Weight-bearing exercise is a crucial component of overall health and wellbeing, especially for the development of muscles and bones. In reading that term, though, you might automatically think of weights as the main way to accomplish this goal. In truth, there are many ways go about it, including the use of a resistance band. These bands can be seen as an adjustable weight machine of sorts that offer many of the same benefits without the hassle of having clunky weights at home, and our Springfield fitness experts explain why you should consider incorporating them into your exercise routine below.
Resistance bands are essentially large, reinforced rubber bands that are made of strong, thin rubber that may or may not have handles attached at their ends. They come in a variety of types—some are flat and others tubular—as well as different lengths and tensions, which range from as little as 15 lbs. to over 200 lbs. They are also color-coded by most manufacturers to help distinguish one from another.
The significant variety of resistance bands contributes to one of their most notable benefits: versatility. When using a resistance band, you can do just about any type of strength training exercise (e.g. chest presses, rows, shoulder presses and even squats) without the need for heavy weights. In addition, individuals of just about any age or fitness level can use resistance bands, and they can be adjusted further to different lengths to suit whatever exercise or intensity you’re looking for.
Due to their compact size and the fact that they’re so lightweight, resistance bands are also extremely portable and can be taken to complete a workout just about anywhere.
Finally, resistance bands can serve a number of purposes, and can be used for muscle-building exercises, cardio workouts, muscle endurance routines and for injury recovery and prevention. You can clearly see why our Springfield fitness experts so strongly recommend incorporating resistance bands if you’re looking to spice up your at-home exercise routine. To give you a better idea of how to use these bands, below are a few examples of some of our favorite exercises:
Resistance band exercise examples from our Springfield physical therapists
- Front squat: stand on band with feet slightly wider than shoulder width; holding a handle in each hand, bring the top of the band over each shoulder; sit straight down, chest up, abs firm, pressing knees out over your toes; rise back up to start position and repeat for 8-12 reps
- Glute bridge: tie a band around your legs right above your knees; lie on your back with your feet on the floor, bending your knees to 90 degrees; rise up with your hips until your shoulders, hips and knees align, contracting your glutes through the entire movement; do 15-20 reps
- Overhead press: stand over center of a tube band with feet shoulder-width apart; grip each handle, positioning hands at shoulder level with palms facing each other and thumbs touching shoulders; press straight up, rotating your palms forward as you fully extend your arms; lower back down slowly and repeat for 8-10 reps
- Incline chest press: in a right forward lunge position, place the middle of your band beneath your back foot; grabbing a handle in each hand, bring the band to shoulder level; press the bands upward straight over your chest like a rainbow until the arms fully extend; lower back down and repeat for 10-12 reps
If you’d like some additional exercises or personal guidance before giving resistance bands a try, ARS Hand and Physical Therapy would be happy to help you out. Our Springfield fitness experts can instruct you on proper form and technique, and advise you on which resistance bands are best for your fitness level. Contact us at 973-379-7006 to schedule an appointment today, or click here to read our last blog about how resistance bands can be used to treat knee osteoarthritis.