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I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Gustav Gossweiler for bringing resistance bands to this world. The ultimate home gym tool that's easy on your wallet, takes up next to no space, and offers a world of varied movement possibilities. Also, widely used by physiotherapists and Chiropractors for rehabilitation and therapy.
Coming out of a serious injury I fell in love with this equipment all the more and I would like to share the different exercises that I regularly do at home. Basically - no dumbbells, no problem. Build muscle and strength with these simple band exercises.
A squat is a fundamental human movement. We're experts at it as kids but as we grow older and are exposed to sit in various other positions like when we're driving or sitting for hours at a desk during work, this movement that would come to us naturally earlier, goes out of the window. It's a compound exercise that activates and uses all our major muscle groups. You can perform squats by only using your bodyweight or make it more challenging by adding weights (dumbbells or barbells). Don't worry if you don't have access to dumbbells or barbells - all you need is the resistance band. Here is how you can perform a squat using a resistance band.
The thruster is an exercise that has many benefits.
Total Body Strength - Tick
Fat Burner - Tick
Explosive Capacity - Tick
Do it for 30 seconds non-stop and your heart rate will go off the roof. The exercise is a combination of a squat and a shoulder press. Be careful; start with a lighter resistance band to get the hang of the movement and then slowly and gradually progress to heavier bands.
Rows are very effective for the back, deltoids, and biceps. All you need is a band with the right resistance level and an anchor to securely wrap the band around (note - if the resistance is not too high then you can wrap it around your feet) with the right posture, as demonstrated in the video below. The form is very important - you can use this exercise with higher resistance to build strength or row for 30 seconds with lower resistance and feel the burn.
Using resistance bands, you can work on stabilizing and strengthening your muscles which in turn reduces the chance of injury. The shoulder press is a simple exercise and yet has a very high impact as it works in isolation and you cannot use your lower body to generate momentum, unlike dumbbells or barbells.
Here's another favourite shoulder exercise - the high pull. When you're using resistance bands to do a high pull, it's a little different from when you're using barbells or kettlebells. High pulls using resistance bands should be led through the elbow. Don't use your glutes or abdomen to generate the pull. It's again very effective and works on your traps.
Bicep curls do call for tight t-shirts so bring em on! Bicep curls using resistance band is a very effective exercise with instant gratification - you can see the pump on your bicep almost immediately. However, you need to be careful of your form and avoid moving the elbows. Focus on engaging your biceps and generating power through them only. You can increase the difficulty level by increasing the resistance of the band. You can also wrap the same band around your feet to vary the resistance.
SIDE LAT RISES
Lat raises are very effective for the shoulders. You need to perform this exercise one side at a time. It can be done by wrapping the band around one foot and pulling the other end above shoulder height. Refer to the video below. The form is very important and you should avoid bending your arms and keep the body straight.
Deadlifts with a resistance band usually help a beginner to prepare and progress to using barbells but it also comes handy when you don't have access to barbells. Two key points to keep in mind;
Keep your hips pushed backward and your back flat
Do not shrug when you stand upright
BENT OVER ROW
The bent-over row is another impactful exercise for your back. It also works on your lats and biceps. Make sure your core is engaged and tight throughout the exercise. With slow controlled movements, you can feel your muscles get activated immediately. You need to be careful about your posture (keeping your back straight and hips pushed outward) while performing the exercise.
Tricep extension using resistance bands are quite easy to perform and works wonders. You need to maintain your form by keeping your body straight and core engaged. Additionally, keep your elbows close, locking them every time you extend. This is key for maximum impact.