Innovate your workout session by using resistance bands instead of weights
Are you used to training with dumbbells, barbells, plates, et al? If you’ve been resisting change in your workout routine, it’s time you open up your mind and body to variable resistance training (VRT). According to celebrity fitness expert Bhavna Harchandrai, resistance bands offer an edge over weight training.
“While training with dumbbells, barbells and plates, the resistance or load is constant. It means that the resistance varies through the range of motion of the exercise. The load is the highest when you achieve extension at the top of your movement and the lowest at the bottom range,” Harchandrai tells HealthShots.
The expert tells us what variable resistance training helps you with:
- It is proven to be superior in increasing lean body mass, strength and power when compared to typical constant resistance training
- VRT using resistance bands is also a very convenient way to exercise
- The bands are light (almost weightless), portable and occupy zero space. That makes them the best travel workout companion
Also Read: From a toned back to muscle mass, here is why resistance training is the workout of my dreams
Here’s how to incorporate resistance bands to replace standard weight training exercises:
- Stand with legs shoulder-distance apart
- Place the band loop under your feet, holding the band firmly, with your palms facing upwards, arms along your sides
- Squat down to a point just where your hamstrings are slightly below parallel to the floor
- Then rise upwards to a fully erect position, feeling your squats contract
- Keep your back straight at all times.
- Lat Pull-downs:
- Loop the band around a high wall hook or a strong overhead latch
- Holding on to both handholds, kneel down with one knee on the floor to a position where you just start feeling the tension in the band
- Then slowly pull down your elbows, keeping your back straight
- Feel your back muscles contract as you do the move
- Hold on for a second before slowly releasing your elbows upwards to starting position
- Static lunges:
- Stand in static lunge position, back upright, band under the arch of the front foot.
- Hold the band, maintaining medium tension, equidistant with both hands.
- Bend your knees into a lunge, lift up to return.
Also Read: Want freedom from belly fat? Try these 3 effective resistance band exercises
- The resistance band provides added resistance to a traditional push-up
- Loop the band around your back and under the armpits
- Cross the band at the center with the straps secured to your palms; and place both hands to the floor as you get into a traditional push-up position
- Lower yourself down to a push-up and back to the starting position.
- Stand with the band loop firmly below your feet, holding on to both handholds in your fists as you would hold jugs, along your sides
- Push out your hips backwards while keeping your back straight, chest pushed forward and upward
- Starting from a squat position like this, stand fully erect till you feel your back muscles tense
- Hold on for a second, before slowly returning to the starting position.
- Bicep curls:
- Stand with the band loop firmly below your feet, holding on to both handholds, palms facing upwards along your sides
- Start a curling motion with your elbows firmly against your sides, till you feel your biceps contract fully
- Hold for a second before slowly returning to the starting position.
- Triceps extensions
- Hook the resistance band around a door handle
- Place a mat down and go down on your knees, with your back towards the doorpost
- Hold the band ends in both hands, with your elbows pointing forward and parallel to the floor
- Then slowly extend your arms forward, feeling your triceps tense
- Once fully extended outwards, hold for a second before slowly returning to the starting position.
- Overhead presses:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with the band loop firmly below both feet
- Holding on to the band handholds with both hands along your sides, raise your arms upwards till full extension overhead
- Then slowly bring them down to shoulder level.
The last word
All the above exercises pretty much work out the entire body, and can be performed at your home, or wherever you might be travelling to. Try doing 3 sets of 12-15 reps each for all the exercises.