For those of us who like to avoid the gym but still want to get a great workout…
The gym isn’t everyone’s favorite place, which is understandable. It’s oftentimes sweaty and full of muscle bound dudes who hog the weights and machines. It can be tough to stay motivated in an environment like that, so what’s the alternative? No, the answer is not skipping your workout all together. The answer is that you should find a place where working out suits you! Whether that be in the comfort and privacy of your own home, at the park, or at the beach, creating a routine for yourself that’s effective is essential.
One helpful tool that has majorly grown in popularity are resistance bands. These multi-faceted pieces of equipment are great for building muscle, stretching, and increasing cardiovascular strength (aka all of the things you’re doing at the gym. They come in a variety of strengths, colors and designs. Some are better for certain workouts than others. Here’s a quick breakdown of some excellent workouts you can be doing with resistance bands and which kind you’ll need for each.
Using a pole, tree, or similar solid surface, take a band that has handles attached to the ends and wrap it around the pole so that you’re able to push away from it with the tension of the bands acting as weight. Push away from the body as though you were performing a standing bench press. You can also perform a chest fly exercise from this same position.
You’ll want to use a band with a slightly higher tension if you’re looking to build muscle. Lower tension is good for toning muscles.
Standing on top of the middle of the band, with a handle in each hand, bring the handles to your shoulders and press over your head in a controlled motion. Return hands to shoulders and repeat.
This will require a lighter band as you’ll need it to stretch from the ground all the way over your head. You can also use a circular band without any handles for this exercise.
Upper Back seated rows
Secure the band around a stationary bar or your feet and sit far enough so the tension of the band is high. Pull towards your midsection and hold with your shoulder blades pinched together. Return to start position and repeat.
The tension here can be a bit higher as you don’t have to worry about the band extending quite as far.
Similarly to the shoulder press, stand on the band evenly but with your feet shoulder width apart. Take the band in both hands and ensure that it’s going to be tense enough to work your muscles but loose enough to allow you to completely stand up. Perform a controlled squat motion.
Secure the band around a stationary bar or tree and face away from it while seated. Take the band in each hand and crunch forward, increasing the tension as you reach the top of your crunch. Slowly lower yourself back to the ground and repeat.
You can also perform this move by securing the band around a higher bar or surface, getting onto your knees, and crunching towards the ground.
These are five excellent moves you can be performing to increase your overall health and strength. There are TONS of variations for each of these moves plus lots of other workouts to target your other muscle groups.
Check out a selection of different resistance bands below to get yourself started!