What is Resistance Training with Bands?
Resistance bands are a great tool to ramp up your all-around fitness and strength. They are inexpensive, convenient and portable. In addition, they are versatile and relatively safe for all ages and ability. Because of their simplicity, they are underrated but are equal to or even better than other standard weight-lifting equipment, such as free weights or machines.
The only disadvantages are they can break or snap in your face if you’re not careful.
There are many varieties of bands, which can include simple flat bands or narrower flat bands, as well as the standard elastic bands (or tubing) with handles. Typically, there are color-coded tubes that indicate how much resistance there is.
Let’s talk about some basic exercises you can do at the gym or in the comfort of your home. We’ll focus on using elastic bands or tubing with the handles.
You can do up to three sets of 10 repetitions for each body part.
For biceps curls, stand with both feet on the tubing and hold the handles in front of you. Turn your handles horizontally and curl the handles upward.
For triceps, stand with one foot on half of the tubing on the floor. Lean over and face the floor with your elbow lifted above your back. Do a triceps kickback with the shorter end of the tubing. Bend and straighten the arm for a triceps kickback.
For a chest press and chest fly, lie back on a bench or raised platform. Wrap the tubing around your back with equidistance to your arms in front. Take the handles and push straight up into the air for a chest press. To perform a chest fly, widen your arms and do a virtual bear hug with a slight bend in the arms and hug into your chest.
For squats, step your feet on the tubing on the floor. Grab handles to the shoulder and sit back into a squat position. Sit into your heels and squat down and back up with tension held at the shoulders with the handles.
For lunges, step one foot forward onto the tubing on the floor. The other foot is behind the front foot, facing forward. With arms again at the shoulder level, take a lunge down and up for a static lunge. Switch legs and do the other side.
For a deadlift (hinging at the hip and working your hamstrings and glutes), step on the tubing and hold both handles. Lean over towards your shins and hinge at your hip and pull back up.
These are just a few basic moves for resistance bands. There are many more options for you. If you’d like to know more, contact us in the personal training department at Ochsner Fitness Center for professional advice.