Resistance bands are a great option over weights, especially if you are working out from home. You will be surprised how much impact that resistance bands will have on your muscles, and how much you will feel that post-work pain from a great workout. The first time I used resistance bands, I thought they were doing little until the next day.
Another great advantage of resistance bands is that they are so inexpensive, especially compared with buying a whole workout kit, including weights for your home. Resistance band training can be used to replace weight training as well as be used to complement weight training.
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF RESISTANCE BANDS FOR MEN AND WOMEN OVER 40
For those of us over 40 years of age, resistance bands are an excellent choice of training. They are a particularly good choice for women who are looking to tone up and build muscle strength without using weights. For men who love weights, they will also help you to get into different muscle groups and build strength.
Resistance bands are one of the best workout tools for both men and women.
MUSCLES RESPOND TO RESISTANCE BANDS THE SAME AS OTHER TRAINING METHODS
Resistance bands are a great alternative to weights or even a great addition to a traditional weight training program. They’re inexpensive, versatile, and work your muscles in a completely different way than weights. The fact is that training with resistance bands will build your muscles and tone up your body just as much as any other equipment. This fact has been proved by a number of prominent studies.
Resistance bands don’t get the credit they deserve. I was one of the people who did not believe these bands could possibly help my workout and I was completely wrong until I tried. In reality, resistance bands can give excellent workouts. Let’s compare lifting a dumbbell and lifting a resistance band held by your foot. Working out with resistance bands feels different. The intensity increases as the band stretches. While many people relax on the way down with dumbbell curls, the same cannot be said with resistance bands. They continue to pull down. The intensity at the peak of the lift is as much as you can muster – the resistance is equivalent to any amount of weight you want to use with a dumbbell.
EASY ON THE JOINTS
The first and most important benefit of resistance bands for those of us in our 40s, 50s and 60s is the fact that they are very easy on our joints. This is one of the reasons I have continued to use them more in my workouts. This is particularly important for those getting started but should not be forgotten by those who have been working out for some time. Damage your joints with free weights and you will regret it for some time. Big benefit number one; resistance bands are easy on the joints.
Coordination is increased as you will always need to keep some muscle tension on resistance bands. To help increase your coordination, work with two resistance bands which helps you to trigger your stabiliser muscles while you keep the bands in the right position throughout the exercise.
VARIETY OF EXERCISES
If you can think of it, you can work out the muscles you want to with resistance bands. For arm curls, hold the bands with your feet. To work out your triceps, get on your knees and use a door handle. Get creative. Sit on a chair with a resistance band around your knees and spread your legs for 30 or more repetitions for an excellent inner thigh workout. That reminds me, I tend to do more repetitions with resistance bands. I’ll talk a little bit more about some exercises for both strength training and cardio for both men and women in a moment, but let’s focus on what resistance bands are the easiest and most effective to work with.
BUYING RESISTANCE BANDS
You will find a huge range of resistance bands available in stores and online. Some are more expensive than others. Some have handles and some don’t. I highly recommend sticking to basics. Most bands come in sets of three of four, and some five. That will give you a good range of bands from light to medium and heavy or very heavy if you purchase a set of four. You should not be spending anything more than $30-$50. I recommend taking a good look online as there are so many types available. However, I suggest avoiding bands with handles because they are an unnecessary additional cost. Get started with a basic set and you can always upgrade.
One thing to think about is how you will be able to use them around your home. Take a moment to think about if you will need some of the accessories, such as door attachments that allow you to do cable rows.
Okay, let’s take a look at some of the exercises to get you started. There are plenty more but here is an introduction for cardio and muscle toning and muscle building.
CARDIO EXERCISES FOR MEN AND WOMEN WITH RESISTANCE BANDS
Cardio exercises are designed to get your heart rate up. If you want to lose weight, I highly recommend you do these exercises in the morning on an empty stomach. Fasted cardio is the fastest way to lose weight. You can have a protein drink afterwards.
Resistance Jumping Jacks
These are the same as jumping jacks except you hold the resistance band with your hands and pull on the band as you perform the exercise.
Because we are focused on cardio, we want to use a lighter strength resistance band. This exercise can be modified for strength building by using a heavier resistance band. For cardio, we want faster movements. Stand on your resistance bands holding the other end with your elbows bent so that your hands are resting on your shoulders. Depending on your fitness, do as many squats as you can and then take a rest. Try to complete at least three sets, preferably four.
Resistance Lateral Walk
Wrap the band around your lower calves and step from side to side. Remember to keep your shoulder even as you move from side to side. I also suggest placing your hands together with elbows bent to help you keep balance. Again, do as many as you can and then take a rest. Try to complete at least three sets, preferably four.
MUSCLE TONING AND BUILDING EXERCISES FOR MEN AND WOMEN WITH RESISTANCE BANDS
There are plenty of exercises to build muscle with resistance bands. A few I have already mentioned. Here are a few more The key to building muscle is to perform your exercises slowly and hold at the extension while slowly returning to position.
Resistance Chest Press
There are several ways you can do this either laying down or standing up. Secure the resistance band at chest level. I prefer to do this standing up so that I can step away and get the right amount of tension before I start. You know what to do next. Push for a chest press.
Resistance Row Exercises
Secure your resistance band or bands with something like a chair that you can hold your feet against. While not a full rowing movement, this exercise is excellent for building your core and back strength. Tension the resistance band or bands and lean your body back focusing on your core muscles while you keep your knees bent. Hold when fully extended.
These are just a few examples. There are plenty more throughout Over 40 Health & Fitness.
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