The 9 Best Exercise Bands
The Benefits Of Using Exercise Bands
You don't need to learn how to use intimidating workout machines, or worry that you'll push the wrong button and accidentally injure yourself.
They certainly don't make the same impression that the large, bulky machines do.
It's easy to overlook the exercise bands at your gym. They certainly don't make the same impression that the large, bulky machines do. But you should start paying these small yet powerful accessories a little more attention.
Resistance bands are highly versatile. You can bring them just about anywhere, since they're compact and don't weigh much, making them great for travel. You can keep them in you backpack or briefcase and get in a quick workout wherever you are. If you barely have time to work out during the week, just break out your exercise bands on your lunch break for a quick fat-burning exercise session. Since studies have found a direct correlation between short bouts of moderate exercise and improved mental performance, you almost can't afford to not do this.
Another positive feature of exercise bands is that they're appropriate for athletes of any level. All one has to do to increase or decrease the intensity of the workout is adjust the tension they're applying to the band. You don't need to learn how to use intimidating workout machines, or worry that you'll push the wrong button and accidentally injure yourself. These bands are very user-friendly and practically mistake-proof. If you are looking to boost the intensity of a workout, resistance bands also offer an easy way to do that. You can just incorporate these into classic exercises, like push-ups or lunges, to make them a bit more challenging for yourself, without the use of heavy weights.
If your main reason for not hitting the gym is that you feel embarrassed exercising in front of others, but you can't afford to set up a home gym, first of all, know that you're not alone. Studies have found that self-consciousness at the gym is quite common. In fact, women worry extensively about having their bodies judged or compared to others at the gym, making it a barrier to entry for many. Exercise bands make it simple to exercise on your own until you feel more confident about working out among others. They're a great starter item for your home gym, and if your office or study is going to double as your gym, you can quickly tuck them away and you won't even know they're there.
Moves To Try With Your Exercise Band
If you're not quite sure where to begin with your exercise band, try some of these simple moves. You can up your push-up game by draping your resistance band over your shoulders and putting a handle or loop in each hand. The pressure of the band will make you have to work even harder to raise yourself up after going down. If you're not quite ready to use dumbbells yet, you can still do curls without these hefty items. Just lay your band on the floor and stand in the middle of it, feet hip-width apart, holding the band down. Bend down and grab a handle or loop with each hand. Stand back up, holding the handles with your arms down on each side. With your palms facing up, bend your elbows, keeping your upper arms straight, and pull the handles towards the ceiling.
Tie it so that it stays in place, but isn't so tight you can barely move your feet.
Exercise bands can help you work on your core, too. You may want to phase sit-ups out of your exercise routine because studies have found they could do more harm than good. Luckily, you can try this instead for a toned midsection. Wrap your exercise band around the arches of your feet. Tie it so that it stays in place, but isn't so tight you can barely move your feet. Lie down on your back and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Then do these two things at the same time: kick your right foot forward, pull your left knee in toward your body, and lift your right elbow towards your left knee, while keeping your back straight. Do the same thing, but reverse, and repeat. You'll feel an intense burn in your core.
If you want nicely toned upper arm muscles, try this exercise. Stand in the center of your band with your feet close together. Bend your torso forward creating a 90-degree angle with your body. Hold a handle or loop in either hand. Lift them up to around mid-thigh height, turn your palms backward, and push the handles behind you, and up towards the ceiling. You'll really put your triceps to work with this move.
What To Look For In An Exercise Band
There are a lot of exercise bands to choose from, so you just need to think about what will work best for you and make the right addition to your home gym. One interesting study on how light and color affect learning capacity found that warm yellow hues improve self-esteem. So consider grabbing some colorful exercise bands, especially if you'll be handing them out to students in a fitness class.
Since the whole point of these bands is to add resistance, make sure yours are can withstand a lot of weight and pressure.
If you plan on using your exercise band outdoors, wrapping it around chain link fences and trees, make sure it's durable. Bands made with a braided rubber tubing are ideal for more rugged workout settings. Speaking of impromptu workouts, some bands come with door anchors, allowing you to turn any room into a mini gym. Some even include clip systems that let you stack multiple bands, offering even more resistance.
Since the whole point of these bands is to add resistance, make sure yours are can withstand a lot of weight and pressure. You don't want your band snapping on you, mid-workout. Latex might offer the most stretch, but just keep in mind that some people are allergic to this material and might need thermoplastic rubber bands instead. There are a few included items that could make using your new bands easier and more convenient, like an instructional book featuring different exercises, and a waterproof carrying bag.