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Using Resistance Bands for Workouts

June 24, 2013 - Written by Jessica Sanders

Resistance bands hold a very important place in your healthy life. Not only can they be used for a variety of muscles and parts of your body, but are easy to travel with. So, instead of forging your workouts on vacation, toss your resistance bands into the suitcase and work of some of those luxurious meals.

However, resistance bands aren’t just for on the go workouts. Grab a band in the gym to switch up your usual routine.

Upper Body

When your arms get used to the same dumbbell workouts, they become less effective, even if you’re sweating just as much. Instead of walking your way through a workout, up the ante by incorporating resistance bands. With a few quick moves you’ll be working new muscles and giving the same ones a run for their money.

Bent Over Row: Put your feet on the band and hold each end in your hands. Bend slightly at the hips, with knees bent, as well; keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle and pull up. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together. Come back to start and go again.

Tricep Kickback: Stand in a forward lunge, with your forward most foot standing on the band. With your hands facing behind you, grab both ends of the band and bend at the elbows until your forearm is parallel to the floor. Then pull back so your arms extend fully behind your body. Return to center and do it again. 

Your Core

We all want six pack abs, but the best way to get there is by focusing on your entire core; that means no amount of sit-ups are going to get you there. Try resistance bands to turn your usual ab routine into something more effective.

Baseball Swing: Stand with the resistance band beneath your feet, and hold the ends in your hands. Go into a half squat, bringing both hands together in front of you. Heave both arms up to over your right shoulder, pivoting on your left toe as you do. Perform this on both sides, and then start again.

Crunch With Lat Pull-Down: Attach the band to something low, and lay on your back, your head closest to the band. Grab each end, making sure arms are extended, and crunch up, pulling the band toward your knees as you do.

Lower Body

If squats and lunges are the bain of your existence then it’s time to try something new. Resistance bands are great tools for lower body workouts, and give the basic squat a run for its money.

Supinated Clamshell: Bring your legs up to a 90-degree angle and loop the band just above the knees. Pull your knees apart and simultaneously contract your glutes. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds then come back, and do it again.

Penguin: Place feet shoulder width apart and stand on the band. Step forward with your left foot (like a penguin hobble) and then lift your right leg out to the side. Step forward with your right foot and lift your left leg out to the side. Alternate back and forth.

Don’t become a slave to your workout; add in resistance bands to make sure you’re working all your muscles and keeping your routine exciting. And don’t forget to bring one on your next vacation for a quick hotel room workout.

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