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7 Reasons You Should Start Using Resistance Bands In Every Workout

7 Reasons You Should Start Using Resistance Bands In Every Workout

Over the years, more people have been starting to workout because the emphasis on health has become increasingly important. Nowadays, you have more products, supplements, and cardio workouts in the markets than ever before. Some of the most popular are include high-intensity interval training, and the 21-day fix, which is focused on nutrition. If you visit a sports store, you’ll notice an increased selection in equipment like weights, bags, benches, and resistance bands. They are more affordable now (as compared to several years back) because the cost of manufacturing has gone down considerably.

In the last seven years, I’ve tried almost every type of work program possible, and I recently started to incorporate resistance training instead of weights. This has reduced injuries, which are associated with heavy weight training, and has improved muscle tone.

For those of you looking to get started working out, or want to try something different, here are some benefits of using resistance bands in your training.

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1. They’re Cost Effective

Compared to traditional weights and workout equipment, resistance bands are very affordable, costing no more than $40.00 for a pair. If you have purchased heavy weights and benches, then you know you’d be spending $200 or more on quality equipment. With resistance bands, you can find them at a local sports store for around $40.00, or, if you buy a used pair, you can find them for a cheaper price. You can do a quick search on Kijiji or eBay, where you’ll find used resistance bands for $15.00.

If you are buying a used pair, it’s important to make sure they are adjustable, which you’ll learn the importance of next.

2. They’re Adaptable for Multiple Fitness Levels

The newer model resistance bands are adjustable, so they can be used by people with different fitness needs and abilities. For example, when you purchase actual weights, you may have to buy a huge selection so you’re ready when you decide to move up in weight levels. This can cost a lot of money, and after you move up, you’ll have no need for lower weights. On the other hand, with adjustable resistance bands, you can purchase one pair that can still be used when you decide to move up in strength level.

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    Image provided by topstretch.com

    3. They Give You a Full Body Workout

    With resistance bands, you can do a complete body workout with a single pair, and there are plenty of workouts that show you how to use bands for every muscle group in your body.

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      Image provided by topstretch.com

      4. They Take Up Very Little Space

      I’m sure you’ve visited a gym before, and the first thing you notice is how much space is required for all the equipment, which takes up a lot of room. But with resistance bands, you won’t run into that problem because you can easily store them in your closet. When you purchase bulky weight equipment, you’ll need a dedicated space to fit everything, and they often require space to move around and perform each exercise. However, with resistance bands, you can work out in your living room, basement, bedroom, and even backyard. After your workout is done, you can wrap the resistance bands and stow them away.

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      5. You Can Take Them On the Road

      When traveling, you might be concerned that you won’t have time to work out, or that it would be expensive to go to a local gym. With resistance bands, you can place them in your baggage and pull them out to work out in your hotel room, or, should it have one, in the hotel’s gym. You won’t miss a workout, and this keeps you feeling great every day.

      6. You Can Use Them Alone

      When lifting heavy weights, it’s recommended you have someone to “spot” you just in case you get stuck on your last repetition. With no one watching you, it’s possible you can seriously injure yourself by dropping a heavy weight on your chest, head, or arms. With resistance bands, you won’t face this problem because they are very easy and safe to use even when you’re alone.

      7. You Can Combine Them with Other Equipment

      If working out is your passion and you like to mix things up, then resistance bands can be combined to give you diversity. For example, resistance bands can be combined with benches, pull-down machines, dumbbells, and ab machines. This gives you a chance to keep your exercises different each month. But, if you want to switch back to just resistance bands, then this can be done easily, too.

      Featured photo credit: youtube.com via youtube.com

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      Last Updated on February 18, 2019

      8 Best Cardio Workouts for Efficient Weight Loss

      8 Best Cardio Workouts for Efficient Weight Loss

      When people think of cardio, usually a boring treadmill, elliptical machine, or other mundane activity comes to mind. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

      When you’re short on time or easily distracted, there are a variety of fat-burning cardio alternatives that will increase your body’s metabolism, boost weight loss, and keep you interested.

      Here’s a list of different types of cardio workouts:

      • Steady State (Burns less fat, but isn’t as demanding on the body)
      • Interval Training (Burns more fat)
      • HIIT
      • Spinning
      • Stairs
      • Weight Training (Supersets) short rest periods
      • Weight Training (Compound Sets) short rest periods
      • Machine Circuit Training

      And I’m going to talk about each of them in detail:

      1. Steady State

      Steady state cardio involves working at a low to moderate intensity — around 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, for a sustained period of time. This type of cardio doesn’t burn a huge number of calories, but it does burn a high percentage of fat tissue for fuel, and it isn’t too draining.

      An example of steady state cardio would be a long outdoor walk at a moderate pace. Interval training, on the other hand, is much more intense.

