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If you enjoy yoga and aerobics, resistance bands are a great addition to your home calisthenic workout. These stretchy elastic bands are usually made from latex or synthetic rubber and are also great for anaerobic exercises.
A study involving many athletes showed that athletes using resistance bands tripled their gains. That’s partially because resistance bands are the smoothest and most friendly form of dynamic resistance in correlation to the body. Below, learn how to use resistance bands in your home.
Why resistance bands are different (and effective)
The constant, proportionate changes in tension throughout consecutive repeated motions protect your joints. Reps using a resistance band will only feel increasingly heavier the deeper you flex through a rep. That means less of a need for rep “count cheating” and “half-stepping,” as you can either complete the rep or entirely fail it due to the band’s dynamically different nature. This distinction greatly reduces shock and wear on the muscles, tendons, and joints.
The difference between dumbbells and resistance bands
With dumbbells, also known as free weights, the amount of pressure felt throughout a rep changes. This shifting from feeling heavy to light at different points in repetition can damage the joints over time, or even immediately in some cases.
Another way to think of this is that, when you use free weights, there will be varying degrees of resistance at different points of your rep depending on the exercise. As a result, some people may feel the desire to thrust or swing into a bicep curl or change speed all throughout a repetition. The comfortable proportional shift in the tension that a resistance band creates can help to eliminate this destructive, counterintuitive, counterproductive habit in your workouts.
Resistance band exercises
Try the following to get started with resistance bands:
To do bicep curls using a resistance band, hold one handle in each hand. Stand on the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure that the band is divided as evenly and comfortably as possible into three parts: the section between your right hand and right foot, the section between your left hand and left foot, and the section between both feet. Curl your arms upward as slowly and evenly as possible for one rep, then repeat this motion and carefully as possible.
Resistance band squat
Resistance band squats are easy on the joints because the tension decreases as you bend your knees and dip. Stand on your resistance band with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold the resistance band’s handles as if there were a weighted bar on your back. Squat as mindfully, steadily, and slowly as you can. Keep your back straight and try not to speed up as the resistance band’s tension decreases for a genuinely challenging squat set.
Twist with resistance bands by standing on the center of the band with feet hip-width apart, holding one end of the band in each hand. Bend your elbows by your side and bring your hands up to shoulder level, palms facing forward. Bend your knees slightly and rotate your upper body to the left. Then, return to the center and rotate to the right to complete one rep.
Do you use resistance bands? What’s your favorite resistance band exercise? Sound off in the comments!