $6 to $20, depending on the resistance level and the brand. Well-known brands such as Nike sell models that are ergonomically-designed and have stronger tubing. You can also go for starter kits that contain several bands as well as instructional videos (these could go anywhere from $20 to $50).
- Try out some exercises. There is virtually an infinite number of exercises that you could do with resistance bands; think of it as doing regular stretches and repetitive exercises, except that you will work out your muscles more because of the added tension and weight that the band provides.
- If you want to work out your biceps, simply step on the band on one end, and grab the handle of the resistance band on the other end. Raise and lower your forearm as if lifting a dumbbell.
- If you want to work out your triceps, grab one end of the resistance band with your left hand and place that hand at your back. Next, grab the other end with your right hand, and extend that arm over your head. Flex your right arm (still grasping the end of the band) until that arm is fully extended. Lower it (using your elbow as hinge) and raise it again.
- If you want to work out your lower body, step on the middle of the resistance band with both your feet. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. Hold another end of the band with both your hands, keeping your hands at shoulder-width. Then, go down a full squat, still holding the resistance band and keeping your hands at shoulder width. Return to your starting position, and repeat.
There are many exercises that you could do with resistance bands. The key here is for you to pinpoint the areas of your body that you want to pay particular focus on, and the number of repetitions that are healthy for you. Be sure also to consistently maintain your exercise routine for best results. Good luck!