Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little gym in the palm of your hand, so you would have no excuse to skip a workout?
Perhaps you need help improving your flexibility, or recovering from an injury. Or maybe you just need a new challenge.
Whatever you’re goal is, if you can get your hands on one piece of equipment, let it be this – the resistance band.
Somewhat underwhelming at first glance, these rubber loops are surprisingly effective, in a number of ways.
Here are some of the main reasons why I love resistance bands:
You can take them anywhere
Off to the gym? Sling them in your gym bag – although make sure you watch them like a hawk when you get there. Leave them lying around and they’ll probably get filched. These are a fitness addict’s gold dust!
Heading off on holiday? Squeeze them into your suitcase. So even if your hotel doesn’t have a gym or a pool, you’ll have no excuse not to exercise.
They are great for beginners or people recovering from injury
With resistances ranging from light to extra heavy, you can match them to your level of capability.
There is also minimal risk of injury because you are not using heavy loads, and you can use them to gradually build up range of motion and strength.
Use them to work on flexibility and mobility
If you are locked up, then chances are you need to have a stretch. But without someone to help you, it can sometimes be hard to get the intensity you are after. That’s where a resistance band comes in.
If difficulty in moving a particular part of your body is more the problem, then they’re even more handy. Thanks to their stretchiness, you can use them in a range of dynamic movements which can help get you moving again.
Incorporate them into exercises to up the intensity
If you’re getting a bit bored of the same old squats or benches and want an inventive way to make things more challenging, add a resistance band into your workout.
For example, a push up with a resistance band looped around your back is suddenly way tougher. While adding a band around the thighs when doing a squat brings in a whole different plane of movement and muscle work.
They are cheap!
You can pick these up in your local sports store or on ebay for next to nothing. Nuff said.
They are easy to store
Forget hefty gym equipment lying around your living room that takes up too much space or needs packing away at the end of the session. These little guys take up zero room and can just be tucked neatly away in a cupboard after you’re done with them.
They are incredibly versatile
We’ve already mentioned how to harness bands for strength training, mobility drills and stretching, but can they help with cardio? The answer is yes!
Use them for resistance runs, crab walks and more to get the heart pumping, once again with minimal risk of injury.
Have you incorporated resistance bands into your workouts?