A lot of people are now becoming aware of their health, and there are different regimens that can be found today such as resistance band workouts. This type of workout has been proven to be effective in toning and strengthening the bones and the muscles without the hassles of using free weights. Affordable, convenient, and effective, the way health buffs would want it.
In addition, government institutions are alarmed at the increasing percentage of people who are horizontally challenged. For this reason, they are now supporting projects to encourage their citizens to have a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle means eating a balanced diet and getting enough exercise. The hardest part is to start with this healthy routine, once that is done, all a person has to do is to maintain it. The best way to do this is to do it gradually.
In terms of exercise, one of the best regimens is to do resistance training, also known as strength training.
What is Resistance Training?
As the name suggests, this is a type of training where muscle efforts are done to resist an opposing force. There are two sub-types of resistance training. The first is the isotonic resistance training where a muscle would move against a force. The second is the isometric resistance training where a muscle would hold still against a force. Depending on the workout routine one is performing, one can either be doing isotonic or isometric training.
Resistance training, as per the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI), “gradually and progressively overloads the musculature system so it gets stronger.” Studies have shown that regular resistance training strengthens and tones the muscles, and increases the bone mass.
There are several tools used for such training methods, and one of the most affordable and convenient equipment is the resistance band.
History of the Resistance Band
These bands were being used as early as the 1900’s. In the mid 1900’s, the bands were starting to be used as an apparatus for physical therapy.
Presently, a lot of fitness clubs offer these bands to their clients.
Different types of Resistance Band Workouts
Resistance bands are so convenient to use that one would be able to do different exercises to tone and strengthen one’s muscles.
Upper Body Workout
- For the chest, the bench press can be done by securing the band under the leg of the bench near the head. Lie on the bench and hold each end of the band with each hand, and do the bench press like one would when using barbells. The band can also be secured to a fixed, stable pole. Stand facing away from the pole. Move forward to apply enough tension, raising the arms to the sides with palms facing forward. Arms straight, bring them across the chest (called as the cross over).
- For the biceps, do the bicep curls by using a foot to stand on the band (to apply enough tension). Use the hand (parallel to the foot) to hold the handles, mimicking the position when using dumbbells for bicep curls.
- For the triceps, perform the triceps extension by using one foot to step on the band (feet apart, parallel to the hips). Use hand (on the same side of the foot stepping on the band) to hold the handles. Raise elbow to head level, and then raise forearm to form a right angle with palm facing up. Then extend the arm above the head, from a right angle position.
- For the shoulders, a lateral raise can be done by using the feet to step on the band. Use both hands to hold the handles. Hands are positioned to the sides (hip level), palms facing inward. Raise the arms sideways slowly up to shoulder level, parallel to the floor, with palm facing down.
- For the back, secure the band on a post. To do back flyes, stand up, facing the post. Hold the ends of the band with both hands. Step backward to apply tension, with arms raised in front of the chest. Feet should be firmly planted on the floor. Then, pull and raise the arms backwards, extending to the sides (as if in the act of flying), with palms facing forward.
Lower Body Workout
- For the quads and glutes, step on bands feet apart (in a squat position). Hold handles with each hand on the sides. Bend elbows with hands parallel to the shoulders, and palms facing forward. Perform as one would with barbell squats.
- Bench Press : 3×10
- Crossover : 1×10
- Bicep Curls : 3×10
- Triceps Extension : 3×10
- Lateral Raise : 3×8
- Back Flyes : 2×15
- Quads (Squats) : 2×10
(Note: set x reps)
Benefits of Resistance Band Workouts
As was mentioned such trainings or exercises can strengthen and tone muscles without lifting heavy weights.
Other than that, using the bands is more convenient. Since it has a light weight, one can bring it anywhere and do the resistance training anytime one feels like doing so.
A band is also more affordable than buying workout equipment. One can also do several workout combinations using the resistance band without spending too much.
One does not need a huge place to store the resistance band. It can be put away in a box or a drawer, and retrieved whenever needed.
Mix and Match
Some people would use the bands together with gym equipment. Combined trainings with resistance workouts and free weights would yield great results.
One can either increase the tension by changing the resistance level, or by combining different resistance levels. Bands come with different levels of tension (light, medium, heavy).
Incidence of hurting one’s foot and fingers are often heard from people who use free weights. This will never be a problem when one is using resistance bands. It develops muscle strength without such injuries.
Indeed, resistance band workouts are a great help to attain a happy and a healthy lifestyle.