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Last Updated on December 16, 2020

How To Stay In Shape With Resistance Band Workouts

How To Stay In Shape With Resistance Band Workouts
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Do you worry about how to stay in shape at home or when you go traveling?

Whether you’re trying to lose fat or gain muscle, either staying at home  or traveling can halt or even hurt your progress because your daily routine is thrown off, you’re constantly busy, you may not have access to a gym.

There’s good news, though!  With a little planning and creativity, you can stay in shape anywhere at any time, or even improve your fitness level. Use these hacks to stay healthy and return even better than you left!

1. Carry Your Gym With You

Rather than get stuck with whatever you can find, try portable resistance-training workout. Three of the best items to include for both men and women are a set of resistance bands with door anchor and ankle strap attachments, loop bands, and a jump rope. It’s also a good idea to take a flat band, which is ideal for warm-ups and post-workout stretching.

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All of these are compact and lightweight, and will equip you to do both strength-training and cardio in your hotel room or outdoors.

    2. Rely on Resistance Bands

    Resistance bands offer a unique benefit from free weights because they create tension throughout the entire movement, requiring more control during an exercise. By forcing the muscles to constantly work, this form of resistance will increase the muscle fiber recruitment for better results. They also allow you to work from more angles, which gives you greater variety with less equipment, and aids in increased mobility and flexibility.

    Using a door anchor with resistance bands adds multiple exercise options to hit your full body, and an ankle strap will make leg and glute workouts much simpler. Loops bands will allow you to do a greater variation of lower body exercises with more effectiveness than bodyweight alone. These are great for activating the glute (butt) muscles as well. And by activating them before heavier leg exercises like squats and lunges, you’ll see better results because you’ll be using the correct muscles to perform the exercise, not relying on stronger muscles like quads and hamstrings to take over.

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    Even if you’re an experienced gym rat, when you switch to bands during vacation, you’ll stimulate your muscles in new ways, which is a helpful trick for busting plateaus!

    Make sure to take a set of 2-4 bands, because you’ll need different levels of resistance for different muscle groups. See below for sample workouts you can use on your trip!

    3. Do High Intensity Cardio

    Keep your cardio short but effective. A great way to do this is high intensity interval training (HIIT) or Tabata. The method behind both types of exercise is to perform the moves with all-out effort for a short period of time, followed by a short period of rest.

    For Tabata, this looks like 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 8 rounds. For HIIT, there is more flexibility, but may be something like 30 seconds on, 1 minute off. The key to both methods is to work as hard as you can during the work period (we’re talking sprint, not jog), then rest completely to let your heart rate drop back down.

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    The benefit of both is that all you really need is your bodyweight. You can also do this on any cardio equipment. You’ll likely burn as many calories as you would during  longer duration, steady-state cardio, plus you’ll use more muscle, which torches additional calories post-workout.

    Example HIIT:

    • Jump rope, sprint, or run stairs – 30 seconds
    • Rest – 1 minute
    • Repeat for a total of 15-20 minutes

    Example Tabata:

    • Mountain climbers – 20 seconds (rest 10 seconds)
    • Jump rope – 20 seconds (rest  10 seconds)
    • Squat jumps – 20 seconds (rest 10 seconds)
    • Burpees – 20 seconds (rest 10 seconds)

    (Repeat 8 times)

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    Sample Workouts

    Start with the following warm up, then complete 3-4 sets of each exercise, either in a circuit or one at time (if one at a time, rest 30 seconds between each set).

    Warm-Up (using a flat therapy band, perform 15-20 reps of each)

    • Pass throughs
    • Bent over rows
    • Pull-aparts
    • Squats (standing on band, holding ends in each hand by shoulders)
    • Jumping jacks

    Upper Body Resistance Band Workout

    • Plank – 1 minute (no band needed)
    • Back row (anchor in door) –15-20 reps
    • Resisted push-ups (with flat band)– 10-15 reps
    • Mountain climbers (no band needed)
    • Bicep curl – 15-20 reps
    • Shoulder press – 12-15 reps
    • Triceps Extensions – 15-20 reps

    Lower Body Resistance Band Workout

    • Lateral walks (place loop band around lower thighs) – 15 each direction
    • Glute bridge (place loop band around lower thighs) – 20 reps
    • Squats (holding band in hands at shoulders )– 15-20 reps
    • Jump rope – 1 minute
    • Stationary lunges (holding band in hands at shoulders) – 10-12 each leg
    • Glute kickback (using ankle cuff and door anchor) – 15 reps each leg
    • Leg extensions (using ankle cuff and door anchor) – 15 reps each leg
    • Jump rope – 1 minute

    Full-Body

    • Plank – 1 minute
    • Core rotations (anchor in door) – 12 reps each side
    • Fire hydrants (with loop band around lower thighs) – 12 each leg
    • Squat with bicep curl – 15 reps
    • Bent-over row – 15-20 reps
    • Jump rope – 1 minute
    • Lunge with shoulder press – 10 reps each side
    • Burpees – 10 reps

    Be sure to stretch at the end using a flat band, including hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, chest, back and shoulders.

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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    Published on July 30, 2021

    7 Best Resistance Bands to Work Out at Home

    7 Best Resistance Bands to Work Out at Home
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    Looking for the ideal way to build up strength at home can be challenging, especially if you don’t have that much space to get workout equipment or build your own home gym. Besides using your own body weight, you can make use of a resistance band, a simple tool to help with your workout at home. These bands provide enough challenges where you can build your strength from various exercises. One of their main benefits is that they allow you to strengthen your natural body movement patterns.[1] They are also very small and won’t take up much space in your home.

