It isn't very often that people have the time to go to gyms and work out. That is why it is important to have something that can substitute all the workouts performed at the gym without ever having to straddle yourself to the ground or fatigue your body out immediately. Performing these exercises on the road or in the office is the best thing you can do when it comes to staying fit. When you do any of the routines, you won't need too much space. They are also easy to store. The stretch band that connects the handles is quite easy to put away and won't tangle.
Resistance bands can give you almost all the workouts that machines can provide in one overall package. You can do triceps, biceps as well as chest, shoulders and legs. And whether you're just starting to get in shape or have been a long time exercise buff, there will be resistance bands exercises to suit your need. It's a great tool that allows you to be flexible with your exercises. So what is a resistance band? Well it is a piece of rubber usually, sometimes if you buy more expensive ones, they have handles at either end, though a tough piece of rubber is going to work fine. The resistance band is used for resistance training, where you will look the band under your foot, around a column, around a chair, under a chair, whatever you need to do to make it work. Resistance bands come in different lengths and with different resistances too, if you want a harder workout for example. The great thing with a resistance band is that it offers resistance in both the concentric contractions and the eccentric contraction, which is basically when your muscle is tensed, and is either getting shorter, or longer respectively.
The following is a simple routine that will work the majority of your muscles as groups, along with some isolation exercises that will work specific muscles. Warm up and stretch thoroughly and give it a try:
For the upper body, start by warming up the shoulders with four (4) sets of Overhead Presses, at about 10 repetitions per set. With this movement, form is king. Body stays erect, abdominal muscles tight, and press through smoothly with both arms simultaneously or one arm at a time.
Overhead Press - Step onto the middle of a tube or band. Bring the handles up to the shoulders with palms facing forward and elbows pointed down toward the floor. From this starting position, with spine erect (never leaned forward) and stomach muscles tight, press the handles or band loops straight overhead. Try to keep your hands, elbows and arms perpendicular to your shoulders. After you've performed the recommended 10-12 repetitions, rest for 20-30 seconds and then repeat for a total of four sets. For more resistance, widen your foot spacing or use a thicker band/tube.
Then progress to alternating sets of Chest Presses and Low-Rows. Do four (4) sets of each with enough tension that you can only do about 6-8 repetitions. Do 6-8 reps of Chest Press, rest for as long as it takes to get comfortably into position for the Low Rows, and begin your Low Rows. These combined push/pull combinations are known as "super-sets". After you have performed one set of both exercises, rest for a moment and repeat. Just don't rest too long in between sets. You want to keep your muscles warm once you get them rolling.
Chest Press - Drape the loop of your band or tube over the shoulders and lower it to about the center of the shoulder blade area. With elbows in against the sides of your body, push outwards with palms down and forward. The hands should remain at the same level (parallel to the floor) as you push through to full extension. After you've performed the recommended 6-8 repetitions, move directly into position to do your set of Low Rows. Repeat for a total of four stets. For more resistance, wrap the band/tube around the torso or use a thicker band/tube.
Low Row - While seated on the floor, legs straight out in front of you, loop the middle portion of your band or tube over your feet, allowing it to settle into the indentation of your arch. With your upper body erect, shoulders slightly pushed back (like sticking out your chest) pull back on the handles as far as you can while keeping your arms close to your sides, elbows in. Your grip should be such that your palms are facing each other. After you've performed the recommended 6-8 repetitions, rest for 30 seconds and then get into position to do your next set of Chest Presses. Repeat for a total of four stets. For more resistance, widen your leg separation, or wrap the band/tube around your feet, or use a thicker band/tube.
From there, perform some alternating sets of Triceps Extensions and Biceps Curls. Here again, get in four (4) good sets of 6-8 repetitions each.
Triceps Extension - Step onto the middle of a tube or band. Bring the handles up to the shoulders with palms facing behind you and elbows pointed up toward the ceiling. From this starting position, with spine erect (never leaned forward or backward) and stomach muscles tight, press the handles or band loops straight overhead while keeping the elbows stationary. The upper arm does not move during this exercise, only the forearm portion, pivoting at the elbow. Make sure you keep your elbows in near your head, not allowed to point out to the sides. After you've performed the recommended 6-8 repetitions, move directly into the starting position for Biceps Curls. For more resistance, widen your foot spacing or use a thicker band/tube.
Biceps Curl - Step onto the middle of a tube or band. With feet shoulder width apart, palms facing forward and elbows in tight to the sides of your body, curl the handles up to within a few of inches of your shoulders. In this exercise the upper arms again remain stationary, so you are only allowing the forearms to curl up by pivoting at the elbow. After you've performed the recommended 6-8 repetitions, rest for 30 seconds before getting back into position for your next set of Triceps Extensions. For more resistance, widen your foot spacing or use a thicker band/tube.
Next, do some Band Squats. Stick to the usual four (4) sets of 6-8 repetitions. Focus on form and control here. The upper torso needs to stay erect throughout the entire movement. Squat down until your thighs parallel to the floor. If you are physically able to do so, just squat down as far as you comfortably can. Also, if the bands are too cumbersome, set them aside and perform a standard Body-weight Squat instead.
Band Squats - Step onto the middle of a tube or band. With feet shoulder width apart, bring your handles up to shoulder level, elbows bent and pointed down. Keeping the upper torso erect and abdominals tight, sit straight down as if to sit on a chair, and stop when the upper legs (thighs) are about parallel to the floor, and then stand back up. After you've performed the recommended 6-8 repetitions, rest for 30 seconds and then repeat for a total of four sets. For more resistance use a thicker band/tube.
Finally, finish up your work-out with some Bent-Leg Sit-ups and Alternating Side Planks to strengthen the core. These are free-hand exercises and require no bands or equipment. Do one or two sets of as many repetitions of the sit-ups as you can. Perform the side plank (with perfect form) and hold for 30 to 90 seconds on each side.
No matter what exercise gadgetry or device you decide to go with, the most important thing is for you to have as much savings as possible. Resistance bands, with the affordable prices they come with, are probably the cheapest overall exercise item that you will ever see in the market. Aside from the price itself, just think of how much you are bound to save when you no longer have to get gym memberships since you can perform all of the resistance bands exercises at home or anywhere you go. You also don't have to worry about breakage, since they are quite elastic and have been tested to withstand any kind of impact.