Meet The Resistance Band, Your New Workout BFF
The Debrief: We’re sorry in advance for any aching glutes.
As far as exercising goes, the resistance band is often overlooked, or forgotten about altogether. Call it naivety, but until I rocked up to Third Space to try out their new METHOD class, I had no idea what this giant elastic band could do – so chances are, you don’t either. With that in mind, we had a chat with resident resistance band queen, Lucie Cowan, the METHOD Master Trainer, to unlock the secrets of the band. Prepare to feel the burn in ways you’ve quite literally never felt it before.
Lucie tells us that resistance bands can challenge your muscles by creating resistance in multiple directions, forcing you to stabilize against the resistance, which in turn helps to maintain the correct movement pattern. So not much, hey? Here’s how best to use them, we’re sorry in advance for any aching glutes.
So, I just got a resistance band, but errrr what should I actually do with it?
You can start by experimenting at home by trying out simple exercises – like a squat – but incorporate the band. Try maintaining resistance in the band as you perform some upper and lower body exercises, these could be as simple as a single leg raise with the band around your ankle, or a squat with it just above your knee.
What’s SO great about using a resistance band, tell us the secrets of the band?
You can do practically any type of strength training with this little guy – you can sculpt and tone your entire body without the need for heavy weights or any training involving impact for your joints. Plus, you can add the band into your existing workouts easily. For example, you can replace the weights you use for bicep curls with a band.
Bands are also great for increasing the efficiency of your workout if you’re short of time, as using the band forces your body to maintain stability throughout a movement. This engages multiple muscles simultaneously, so your entire body gets a workout in a shorter period of time.
With that in mind, how often should I be working out with one?
The more, the better. If you can workout with your band three times a week, then you’ll see the results for sure. And don’t forget, you can use the band to cool down and stretch after a workout, too.
There’s lots of different bands on offer, how can the size or width benefit my workout?
The thicker the band, the harder your muscles will need to work to maintain resistance. So basically – go thicker.
What about flat vs tubular? What’s the difference?
The flat bands are less prone to ‘rolling’ out of position as you stretch it, but it’s down to personal preference with you use.
It's probably time to get moving now, what three key exercises should I do with my resistance band?
1. STANDING KICKBACKS
▪Stand in front of a chair for balance with feet shoulder-width apart and the band right above your ankles
▪Lift your right leg behind you, keeping the leg straight and squeeze your glutes as you lift.
▪Lower your right leg, switch sides and repeat.
•Place band just above your knees, and lie on your back with your knees bent
▪Lift your hips, squeeze glutes, and hold
▪Lower your hips and repeat
5. SINGLE ARM ROWS
•Don’t forget about working those back muscles –it’s a large muscle group and hence a big calorie burner!
•Kneel on one knee, and place band underneath one foot
•Resting one arm on your knee, pull the band back with the other hand, bringing your elbow back to your hip.
What happens if I've injured myself and can’t do high intensity training – can I still use my resistance band? And if yes, how?
Although you often see resistance bands used at the gym or by fitness enthusiasts, they were first used in sports medicine for injury prevention and recovery. If you are injured, resistance bands can come to the rescue as you can exercise isolated muscle groups, without burdening muscles, tendons, joints and bones of the injured area.
When you use resistance bands to exercise the injury-free parts of your body, you benefit from increased blood circulation, which assists with speeding up your recovery. Resistance band training is low-impact and easy on the joints too, as it removes the need to add any extra weight or impact of jumping to the body.
What else should I know about my resistance band?
No matter how small your handbag, your band fits in! So no excuses, epic workout on hand anywhere, any time!
If you want to have a go with a resistance band – but with the help of a trainer before you go wild at home – Third Space are offering free to non-members classes as part of their Fitstival. You can find details here.
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