Resistance bands: 3 exercises to train the whole body

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Resistance band training allows you to build strength at home with minimal equipment.

Exercise allows you to build muscle mass while lowering body fat and cholesterol.

Here you will find step-by-step instructions for effective training with resistance bands.

If you don’t want to hit the gym, resistance bands are an inexpensive alternative to building strength and balance and improving heart health. Resistance bands are elastic bands that you can use to train your muscles at home. You can use the bands for many different exercises. Here’s what you need to know about resistance band training and how to use it at home.

a guide to training

Resistance training is any type of exercise that uses resistance or a weight to strengthen muscles. You can do many types of exercises with resistance bands that work the muscles in your arms, legs, and core. Here are three resistance band exercises you can try at home.

1. Alternate Arm and Leg: This exercise works your core muscles, including your abs and glutes.

  • Tighten the resistance band so it fits over both knees.
  • Get on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
  • Extend one hand forward and kick the other foot back.
  • Return to tabletop position and repeat the exercise on the other side.

Julian Howard for Insider

Julian Howard for Insider

2. Bicep Curl: This exercise trains the biceps and can be done both standing and sitting.

  • Wrap the band under your right foot while standing or under your right knee while sitting.
  • Hold the ends of the band in your right hand in front of you, with your right elbow at your side and your fist pointing up.
  • Raise your hand to your right shoulder while keeping your elbow in the same position.
  • Lower your arm back down, and then repeat the exercise on the left side.

Julian Howard for Insider

Julian Howard for Insider

3. Squat: This exercise works your thighs and glutes

  • Squat down with your feet shoulder-width apart and wrap the resistance band around your thighs.
  • Bend your knees into a squat as you spread them slightly apart to create tension.
  • Get up again and repeat the exercise.

Julian Howard for Insider

Julian Howard for Insider

Although training with resistance bands is relatively easy, Folden recommends working out with a trainer the first few times, especially if you’re unsure of proper form. “But once you get the hang of it, resistance band training is a great way to exercise independently at home, at the gym, or even while traveling,” says Folden.

Folden also points out that while bands are designed to be used many times, it’s important to always check that they don’t break. “Microtears can cause real tears, which can bounce back and hurt you during exercise.”

The benefits of resistance training

Resistance exercises build strength because stretching the band requires effort that creates resistance against the muscles. Imagine how your arms would feel stretching a giant rubber band. “The goal is to build muscle mass and strength,” says Lisa N. Folden, licensed physical therapist and owner of Healthy Phit Physical Therapy & Wellness Consultants. A 2012 study found that resistance training significantly increased muscle mass while lowering body fat and cholesterol. “Strong muscles benefit the body in many ways, including preventing injury, providing stability, and even promoting a healthy metabolism,” says Folden. Resistance band training can also help improve balance and posture, and help reduce conditions like obesity or heart disease.

This text was translated from English by Lisa Ramos-Doce. You can find the original here.

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