Michael Carrera, MSc
Want to stretch out your workout this fall? Rubber exercise bands are a simple piece of equipment that can enhance your workout at home, at the gym, or on the road. Exercise makes you look better and, of course, it makes you feel better, too.
Want to stretch out your workout this fall? Rubber exercise bands are a simple piece of equipment that can enhance your workout at home, at the gym, or on the road.
Exercise makes you look better and, of course, it makes you feel better, too. Regular exercise in the form of resistance and cardiovascular training improves your fitness levels and can help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Now that the summer months are over, it’s time to leave summer activities behind and start an indoor training regimen.
Versatile and Flexible
Rubber bands have been around for many years and continue to be the equipment of choice at many rehabilitation centres. They are ideal for strengthening and toning the entire body and can be used in conjunction with any type of exercise program. They are particularly preferred when training for sports such as swimming and boxing that require a high level of muscle endurance development.
Rubber bands are inexpensive, versatile, and safe. For as little as $20, you can buy yourself one or two rubber bands. They come in different resistance levels and range in weight from 5 to 20 lbs. Manufacturers use colour codes to distinguish resistance, and some even offer a door-handle attachment as part of their package. Choose a band with a resistance level that allows the performance of 10 to 30 repetitions per set.
Banding and Lifting
Exercising with rubber bands causes less impact on joints than free weights or machines. Since a rubber band is elastic, the more you pull it the greater the resistance becomes. Imagine grasping the handles of a rubber band and placing them at chest level. As you extend your arms and force the handles towards the ceiling, the band stretches and the tension increases.
Exercising with rubber bands does not mean that free weights or machines should be removed from your program. Rubber bands can complement your resistance training workout. Exercising with rubber bands provides a low-level, constant resistance that allows you to recover quickly from sets and move on to new exercises. Rubber bands can be used as a way of breaking through a workout plateau or spicing up a routine.
Add Bands to Your Gym Workout
Maybe you’re looking for a way to include rubber bands as part of your workout routine. At the end of a set using free weights or machines, you can immediately perform similar exercises with rubber bands. For instance, after completing a set of dumbbell bicep curls while seated, you can then perform bicep curls while standing with rubber bands. You will really feel your muscles burn after the additional workout with the bands. Make sure to stretch your muscles at the end of the double set.
You can also try a workout (see bellow) with rubber bands and body weight exercises and repeat each exercise twice (two sets). The workout will take between 15 and 20 minutes. At the end of each circuit, don’t forget to rest for 60 seconds.
On the Road Again?
You don’t have time to go to the gym? You travel too often? No problem, a rubber band is easy to store or pack–and all you need to get your heart rate up, burn off some stress and calories, and improve your level of fitness. Some hotel chains in Canada and the United States will even supply their guests with a set of rubber bands so they can enjoy a fun and quick workout in their rooms.
Rubber bands are simple to use, portable, and highly effective exercise tools. Get stretching today!
Rubber Band and Body Weight Workout
body squats/shoulder press combo: 15
high knees on the spot: 20 seconds
abdominal crunches: 25
kneeling tricep extensions : 12-15
high knees on the spot: 20 seconds
oblique twists: 12/side
standing bicep curls: 12-15
lower back extensions: 15