Resistance bands can be used for a variety of exercises. Not only are they good for general conditioning and adding variety to your usual use of free weights and machines, exercise bands are also good for exercises involving rehabilitation of injury. Because they’re lightweight and easy to carry, they are ideal when you’re on the road as well.
Colors differentiate the degrees of resistance of a particular band. While brands follow their own color codes, bands with thin resistance are usually yellow while those with specially heavy resistance are colored black. Medium resistance bands are usually red while silver-colored bands offer super heavy resistance, the maximum degree of stiffness that anyone can possibly work with using this product.
Like any cardiovascular and muscular exercise, any workout using exercise bands must begin with at least 5 minutes of aerobic exercise and end with 10 minutes of gentle cool down exercises and stretching.
Here are some of the best exercises using resistance bands.
1. Resistance Band Squats. With both feet shoulder width apart, step on the resistance band. Holding the resistance band with both hands, keep it at shoulder level and start into a full squat, all the time holding the band at shoulder height. Return to starting position and repeat for at least 2 sets with 12 repetitions.
2. Chest Press. With the band wrapped around a pillar or any sturdy object behind you, hold the handles of the band with both hands. With elbows bent and arms parallel to the ground, squeeze the chest and press the arms without locking the elbows. Return to starting position and repeat for at least 10 times.
3. Bicep Curls. Stand on the band with feet wide apart. With palms facing out, hold the ends of the band. Bend your knees slightly, tuck your stomach in and start bending your arms and bringing your palms toward your shoulders in a bicep curl. Return to starting position and repeat.
4. Triceps Extensions. Begin the exercise by standing on the band with legs apart. Holding the handle of the band, make sure that your arms are behind your back over your head and elbows are flexed. Do triceps extensions.
5. Alternate Lying Chest Presses. With the band behind you, lie on your back and hold ends with both hands. Punch one arm up towards the ceiling, return to starting position and do the same with the other arm. Do 2-3 sets of at least 12-15 repetitions..
6. Criss-Cross Outer Thigh. Lie down on the floor. Take your legs straight up with band wrapped around feet. With the bands criss-crossed, hold band ends on the either side of opposite hands. Open your legs out to the sides as far as you can by squeezing your glutes.
7. Resistance Band Lunges. With feet hip width apart, take your left leg approximately 2 feet behind you. Place the resistance band under the front foot and hold the end with both hands. At the start, your head and back should be erect. Do the lunge by bending your body at the right hip and knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor. Return to starting position and repeat for at least 2 sets at 12 repetitions. Alternate legs.