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Resistance Bands

Learn about working out with exercise bands

If you're looking for something inexpensive and versatile to spice up your boring workouts, take a look at resistance bands. Somewhat like a large rubber band, a resistance band is made from pliable yet hardy latex or another stretchable material. To use these bands, simply grasp the comfortable handles on the ends of the bands and pull. You'll feel your muscles tense up and work hard as you pull against the strong resistance.

Surprisingly, these low-tech, inexpensive bands can help you replicate most of the exercises you can do with expensive gym equipment. They are available in a wide range of colors, strengths and styles to suit anyone who wants to tone up, gain muscle mass or lose weight.

Simple Techniques for Using Resistance Bands

Of course, the easiest way to incorporate resistance bands into your workout is simply to use them to tone and strengthen your arms by pulling each end of the band. But there are a number of other easy techniques you might want to try. Place one end of the bands under your feet and pull with your arms in the form of a bicep curl for a more strenuous bicep workout. Or adapt other existing exercises to use bands. Squats, chest presses and seated row exercises are great with resistance bands. For chest presses, you'll need to attach the exercise resistance bands firmly to a doorway or another solid object.

Advanced Resistance Band Exercises

If you've mastered some of the simple ideas above, it may be time to move on to some advanced band techniques. One tried-and-true exercise system consists of a combination of resistance bands and an exercise ball. You'll need a harness to attach to the ball to keep your bands in place. Seated rows, chest presses and bicep curls can all be done with a band-and-ball combo, providing a superior resistance band workout.

Another possibility is to use a specialized attachment for your exercise bands. One innovative product is the resistance band balance board. This simple board can be threaded with bands. You then stand on it while grasping both ends of the band. You can perform a number of different exercises while standing on the board, which helps improve your balance and coordination, plus you can gain muscle strength at the same time.

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