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7 Resistance Band Exercises You Can Try at Home for a Perfect Body Shape

7 Resistance Band Exercises You Can Try at Home for a Perfect Body Shape

Do you ever feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to pack everything up, drive across town, and head to the gym for a good workout? Having so many responsibilities these days (like long work hours, children, or pets) makes going to the gym more complicated and seemingly impossible. If you’re one of those people who have a hard time getting to the gym, resistance band exercises could be your answer to a toned and healthy body.

You Can Easily Turn Your Home into a Gym Room With Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are some of the most versatile and easy exercise equipment you can find. They come in many different lengths, sizes, and strengths for challenging workouts and are relatively inexpensive for an entire set. Also, they are extremely portable and easy to store, making them perfect for stowing away at home and bringing them along on your vacation or to the gym. Keep reading for 7 of the best resistance band exercise ideas!

1. Squat

    via POPSUGAR

    Tones butt and legs

    The Move: Stand on the band with feet spread hip-width apart. Holding the handles of the band in each hand, bring them up just above each shoulder to get tension in the band. Slowly squat like you are sitting in a chair with your chest up, keeping your abs tight and hands above the shoulders. Rise back up to standing position and repeat!

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    2. Woodchopper

      via POPSUGAR

      Tones shoulders, abs, butt, and legs

      The Move: Anchor your band to a low anchor, like a table leg or lower doorway, about a foot off the floor. Stand so the anchor point is on your right with your feet a little wider than hip width. While holding the band handle in both hands at your right hip, bend at the knees and hips, so your thighs are parallel to the floor (like you’re sitting in a chair). Now stand and twist your torso to the left, pulling your arms diagonally across body towards left shoulder, up and outwards. Hold for a second and then return to the start position and repeat for 15 reps on each side.

      3. Ski Jump

        via prevention.com

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        Tones shoulders, abs, butt, and legs

        The Move: Find an anchor for your band that is above your head (like the top of a doorway). Facing your anchor point, hold your band handles in each hand, palms down, and feet at hip width apart. Start by lowering into a deep sitting position (squat) while simultaneously bringing arms down to your sides. Hold this position for a second and return to start position.

        4. Upright Row

          Tones shoulders, back, and legs

          The Move: Start by standing on your band with feet hip-width apart. Crisscross the band in front of you, and hold the crisscrossed handles in each hand in front of your body. Bend knees into a squat. With tension in the exercise band, slowly raise your hands up towards your chin and hold for a second, feeling the burn in your shoulders and upper back. Slowly lower down to starting position and repeat.

          5. Biceps Curl

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            via POPSUGAR

            Tones biceps

            The Move: Stand evenly on your exercise band using both feet with feet hip-width apart and handles in each hand. With hands in starting position down at your sides, keep your upper arms still and bend forearms at the elbow, raising the bands up towards your shoulders. Lower and repeat.

            6. Triceps Kickback

              via askdeniza.com

              Tones shoulders and triceps

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              The Move: Start by standing with your feet a few inches apart and with the band under both feet. With a handle in both hands, bend at the hips, so your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. Starting with your upper arms parallel to the floor and lower arms at a 90-degree angle, slowly raise your lower arms towards your hips with palms facing the ceiling. Lower and repeat for more reps.

              7. Reverse Crunch

                via Fit Gent

                Tones back, abs, and thighs

                The Move: Attach the exercise band to a secure low anchor about a foot off the ground. Lie on your back facing the anchor and wrap the band around the tops of both feet. With your knees at a 90-degree angle, pull your knees towards your shoulders, contracting your abdominal muscles. Slowly return to start and do 15 to 20 reps.

                Putting it all together

                Now that you have the tools for an easy and portable workout plan, it’s time to put it all together. Using these resistance band exercises as an entire workout will give you a great total body burn. Shoot for 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps each. Do this 3 to 5 times per week to start toning up those lax muscles.

                Not only will resistance band exercises strengthen and tone your entire body, but they’ll also help give you more energy and confidence as you start to see results. Resistance band exercises can make your workouts more convenient and fun, helping you to stick with your exercise plan in the long run.

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                Amanda Light

                Wife, Mom, Writer

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                Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

                Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

                If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

                When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

                In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

                1. Salmon

                Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

                It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

                Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

                Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

                Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

                Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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                2. Blueberries

                Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

                Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

                Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

                Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

                Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

                3. Turmeric

                Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

                Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

                Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

                Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

                Curcumin has also been shown to:

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                • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
                • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
                • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
                • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

                4. Coffee

                Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

                Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

                Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

                Coffee can also:

                • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
                • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
                • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
                • Improve your memory.
                • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

                5. Broccoli

                What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

                Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

                Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

                Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

                Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

                6. Bone broth

                Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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                Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

                Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

                Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

                Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

                With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

                Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

                7. Walnuts

                Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

                Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

                Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

                Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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                8. Eggs

                For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

                Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

                Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

                9. Dark chocolate

                You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

                Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

                Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

                Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

                Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

                Conclusion

                Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

                In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

                If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

                More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
                [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
                [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
                [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
                [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
                [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
                [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
                [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
                [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
                [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
                [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
                [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
                [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
                [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
                [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
                [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
                [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
                [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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