In our fight against cancer one thing remains clear. Doing things to help your body prevent cancer before it happens is always more powerful then treating cancer after the fact. The best thing you can do is to stay active and healthy. A new fitness trend with resistance bands can help you do just that.
Resistance bands are basically a form of elastic band that you use to add resistance and therefore extra work to your strength exercises. There are two main types: the first is a wide band which may be in a loop, rather like a large elastic band; the second is a long thin tube with handles on the end. Both are made from latex rubber, are pretty inexpensive, and come in different strengths. The lightest strength are more stretchy, while the heaviest offers the most resistance. As you increase in strength, to continue to offer challenge and progression, you move on to the next weight in band. Many in home fitness programs like T25, P90, INSANITY, and P90X3 use resistance bands.
How does using a resistance band help you to build your muscles?
Resistance bands help you to gain muscle because the tension is in so many different directions. Not only is there constant tension on the muscle that you are planning to exercise, but this tension actually increases as the movement reaches the crux. Performing a bicep curl with resistance bands, for example, would be more challenging than with a set of dumbbells. As you raise the band you are stretching it, thus increasing the resistance and making more work for your bicep. You then have to continue to work your muscles to maintain slow control returning to your starting position, when the resistance band is pulling back into shape. In addition you need to work more core and stabilizer muscles throughout the exercise in order to keep the band aligned, which helps to develop balance and core strength.
You can use resistance bands to exercise your whole body, and the range of exercises is great for building more variety into your workout too. The following are just a few of the many exercises that work with resistance bands. The key, as always, is to maintain a good posture, and keep all movements slow, steady and smooth.
Resistance band exercises for back muscles
Bent Over Row:
Put your feet shoulder width apart on the middle of the band, with your knees soft. Bend your waist, sticking your bottom out. Grasp the handles, or loop with your hands hanging down, facing in towards the side of your knees. With bent elbows, pull the band up to your hips and pull in your shoulder blades. When your elbows reach a 90 degree angle, slowly return to your original position and repeat the exercise. Do three sets of 10-12 reps.
Anchor the middle of the band to a horizontal bar or tree limb. Stand or kneel beneath and grab an end in each hand overhead. Bend the elbows to pull the band towards the floor, contracting the muscles of your back. When your hands reach shoulder height, slowly raise them and repeat. Do three sets of 10-12 reps.
Resistance band muscles for biceps
Double bicep curl:
Stand centrally on the band, have your feel shoulder width apart and knees soft. Hold the handles, arms hanging down by sides and palms facing forwards. Pull your hands towards your shoulders by bending your elbows and contracting your bicep. Lower the band again slowly. Aim for three sets of 12-15 reps.
Overhead bicep curl:
Anchor the end of your band somewhere high up (many come with a door hook). Hold the handle, then step away so that with your arm extended towards the door, the band is just in tension. Now keeping your upper arm still and steady, bend your arm, pulling the band in towards your shoulder and then release slowly. Aim for three sets of 12-15 reps.
These exercises are really simple, but so effective and building muscle strength and tone throughout your whole body. Enjoy!