Dust off those Resistance Bands!
Utilizing resistance bands is an inexpensive way to incorporate resistance training at home or on the go. Resistance training is a well-established method for improving muscular strength and endurance for fitness and can help maintain muscle mass during weight loss. The bands are available in different colors, shapes and thicknesses, which also make them a versatile piece of equipment. The colors identify the thickness of the band. The greater the thickness, the more resistant it will be to stretch, making the exercise more challenging.
Color code for resistance bands:
- Yellow – thin
- Red – medium
- Green – heavy
- Blue – extra heavy
- Black – special heavy
- Silver – super heavy
To try out resistance band training, start out with a yellow or red band and progress as tolerated. Aim for 3 sets of 10 for each exercise below for a whole body workout.
Squats with press
Secure the band underneath both feet holding band at shoulder height with elbows bent and palms facing forward. Lower body by crouching down, pushing butt back, not letting toes go past your toes. As you rise up from the squat, push the band up until your arms are close to being fully extended. After pausing, slowly return to starting position. Repeat.
Bend over rows
Secure band underneath both feet. Hinge forward at the hips. Keep elbows at sides and pull arms back for a row, squeezing between shoulder blades. After pausing, slowly return to starting position. Repeat.
Standing Chest press
Secure band at medium height behind you and hold band near your shoulder, palms facing down, leaning slightly forward for balance. Push the band straight forward until arms are extended and parallel to the floor. After pausing, slowly return to starting position. Repeat.
Lunges with bicep curl
Secure band underneath one foot that is forward in a lunge position with other foot in line but behind. Hold the band at your sides with arms straight down. Lunge forward with front leg at 90 degrees, pull band towards your shoulder by curling elbows. After pausing, slowly rise out of lunge and return arms to starting position. Keep upper arms immobile and elbows close to your side. Repeat.
Secure band under left or right foot. Hold extended band behind head, palms facing each other, elbows bent at 90 degree and upper arm straight. Pull the band up by extending arms completely, pause, and return to starting position. Keep upper arms immobile throughout with a strong core. Repeat.
Secure the band on the shins, slightly below the knee while holding pressure on the band to the floor. Lie on your back with knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Lift hips off the ground in a reverse crunch, pausing at the top. Slowly lower to floor. Repeat crunch movement.
Remember to consult with a Certified Personal Trainer prior to starting an exercise program.
Jennifer Christman, RDN, LDN, CPT