Sep 27, 2018
Break Out the Bands

A resistance band is a versatile training tool that can be incorporated into practically any athlete’s workout regimen. Whether your athlete is new to strength training, has intermediate experience, or is advanced, there are plenty of resistance band exercises for them to choose from. In an article for coachmag.co.uk, personal trainer Matt Gleed says the following exercises are worth considering:

Chest Press

This exercise targets the shoulders and chest and is great for beginners. Start by attaching a max band (a larger looped band, which is usually also thinner than a mini band) to a stable object behind you. Step inside the band and hold it with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your shoulder blades down and back, and engage your core and glutes. Your hips and knees should be slightly bent for balance. Push the band out in front of you. Fully extend your arms and squeeze your chest muscles. Slowly return to the start. Keep your chest up while performing the press, and do not let your upper back hunch.

Squat

This works the glutes and legs and is also a good exercise for those new to strength training. Stand on a max band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp the other end of the band and hold it by your shoulders, with both hands facing up and elbows pointing out. Bend your knees to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Your feet should point forward, your knees should be in line with your feet and behind your toes, and your back should be straight. Keep pushing your knees out as far as possible without letting the band pull them inward. If you cannot keep your knees out enough, only lower yourself halfway down into the squat.

Press-up

This targets the chest, shoulders, and arms. Gleed recommends this exercise for those with intermediate training experience. Place a max band around your upper back and hold the ends in your hands. Assume a press-up position, with your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body until you are touching the floor with the tip of your nose, then push yourself back up. Keep your core and glutes activated throughout, and pull your shoulders down and away from your ears. For less resistance, step through the band first so that only one, rather than both, lengths of the band go around your back.

Lateral Walk

This is another intermediate exercise, which works the glutes and legs. Wrap a flex band twice around your legs — once around your lower thigh just above your knee and once again around the mid thigh. Then cross the band over and hold each end outside your hips. Take 10 to 12 steps to one side, and then reverse the direction of the steps back to the start. Don’t let your knees rotate inward. Keep your toes facing forward and your back straight throughout.

Shoulder Stabilizer

Moving into the more advanced territory, this exercise works the shoulder, back, and glutes. Attach a flex band (a strap band with two ends) to a fixed point in front of you. Stand tall with your arms extended in a Y position, holding the ends of the band in each hand. Pull your shoulder blades down and back and engage your core and glutes. Lower into a squat, maintaining the shoulder and arm position. Avoid lifting your shoulders, bending your elbows, and arching or rounding your back. Also watch out for your knees caving in or your toes turning outward.

Squat With Broad Jump

This is a great exercise for strengthening the lower body. It is also recommended for those at an advanced training level. Attach a max band to a stable object behind you. Place the band around your hips and get into a squat position. Jump forward explosively, driving your hips forward, and then land softly.




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