Friday, Mar 23, 2018 | Last Update : 06:58 AM IST
The benefits of resistance training are immense.
Enough has been said and written about the importance and benefits of resistance training. But how does one incorporate it with basic workouts from the comfort at home? Not everyone can invest the required time and money that is needed to go to a fully-equipped gym or stock weights at home. Enter resistance bands! A resistance band is an elastic band used for strength training. These bands come in a variety of resistances, depending on fitness levels. With resistance bands, you can do just about any type of strength training exercise without the need for heavy weights. Here are five basic and regular workouts which you can do with these bands to up the ante of your workout routine. Even if you are new to a workout, the following will ensure a full body workout in the comfort of your house.
1. Squat and press
Stand on the band with the feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Holding the band with your hands by the shoulder, squat ensuring your hips are pressed back and down, and your knees don’t cross the toe line.
Ensure that your chest is up, back is straight and abs firm. Press into your heels as you stand up and raise your hands over the head similar to a barbell/ dumbbell shoulder press. Repeat 10-12 repetitions of three sets.
2. Glute Bridge
Wear the band around your legs right above your knees. Lie on your back with your feet on the floor, bending your knees to 90 degrees. Life your hips until your shoulders, hips, knees and feet are in one straight line. Ensure you contract your glutes as you raise it up — through the entire movement. You can also add a variation to this by opening the knees wider and bringing it back to the original spot a few times while the hip is raised to feel it in the inner thighs and outer glutes.
3. Lateral Band Walk
Wear the band around your legs right above your ankles. Place feet shoulder-width apart to create tension on the band. From a half-squat position, shift your weight to the left side, stepping sideways with the right leg. Move the standing leg slightly in, but keep the band taut. Take 8 to 10 steps before heading back the other way.
4. Band Box Step-up
Wear the band around your legs, right above your knee. Step up a box/elevated surface with the right leg. Keep the leg firmly pressed on the box while you lift the left leg up. Without touching the left foot on the box, lift the knee up and then step down with the left leg. Switch the leg and now step up with the left, while pulling the right knee up. Do 10 to 12 repetitions each.
5. Core Crunches
Loop the band around a steady/heavy stand which can be used as a source for the band. Lie down in supine position a little away from the source — just enough to create some tension when you wear the band at both the ankles.
Start from a mini boat position, with legs straight out and upper body down, start crunching by lifting the upper body high enough so the shoulder blades are off the floor, whilst pulling the knees in towards the abdomen and go back to starting position. Do 8 to 10 repetitions.
6. Cycling with a band
Yes you can do some resistance-based cardio too with these bands. Loop and wear the band on both your legs a little above the knee and start pedalling.
Ensure you push your knee slightly outward when it comes up during the pedalling motion.
— The writer Pooja Melwani is a certified yoga and functional fitness trainer with approx eight years of experience in fitness.