Exercise bands are great while traveling.
It’s like having a portable gym! Denis and I are using bands for our arms workout in the video above. (We’re on the Italian side of the Mediterranean Sea during our last vacation.) When I travel, I bring bands without handles because they pack easily and weigh close to nothing.
They’re also a good fitness item for the home.
They’re versatile, inexpensive, and take up hardly any space. You can find them in all levels of difficulty, even very hard. I wouldn’t recommend them as your only strength training tool because, in my opinion, to get the best results you need to use weights. But, bands can be a good place to start strength training, a good way to vary your workout, and a good stand-in when you don’t have a gym.
There are small details you’ll want to pay attention to, in order to get the best workout with exercise bands.
I explain the details on the arms workout (shoulders, biceps, and triceps exercises) we’re doing in the video.
Don’t believe you can exercise your arms in 3 minutes?
Denis and I are using bands that will bring us to failure between 10-15 reps, sometimes less, which takes less time. So, indeed you can finish this single exercise set in 3 minutes.
A couple general notes:
You need a band that’s the right tension
(intensity) to cause your muscle to fatigue (not be able to do any more) at the right number of repetitions for your personal workout goals. If you’re just starting out, your band should be challenging enough for you to fatigue by about 20 repetitions (reps) for each exercise. After 2-3 months, you’ll want to have a band that generates fatigue by 15 or less reps per exercise. The less reps you can do with your band, the more strength you’ll build, and the more toned you’ll get. You’ll need a few bands of different tensions for different exercises to work.
The position of the band under your foot, and in your hand, will make the band feel harder or easier.
Shortening the band will make it harder. For example, you can hold more of the band in your hand, place it under two feet instead of one, or have it under the opposite foot from the arm that’s working to make the band more challenging (more in the video and below).
Finally, you’ll want to position your body so you target the right muscles effectively,
keep unrelated muscles out of the exercise, and use your core to develop good posture and protect your back. I explain positioning of the body in each exercise in the video and below. But know that if it doesn’t feel exactly right, it’s possible you need to reposition yourself.
Oh, and remember to pay attention to your posture in these exercises: how you exercise in the gym is ultimately how you walk around in life.
Press play and do the exercises with us!
You can play this, and all of my videos, almost anywhere-even on a smart TV (which I enjoy the most :))! Or, print the directions below for reference by clicking the “print” button that comes up on the side or bottom of the page.
While exercising with the video:
If your band requires you do more reps to fatigue than we do, keep going until you’re finished. Pause the recording if you need to.
Go through the series at least twice. (That’ll make it 6 minutes, oh my!)
————————– Remember you need to talk with a doctor before starting any exercise program. If you have injuries or limitations these exercises may not be appropriate——————–
ARMS WORKOUT WITH BANDS
Notes from the video:
There are a few ways you can make a band work for you in this exercise: I have the orange band underneath the same foot as the arm that’s working. Denis has his band underneath the opposite foot from the arm that’s working which gives the band even more tension /makes it more difficult. You can also hold more or less of it in your hand to increase or decrease tension accordingly.
- Place the band under one foot and hold it in one hand.
- Keeping your shoulders down and your neck relaxed, raise your arm straight out to the side of your body with your elbow slightly bent. You want to feel the work at the top of your arm which is the shoulder.
- Your weight should be over your arches. Your quads are slightly lifted, bottom of your glutes are slightly pulled forward, your lower abs are slightly pulled in and the back of your head is lifted toward the sky.
As you can see, now I have the band under both feet, which makes MY band harder and will give me the right intensity to fail between 10-12 reps. Denis has the band under 1 foot, which lightens the intensity of his very strong band and that will allow him to go to failure at around 12-15 repetitions
- Place the band under your feet (or foot) hold it in both hands.
- Keep your elbows in close to your body as you bend and straighten them.
- Keep your chest open with shoulders back and down.
- Keep your abs and front ribs slightly pulled back to stabilize your core.
For this triceps exercise, we take a lunge stance and put the band underneath the back heel.
- Hold the band in the same hand as the foot
- Try to get the upper arm as close to your ear as possible and straighten out the elbow to squeeze the tricep.
- Keep your lower belly slightly pulled in and try not to reach forward with your rib cage but keep it pulled back and in alignment. This will release any pressure on your lower back.
When you do this sequence for your second set,
if you did it right, the number of reps it takes for you to go to failure will be less than the first.
Thoughts? Questions? Put them in the comments section.
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