Fitness trainer Mark McCabe is a fan of resistance band exercises for many reasons. “They are a safe, portable alternative to conventional weight training.” The bands can be used to assist in exercises such as squats, rows and lunges. “Bands are excellent for developing muscle and can also help to increase bone density, balance and core strength,” says McCabe. Resistance band training uses the elastic tension of the band to create a unique resistance – unique because it’s variable. As the band stretches further, resistance increases.
SAFE & LOW IMPACT
Resistance band training is a great option because it can be used on all parts of the body. If you are recovering from injury or are new to exercise, bands also provide a lower-impact option to weights. “Resistance band training is a great alternative
to dumbbells and barbells particularly for elderly, individuals new to resistance training, individuals returning to training after an injury, or individuals who frequently travel. This is because they are safe, lightweight and portable,” says McCabe.
CHOOSE YOUR BAND
Resistance bands come in varying lengths, widths and strength levels, to suit various exercises and personal preference. “Because the bands come in different strength levels, it’s important that the correct band is selected for each exercise
you perform,” says McCabe.
“For example, you would use a heavier band for a squat than you would for a bicep curl. Also, as some exercises require an anchor point, it’s important that a suitable and stable position is found before commencing an exercise.”
Standing Bicep Curls
Stand on the band with feet shoulder-width apart and a handle in each hand. Tuck elbows in and curl arm for a good bicep contraction. Slowly lower hands and go for 12 to 15 curls.
Strengthen shoulders with this isolation move. Begin as for bicep curls. Slightly bend elbows and raise arms to the side. Slowly lower and perform 10 reps. Try one arm at a time.