by Ryn Gargulinski
Resistance bands are an inexpensive and highly effective way to add another dimension to your core training and strength workouts. Unlike training with other fitness equipment, resistance bands use your own body strength and weight against itself to increase strength and flexibility. They are also highly versatile and can be incorporated into yoga, Pilates, weight training and a variety of other fitness workouts.
Posture: Resistance-band exercises will have you focusing on a certain muscle group, but don't forget about the rest of your body. Keep your posture intact during exerciseby making sure to keep your core muscles strong. Your back should be straight, shoulders back and head facing forward. Breathe evenly from the deep muscles of your diaphragm, inhaling while you push against the resistance band and exhaling when you return it to its original position. For standing exercises, keep your knees soft and slightly bent and your legs about hip-width apart.
Movement: Each movement with the resistance bands should be slow, gentle and controlled. Never let the bands snap back into place, but rather, softly guide them. Be sure the band is also properly positioned around its anchor, such as underneath your feet if you are using the bands for curling your biceps. If you are unable to fully complete a movement because of too much resistance, you may want to switch to a more flexible or larger band. If you end up with slack in the band, check into a more rigid or smaller band. You can double larger bands to increase resistance if you are in between band sizes.
Maintenance: Keeping your resistance bands in optimum shape will help you get the optimum workout. They should be stored loosely so they keep their shape in an area out of direct sunlight. Wash the bands with water and a soft cloth to remove any dirt and sweat. Check your bands before every use to make sure they have no scratches or rips in them. Gently pull them taut and make sure the surface is smooth and even.
Before you even pick up the resistance bands, dry off your skin. Wipe off any perspiration, lotions or anything else that makes your skin slippery.
Avoid anchoring the bands to mobile objects, like a door knob of an open door or anything else that may move with your full body weight pulling against it.
Double check your surroundings. In case your bands were to break and cause you to fall, make sure you are in an area that is free of objects that may cause injury.
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