Tips from the Pros

All About Exercise Bands

Now that FizzUp offers a new goal to “Build Muscle with Equipment,” it’s time we talked about simple everyday objects that can actually work wonders when it comes to strength training. They’re not some fancy gym machine, but something much lighter and understated: exercise bands. Learn more about a tool that can completely transform the way you work out.

WHY SHOULD YOU USE EXERCISE BANDS?

Exercise bands used to be a popular choice, but then they were dethroned by dumbbells. Recently, they’ve made a comeback because they offer so many benefits. They’re even used by physiotherapists to speed up rehabilitation, so they’ve got to be doing something right! Exercise bands are great for improving key athletic skills such as strengths, speed and power. They also make it possible to take your bodyweight or dumbbell strength training a step further with the extra resistance they can exert on your muscles. In other words, the more you stretch the band, the more resistance it creates. This means that your muscles have to use more of their strength as the band tries to go back to its original shape.

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In order to gain mass, your muscles should to be under constant tension, but when you use equipment like exercise bands, this isn’t the case. Some joint positions have the power to really put your muscles under tension, but require little strength, like the effort needed to do a bench press. It’s harder to hold your arms up when they’re bent than when they’re straight in the air. The advantage of working out with exercise bands is that they can make an exercise easier or harder. Take chin-ups, for example. Exercise bands can “assist” you as you move up and down, or turn up the difficulty for exercises like kickbacks.

Your muscles function much like an exercise band. When they’re under tension, they create elastic strain energy as they try to snap back to their shape while at rest. This explains why exercise bands are extremely effective in helping you build strength and power. They require extra muscle strength to keep the exercise band from violently snapping back at you. For instance, if you’re doing kickbacks with an exercise band, your muscles will have to provide enough strength to control the movement as you lower your leg so that the band doesn’t suddenly snap back. When you do kickbacks with an exercise band, you work your muscles when you lift AND lower your leg.

HOW TO USE AN EXERCISE BAND

For your safety while using exercise bands, make sure to keep your joints strong and stable. Your FizzUp workout program includes strength training exercises that use basic movements such as squatting, standing, lifting, walking, running, pushing, pulling and bending. These are the best exercises to use if you want to add an exercise band to your workout. The resistance that an exercise band exerts on your body when you do one of these exercises won’t lead to injury.

Try adding an exercise band to some simple bodyweight exercises in your FizzUp workout, such as kickbacks, push-ups, squats and chin-ups.

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  • For kickbacks, exercise bands make it easier to strengthen your glutes in less time, getting you an attractively rounded and toned behind. They also make the exercise significantly more difficult. If you want to add an exercise band to your workout, you need to use it during the first evaluation at the beginning of your FizzUp level so that your maximum number of repetitions is based on this level of difficulty. Otherwise, if you do your evaluation without an exercise band and add it later, the number of repetitions the trainer gives you for the rest of the level won’t be correctly calibrated. Hook the exercise band around the sole of your left foot and hold the other end with your left hand. It should go all the way around your leg. Come onto all fours with your knees on the floor. This is the kickback starting position. Extend your leg back to stretch the exercise band with your foot without arching your back too much. Make sure to keep your head and back aligned. Start to lower your leg without letting it touch the floor, then repeat the movement. Do as many repetitions as you want before switching sides.

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  • For push-ups, exercise bands turn up the intensity as you push your body up from the floor. This means that your back muscles, pecs and arms have to work a lot harder. Make a knot in the center of the exercise band before you strap it across your back as you hold an end with each hand. Next, all you have to do is do a push-up as you make sure to keep your back straight and engaged. When you do this, you’ll feel extra resistance in your back.

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  • For squats, exercise bands actively build your glutes and quads, as well as your hamstrings and calves to a lesser extent, making this one of the best ways to get a rounder booty. Wrap the exercise band around one of your shoulders and the opposite foot. For instance, one end should be wrapped around your right shoulder, and the other around your left foot. Keep your back straight and contract your abs as you do a squat. You’ll start to feel more resistance in your shoulder. Wrap the exercise band around the opposite shoulder and foot to work the other side of your body.

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  • For pull-ups or chin-up, exercise bands make these exercises easier. They assist you as you begin to lift your body and support your body when you lower it. Without one, pull-ups and chin-ups require a lot of muscle strength. You can use different sizes of exercise bands to have more or less assistance as you do the exercise. Loop the exercise band around the pull-up bar, then thread both your feet through the hanging end. Grasp the bar, then pull up to lift your chest. Do as many repetitions as you can.

Now that you’re in the know about exercise bands, you’ve got every reason to use them to build strength, speed and power. Try these tips during your next workout. The FizzUp trainer is waiting!

The Author

FizzUp Staff

FizzUp Staff

As passionate bloggers, the FizzUp Staff’s sole purpose is to motivate the community with insightful and fun articles. Team spirit is one of our core values, whether we’re at work or exercising together in the FizzUp Box.