Resistance band exercise is a form of resistance training for strengthening and toning the muscles. Resistance training refers to a physical fitness program, where efforts are made by the body against an opposing resistance.
As the body works to overcome the resistance, the specific muscles involved get toned and strengthened. Resistance training is an essential aspect of weight loss efforts because it works on muscles and helps burn calories at rest. With aerobic exercises, calories are burnt only at the time of exercise and not at rest.
Resistance training is most commonly done with resistance bands, free weights and special exercise machines.
Simply put, a resistance band is a tool that facilitates resistance training by providing adequate resistance to the body. The resistance band is an elastic stretchable band used for resistance band exercises and which provides resistance by virtue of its elasticity.
When you work out, you pull band so that it stretches, at the same time resisting the stretch so that your muscles work against that resistance. Resistance bands are equipped with handles to facilitate ease of use.
Resistance bands are available in varying tension levels and they are color coded to indicate the tension. The actual tension represented by each color varies according to the brand and must be ascertained with the retailer prior to purchasing. But the general color code is as follows:
Yellow: indicates that the bands offer relatively lower resistance and are suitable for use by beginners. They may even be used by elderly people who will not be able to cope with high resistance of the advanced level bands.
Red: usually indicates that the band will offer medium resistance in the resistance band exercises.
Green:People looking for hardcore workout and serious training can start with green bands, as they provide the first level of resistance for advanced workouts. Further, they can move on to the black, orange and silver color bands that offer extreme resistance.
Any and every exercise to strengthen and tone your muscles can be done with the bands. To be effective, they need to be anchored either to some piece of furniture at home or they can be placed under your feet or you can lie on the band.
Some of the popular exercises include squats and lunges (for legs), bicep curls and tricep extensions (for the arms) and chest presses designed for effective upper body workout.
The best way is to start with the right tension resistance band and incorporate as many repetitions as you can. Gradually increase the number of sets. If you feel that your body has become used to the current level of resistance, you can gradually move to another color.
The top most benefit of using resistance bands for exercising is the
element of flexibility (and portability) it brings to your workout.
Resistance bands being light weight and portable can be carried when you
travel so that you do not miss out on your exercise schedule when you
are out of town.
They are relatively inexpensive and you can do your workouts at home or in an open park. No need for expensive gym memberships.
Besides, workouts are extremely beneficial for the overall health as they improve your muscle strength and endurance and thus increase your flexibility. Unlike weight training, resistance band training is uninfluenced by gravity, giving your greater control over the workout.
By fine tuning the movements, it is possible to target specific muscles or muscle groups. Such specificity cannot be attained with weight training or training with resistance machines.
Go ahead. Make resistance band exercises part of your New Year fitness resolution and you will surely meet your weight loss goals.