resistance bands

(depositphotos provided)

If you’re looking for a piece of equipment that makes working out on the go a breeze, then you can’t overlook the humble resistance band - it’s a must-have for any gym bag!

Affordable, portable, and versatile, resistance bands are commonly made of rubber, latex, or stretchy fabric, making them easy to clean and a great option for working out when traveling or when you don’t have access to gym equipment.

With so many options for resistance bands on the market, there are a few considerations when deciding on which one is right for you. In this article, we are going to discuss how to use resistance bands to help you reach your health and fitness goals. 

What does your workout look like?

The first step to incorporating a resistance band into your workouts is deciding on the exercises you want to do. Resistance bands can be used for strength training, stretching, mobility, and cardio at any intensity - so having an idea of the workouts you plan to use the band for is a good way to start.

Consider your fitness goals, and do some research on the muscle groups and effective exercises you can do to work those muscles. The exercises you are going to be doing if you want to increase your cardio fitness are going to be very different from those if you are aiming to increase your muscular strength. 

Resistance band tension

The next important step in choosing which resistance band is going to work best for you is exploring the tensions of different bands. The tension of a band refers to the force generated by its material, with more tension requiring more strength to overcome. Most people opt for a light, medium, and heavy selection, as different muscle groups generally require unique tensions when working out.

Your fitness goals will be a good guide when deciding on the tension of your resistance bands - are you a seasoned gym junkie who wants to keep growing the muscles in your legs? A heavy resistance band would be ideal for you! Are you just looking for a way to keep active and moving with some light exercise? A light or medium band would be your best option. 

Location, location, location!

Using a resistance band opens you up to a wide range of possible exercises and stretches, so finding a space to work out is the next step to using resistance bands effectively.

If you have an anchor point, such as a banister, bar, or pillar, you can work your upper body with rows, curls, and assisted pull-ups.

With an open space, you can use your band to increase the difficulty of side-steps or jumping jacks. No need to stress out if you have limited space - if you can find a bit of room on the floor you can do leg raises or mountain climbers. 

Exercising is a vital part of staying healthy at all ages, but expensive gym memberships and lack of access to useful equipment can be seen as a barrier to keeping healthy.

Resistance bands are a great alternative to a lot of the machines and weights available at a conventional gym, and their affordability and small size make them a great resource for those who may not otherwise have access to equipment.

Following these simples guidelines is the best way to ensure you are getting the most effective resistance band workouts wherever you decide to use them, helping you achieve your fitness goals no matter what they are!

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