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The Many Benefits of Resistance Band Training

May 11, 2012

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Resistance bands aren't as imposing as heavy plates, and they lack the appeal of clanking iron, yet they're a great addition to any workout. Don't let their simple appearance fool you—resistance band exercises are no joke.

The bands challenge your muscles by creating resistance in multiple directions. You must stabilize against this resistance to maintain the correct movement pattern for each exercise. The result is increased strength in the targeted muscle group. As an added bonus, stabilizer and support muscles, which are often neglected during traditional training, are also strengthened.

No Gym Necessary
Resistance bands are small and compact enough to fit almost anywhere, making them easy to transport. Plus, the bands are extremely cheap. You can use them to create an effective workout at home, in school or at the gym.

Full-Body Work
Your entire body can get a workout with resistance band exercises. Using the bands forces your body to maintain stability throughout an entire movement. This engages multiple muscles simultaneously, so your entire body gets a workout in a short period of time. For example, wrap a resistance band around a pole and perform Resistance Band Chest Presses. Or stand on a band for Resistance Band Squats.

Versatility
Resistance bands are one of the more versatile pieces of workout equipment, because the resistance can easily be adjusted. For a harder workout, use a thicker band, add more bands or simply stretch the band more. Perform the same exercise for strength with a heavy band or for endurance and conditioning with a light band. For sport-specific exercises, perform movements at game-time speeds.

Reduced Injuries
Resistance band training is low-impact and easy on the joints. For in-season athletes, who are already taking a beating from competition, this type of training tool is perfect for maintaining strength. Also, increased stabilizer muscle strength protects joints and keeps them pain-free.

Substitute some of your standard exercises with their resistance band counterparts to achieve your strength and appearance goals. Perform each exercise for three sets of 10 reps.

Resistance Band Bicep Curls

  • Stand on band holding handles with palms facing out
  • Bend elbows to perform Curl; keep elbows close to sides
  • Slowly lower to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Resistance Band Chest Flies

  • Secure resistance band around stationary post
  • Stand facing away from post holding resistance band with arms to sides and palms forward
  • Flex chest to bring hands together in front of chest; keep arms straight
  • Slowly separate arms to return to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Resistance Band Overhead Press

  • Stand on resistance band holding handles at shoulder level with palms facing away and elbows to sides
  • Press arms overhead
  • Slowly lower arms to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Resistance Band Squats

  • Stand on resistance band holding handles at shoulder level with palms facing away and elbows to sides
  • Assume athletic stance
  • Bend hips and knees to lower into Squat until thighs are parallel to ground
  • Drive out of Squat to return to start position
  • Repeat for specified reps

Resistance Band Glute Extensions

  • In all-fours position, wrap resistance band around right foot and hold handles in hands
  • Extend right leg straight back and squeeze glute
  • Slowly return to start position; repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with opposite leg

Photo:  bodybuilding.com

Kermit Cannon
- Kermit Cannon is the owner of Youth Sports Training and the author of "The Beast Factory," a nutrition and fitness book for athletes. For 19...
Kermit Cannon
- Kermit Cannon is the owner of Youth Sports Training and the author of "The Beast Factory," a nutrition and fitness book for athletes. For 19...
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