      2. Interval Training

      Similar to HIIT but with exercises that are slightly longer in duration, interval training alternates levels of intensity. For example, if you enjoy running, you would run or sprint for 30 seconds, then bring down your heart rate and walk for two minutes.

      Pick two intensities per interval, usually one at 85 percent of your maximum heart rate and the other at 60 percent, and alternate between them. I find that 85% for 30 seconds and 60% for one minute, not only burns more calories but increases my energy level as well.

      Another example would be jumping rope. Jump rope for two minutes, rest for one minute. Begin again, this time jumping rope for one minute and resting for one minute. On the third and final round, jump rope for 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds. Repeat five sets of this routine.

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      3. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

      Have a busy schedule? Fifteen minutes a few times a week is all you need. HIIT is an extremely popular workout because it can be done quickly, burn calories in a short amount of time, and can even be done in your home or during a lunch break at work. And the best part – You don’t need any equipment.

      With the use of your body weight, HIIT is typically 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of active rest which means your heart rate remains elevated for the entire 15-minute workout.

      Check out this HIIT routine by Fitness Blender: 15 Minute HIIT Workout

      4. Spinning

      Spinning is a great way to get your heart up and keep it up in a 45-minute spin class. Our thighs and back are our largest muscles so they work the hardest.

      To get the most out of spinning, try to stay out of the saddle throughout an entire spin class. That way, you are forced to hold up your body weight which burns more calories and increases intensity.

      It’s also great for stabilizing and building strong core muscles, versus cycling outdoors, where most of the time you are sitting in the saddle and going for distance (steady-state cardio).

      5. Stairs

      One of my favorite places to get out of the gym for cardio and trim fat from my thighs and butt is the Santa Monica Stairs, near California’s most popular beach. Climbing 170 steps a few times builds the glutes, leans the thighs, strengthens the calves, and builds endurance.

      So, if the gym is not your scene and you love the outdoors, climbing stairs is a great alternative. Find a place with multiple steps, do six or seven rounds, and you’ve easily burned around 600 calories.

      6. Supersets

      A superset is two exercises that work opposing muscle groups, such as biceps and triceps, quadriceps and hamstrings, or different body parts such as the lower and upper body with little to no recovery between sets.

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      The superset may include two to five sets of 8 to 15 repetitions of each exercise or more.[1]

      So, if you love to workout with weight-training but aren’t really feeling cardio, supersets with no more than 30-second rest periods between exercises will keep your heart rate up. Not only will you build muscle, you will burn fat!

      For example, say you are doing a leg workout, five sets of exercises with high reps and low weight is all it takes to turn your weight-training into a cardio workout.

      Here’s one of my leg training workouts:

      i. Dumbbell Step-Ups on a secure bench or box (4×15, each leg)

      ii. Front Squat (4×15)

      iii. Wide Stance Dumbbell Goblet (4×15)

      iv. Leg Extension (4×15)

      v. Leg Curl (4×15)

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        Photo Credit: Shape Magazine

        vi. Front Squat


          Photo Credit: Stack

          vii. Wide Stance Dumbbell Goblet Squat

          viii. Leg Extension

          ix. Leg Curl

            Photo Credit: T Nation

            7. Compound Sets

            Compound exercises are exercises that recruit muscles in the entire body, such as pull-ups, squats, bench press, etc. However, a compound set simply means to “compound” the number of different exercises into a series of sets with little or no recovery between, similar to supersets.

              This may be accomplished by performing four to five exercises for the same muscle group, opposing muscle groups or total body exercises performed in succession such as full body extensions, followed by squat/cleans and complete the compound set of compound exercises with lunges with biceps curls.

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              Compound sets put stress on the body and are great for expending additional calories while strength-training.

              8. Machine Weight Training Circuit

              Like compound exercises, a machine circuit workout targets the entire body, upper body, lower body, or core. The difference is, with the use of machines instead of free weights, muscle strength is increased by by making your muscles work against weight.[2] By limiting rest periods between exercises to 30 seconds, your metabolism will go into over-drive!

              Machines also give you better control over the exercises, which decreases risk of injury.

              Here’s a machine circuit training example: Muscle and Strength Machine Workout

              The Bottom Line

              The above-mentioned workouts should be completed within 30 minutes, unless you’re taking a class which is typically 45 to 60 minutes, giving you time to get on with the rest of your day.

              By keeping your rest periods to a minimum between exercises, your heart rate will stay elevated and you will burn more calories, get lean, and have more energy.

              Don’t be a gym rat, spending unnecessary time doing lengthy workouts that give you minimum results. For efficient weight loss, perform these workouts three times a week and watch the fat melt away while achieving your fitness goals.

              More Resources About Weight Loss

              Featured photo credit: Spencer Dahl via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Mountain Life Fitness: Super sets, compound sets and giant sets
              [2] Better Health Channel: Resistance training – health benefits

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