8 resistance band moves you need for a total body shape up.
MEN'S FITNESS Editors 1 / 9
THE BENEFITS OF RESISTANCE BANDS
The elastic exercise band tends to get lumped in with the Body Bar, aerobics step, and Shake Weight as so-called “wussy” equipment, while the barbell and dumbbell are beyond reproach. But this isn’t a fair judgment, especially if you’re using high-quality bands.
We like the loop bands that elitefts.net sells. They’re durable and can be used for multiple purposes and numerous exercises. If a cheap one is all you have, you can make do, but elite’s bands are a good investment, especially if you plan on traveling a lot. lightweight and compact, they allow you to take your workouts with you.
What bands provide that no other equipment (except cables) can is accommodating resistance. Take the pushup, for example. The closer you get to locking out your elbows, the easier the exercise feels. The movement feels hardest when your chest is close to the floor. adding resistance to the pushup with a band will intensify the last few inches of the move—as the band gets more stretched out—making you work harder, and there’s nothing wussy about that. -- Related: VIDEO: The Best Full Body Band Workout>>>
Grasp the end of a band in one hand and wrap it around your back. Get into pushup position with your hands shoulder width and your core braced. Pin both hands to the floor with the ends of the band in your palms and perform pushups.
Stand on the band and loop the other end over the back of your neck and stand tall. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend your hips back and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. Think about keeping your chest up and pointing forward. Explosively extend your hips to come back up.
Stand on and grasp a band loop, or a single tube as shown, hands shoulder width. Keeping your arms straight, raise your arms in front of your body to shoulder level. Now, without letting your arms drop, draw your arms out 90 degrees to your sides as if you were pulling the tube apart. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
Stand on the band or tube with feet shoulder width and toes turned slightly out. Grasp the ends of the band in each hand and hold them at shoulder level with palms facing you. Bend your hips back and squat down as low as you can without losing the arch in your lower back. Explosively extend your hips to come back up.
Attach the band to a doorknob or other sturdy object of similar height. Hold the opposite end in both hands and stand back from the door so you feel tension on the band. Row the band to your belly.
Attach the band to a sturdy object at stomach level. Hold the other end with both hands and step away from the attachment point, turning your body perpendicular to it to put tension on the band. Pull the band in front of your chest and then press it out with arms straight. Bend your arms and draw your hands back toward you, resisting the band from twisting your torso. That’s one rep.
Attach the band to a sturdy overhead object and grasp the free end with both hands. Tuck your elbows to your sides and extend your elbows to lock them out.
Anchor the band under your feet, holding an end in each hand. Curl it without letting your upper arms drift forward.