Reluctant to buy resistance bands? Here’s why you shouldn’t be, and what you can do with them

If you’re like most people, when you think of strength training, you probably think of free weights or machines at the gym. It may not occur to you that there are actually many other approaches to strength training, one of which involves using resistance bands.

Or, maybe you’ve heard of resistance bands but you’ve been resistant to using them. Some of the reasons people avoid resistance bands include:

1. Not Challenging Enough
If you’re used to lifting with weights, you probably appreciate knowing exactly how much you’re lifting. With resistance bands, you have to gauge your level of exertion by how it feels, but that doesn’t mean they don’t offer a challenging workout.

With proper form and an adequate amount of tension, your muscles will still reap the same strengthening benefits from using them as they would from using weights.

2. Different Feeling
With free weights, gravity determines where weight is felt. This is why you experience increased resistance when you bringing weights up towards your chest during a bicep curl as opposed to lowering them down.

Unlike free weights where tension is only felt at certain points of the motion, you feel pressure constantly with resistance bands.

Also, in order to keep the band properly aligned, you’ll naturally recruit more stabilizing muscles, adding a different dynamic to your workout routine.

3. Confusing to Use
If you’re confused about how to use resistance bands, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find an explanation of how to perform several effective moves with a resistance band.

First and foremost, you should know that you can apply many of the exercises you perform with free weights to a resistance band routine. The only major difference involves how you position the band.

Now that we’ve considered the opposition to resistance bands, it’s worth noting the good things these bands offer. They’re a great tool to improve your health, and as we all know, healthy people are happier.

Beyond that, here are some excellent reasons why you should incorporate them into your routine:

1. They’re Travel-Friendly
When you’re traveling, it can be hard to fit in workouts. You obviously can’t pack a treadmill in your bag, but you can pack a resistance band and do a strengthening workout right in the comfort of your own hotel room.

2. They Give You Improved Coordination
Because tension is felt through the entirety of your resistance band routine, it’s essential that you keep your body stabilized.

Using one regularly can help you improve your balance and coordination.

3. They’re Affordable
Unlike gym memberships, which can be pricey, resistance bands are extremely affordable. You can usually find them for as little as $6, or $20 at the most.

4. They’re Adaptable to Your Fitness Level
Whether you’re new to this whole exercising thing or you’ve been exercising intensely for years, you can vary the exercises you do with resistance bands so you get a level of challenge that’s appropriate for you.

Resistance Band Routine

Bicep Curls
1. Stand on the band with both feet placed shoulder width apart.
2. Grip the band with both hands, palms facing upwards.
3. Bring the band up by curling your arms just like you would if you had dumbbells in your hands.
4. Slowly lower the band back towards the ground.
5. Repeat, performing three sets of ten.

Chest Press
1. Find a post, pole or rail and wrap the band around it.
2. Stand far enough away that you feel tension, holding the band in front of your chest.
3. Press it out with your hands in the position of a goal post, and then slowly bring your hands back towards your chest.
4. Repeat, performing three sets of ten.

Bicep Curl Lunges
1. Position the band so that it’s centered directly beneath your left foot’s instep.
2. Approximately two feet behind you, place your right foot.
3. Grip the band underhanded to perform a bicep curl, bending your knees simultaneously to lower into lunge position.
4. Repeat ten times, then switch legs, performing three sets of ten on each leg.

Butterfly Plie
1. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, keeping your toes pointed outward.
2. Keeping your band at the same level as your sports bra, wrap it around your back.
3. Curve your arms slightly and bring them to the sides while holding the band right above the handles.
4. Bend at your knees until your quads are parallel to the floor while at the same time bringing your fingertips on both hands in towards each other.
5. Slowly open up your arms as you return to the start.
6. Repeat, performing three sets of ten.

Now that you’ve learned all these great exercises that you can do with resistance bands, it’s time to get out there and buy one (or two!) for yourself!

About author:
Kayla Matthews is a healthy living blogger and productivity enthusiast. For more of her health productivity posts, follow her on Google+, Twitter, and at ProductivityTheory.com!

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