Sometimes the smallest things pack the biggest punch.
That’s the case with elastic exercise bands that are common in gyms and fitness studios. They’re also affordable, lightweight and versatile enough to have around the house and carry in purses, backpacks and luggage.
Resistance bands moved beyond physical therapy and into fitness long ago. They are useful tools for trainers and elite athletes, but also for anyone on the fitness spectrum.
Bands are made of latex, plastic, rubber or fabric, and provide different levels of resistance. You can use bands for arm curls, presses, seated rows, squats and all kinds of stretches, moving at your own pace.
Bands are especially helpful or people over 50 for two reasons. First, they give more resistance the harder you work them, since their resistance grows the tighter you pull. Second, they’re conversely easier when you get to the point of a repetition that has the least tension or resistance. That’s good if you have a joint issue to work around.
Bands help with muscular endurance and joint stabilization, says the National Academy of Sports Medicine. They help you move in multiple planes of motion and achieve greater range of motion. Some prefer better mobility and functionality, which increase our functional fitness for everyday tasks.
Bands make a nice portable piece of equipment so that you can keep exercising while on vacation, away at the cottage or just taking a few days off. Remember a couple of exercises we've done with them in class and get packing!!!