Working Out at Home With Bands

Working Out at Home With Bands

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Tone and sculpt your whole body at home with resistance bands.

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Resistance bands, also called exercise bands, are a type of home exercise equipment that you can use in place of free weights to strengthen your muscles. Resistance bands are portable and durable. You are also less likely to injure yourself when working your muscles with resistance bands instead of free weights, such as a barbell or dumbbells. You can use your resistance bands in any room in your house.

Choosing Bands

You should carefully choose your resistance bands, which come in many varieties. Select a set of bands to suit your fitness level and help you achieve your goals. For example, beginners should start with a light resistance band and work up to a heavier resistance. Select a band that is easy for you to use and comfortable in your hand. Some bands have handles while other types have no handles. After you choose your resistance level and type of handle, you may want to consider a wall mount or a door anchor. Some bands are designed to be wrapped around your hand. Other styles are designed with handles that you can anchor to a wall mount or door frame.

Upper Body

You can perform the chest press exercise by wrapping a resistance band around your upper back and holding each end with your hands. The band provides resistance as you extend your arms straight out from the shoulders. Resistance bands are effective to work the triceps on the back of your arms.

Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, merely hold a resistance band in your left hand behind your head and then grasp the other end with your right hand at your waist. Breathe out and slowly extend your left arm at the elbow straight up over your head, without moving your shoulder and your right hand, which is holding the band in place at the waist. Return to the start position and repeat.

You can do biceps curls by looping a band around both hands or by attaching one end to a door or wall mount. To perform the biceps curl with the band looped around each hand, stand on the band with both feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your elbows by your sides, palms facing up, and a slight bend in your elbow, slowly curl your forearms up to your shoulders and contract your biceps at the top. Lower your arms back down to the start position and repeat. Start with eight to 10 repetitions of each exercise and increase the repetitions as you get stronger.

Lower Body

Use a resistance band in a loop around your ankles to perform leg abduction and adduction exercises. Hold onto a chair for stability. Press one leg out away from your body to do leg abductions. Press your leg forward and across the midline of your body to do adductions. Face a sturdy chair and hold on to it for balance when doing hamstring curls. With a resistance band wrapped around your legs just above the ankles, bend one knee and pull the band back and up as you bend your knee. Stand on a resistance band with both feet and hold each end in your hands to do resistance band squats. Do each exercise eight to 10 times.

Exercise Band Safety

Resistance bands lose their elasticity over time due to normal wear and tear. A weakened resistance band can break and snap with great force, thereby causing injury. Always check your resistance bands for nicks, tears or discoloration prior to use. Clean your bands with a damp cloth after use to remove dirt, sweat and skin oils that can damage the band surface. Never suddenly release a resistance band while it is under tension. The snap can injure you or another person standing nearby. Never allow children to use resistance bands. If you use resistance bands with handles, do not loop the handles over your feet. The handles can slip off when you increase tension on the band and strike you with great force. Always check the installation of door mounts and wall anchors before use.

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