    Resistance bands are designed to simulate weight lifting. While these bands are very light, the various movements you’ll be doing will be met with resistance depending on the band that you got. For this list, I’ve picked out some of the best ones that you can use to build up your strength at home.

    How We Picked the Best Resistance Bands

    Before diving into the list, here are the criteria that we used to determine the best resistance bands available on the market:

    • Type – Each type of band here is based on the popular options of bands. Things like loop bands, tube bands, circle bands, and figure-eight bands are popular options. Each type has its own perks depending on the exercise that you are doing or want to do.
    • Weight range – Since you’re not using free weights, you’ll want the weight range to go from simple to challenging over time. Each of these packs will allow you to easily do this.
    • Material – Because these products are bands, you’ll find most of them to be made of rubber or latex. These bands provide either one or the other material. For more elasticity in the bands, latex is the better option.

    1. Best Overall: Fit Simplify Resistance Bands

      For those looking for classic resistance band sets, this set has got you covered. It comes with five rubber resistance loops that are thick, durable, and won’t harm your skin. Each loop offers a resistance level between two and 30 pounds, making them ideal to scale up intensity levels during workouts.

      These are the best overall because you can work from really low levels before building up in intensity. You also don’t have to worry about mixing up your loops either as they’re all color-coded and have their intensity levels marked.

      Pick up Fit Simplify’s Resistance Bands here.

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      2. Best Budget Resistance Bands: Insonder Bands Set

        While resistance bands are generally cheap when compared to other workout equipment, some products can offer more value for the price you pay. Out of the many we looked at, the best budget-friendly ones are the bands from Insonder.

        They offer a resistance level of 15 and going up to 40 pounds. They’re also made of latex so, unlike other brands, they’re stretchier and will last longer and provide additional comfort when you use them.

        While the starting weight is ideal for those who are familiar with bands already, these are also great if you’ve got some experience with bands or you’re looking to challenge yourself.

        Purchase Insonder’s Resistance Bands here.

        3. Best Set: Kootek 18-Pack Resistance Bands Set

          Most resistance band sets are very straightforward with what you get—five (or possibly more) of a certain style of resistance bands with varying degrees of intensity. However, some resistance band sets offer incredible value that extends beyond that.

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          Consider the one from Kootek, which offers 18 bands. What’s amazing about this set is that they provide different combinations of bands. Through this set you’ll get:

          • Five latex resistance loops (that offer between five and 40 pounds of resistance)
          • Five resistance tubes (offering ten and 50 pounds of resistance)
          • Two handles
          • Two ankle straps
          • A door anchor

          It’s incredible value for the price if you don’t mind having all this equipment at home.

          Purchase Kootek’s 18-Pack Resistance Bands here.

          4. Best for Glutes: Peach Bands Resistance Bands Set

            Another classic resistance band brand is Peach Bands. This brand has always focused on lower-body workouts, and their bands haven’t changed since then. That said, these bands are made of latex, which promises to be lightweight, durable, and stretchy.

            These bands are also very beginner-friendly, starting with 10-pound options and going up to 35 pounds.

            Buy Peach Bands Resistance Bands here.

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            5. Best for Flexibility: TheraBand Resistance Band Set

              Traditional loop bands are ideal if you’re looking to build up strength as they tend to offer great resistance. That said, all that weight doesn’t necessarily make you use your full range of motion. This is a big problem if your goal is to improve your flexibility. Traditional bands can’t help in that area at all, but resistance straps can.

              TheraBand is one of the best brands we found that offer resistance straps to help with flexibility. Each strap is five feet long and five inches wide, allowing you to perform all kinds of exercises.

              Naturally, the weight range for these is limited to 4.3 and 6.7 pounds, but the focus is on stretching your muscles rather than building strength.

              Purchase TheraBand Resistance Bands here.

              6. Best Non-Slip: RenoJ Bands Set

                RenoJ’s Booty Band Resistance set offers three resistance loops ranging from two to seven pounds. While these bands are fewer in number and offer less weight range, the key selling point for these bands is that they’re not going to be slipping at all when you’re performing exercises.

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                The reason these won’t be slipping is that their material is made of fabric. The fabric allows you to grip easier, provides you further comfort, and is even more durable than latex. This is a big deal as people’s skin can get irritated by latex or have to deal with latex-type bands slipping and sliding while doing exercises. With these, you can have peace of mind that they’ll not be slipping off.

                Buy RenoJ Resistance Bands here.

                7. Most Durable: SPRI Braided Xertube Bands

                  The final of the best resistance bands we’re offering is the SPRI Braided Xertube resistance bands. Their main selling point is the fact that these bands are the most durable out of all the options here.

                  Tube bands are already quite durable on their own, but these bands are braided to provide further durability. They also offer great levels of resistance ranging between 12.5 and 62.5 pounds so you can easily find bands to suit your needs. The only catch is that each of the bands offered is sold separately.

                  Buy SPRI Braided Xertube Resistance Bands here.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Depending on your exercising needs, you can find all kinds of resistance bands to fit your needs. If you’re new to resistance bands, try out some of the lower weighted bands and work your way upwards until you want to go for higher intensity. For those who are more experienced, dive into some of the higher-level ones and work through some quality bands that were built to last.

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                  You can check out this guide for some resistance band exercises:

                  Featured photo credit: Geert Pieters via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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