In this ultimate guide, we will concentrate on exercises that incorporate a resistance band. Whether you are already familiar with this tool or are new to resistance band exercise, I am going to make sure that you feel confident and comfortable using our bands by the time you finish reading this guide. Get ready to learn about the benefits, best uses, and what a resistance band can do for you to help you reach your fitness goals.
This guide has been designed and written with you in mind, to help you gain the most from your exercise with the King Athletic Resistance Band. We have helped many others just like you who have achieved their fitness goals. Whether you are a beginner looking for information about exercise, or you are already in the game but you want to advance your skills - we have you covered. In this e-book, we will concentrate on exercises that incorporate a resistance band. Whether you are already familiar with this tool or are new to resistance band exercise, I am going to make sure that you feel confident and comfortable using our bands by the time you finish reading this guide. Get ready to learn about the benefits, best uses, and what a resistance band can do for you to help you reach your fitness goals.
RESISTANCE BANDS (RESISTANCE TUBING SET) SET
The King Athletic Set is comprised of several bands to assist with different resistance levels. These bands are color coded for your convenience. Here’s a guide to help you better understand the numbers and colors found on each band:
YELLOW (6 lbs): The yellow bands are classified as light resistance. This means they are very stretchy, and it takes little effort to pull against them and stretch them out. Light resistance bands are used for working areas such as the shoulders and shins, where less resistance is required to work the muscle.
GREEN(10 lbs): Green resistance bands are medium resistance. These bands are less stretchy and have more tension than yellow bands. Green bands are used for muscle groups that need slightly more tension, such as the biceps or triceps.
RED(15 lbs): Red resistance bands are medium to heavy resistance. They have a higher level of tension than green or yellow bands and are harder to stretch. Red bands are suitable for muscle groups that are larger, such as the legs, chest and back, or for individuals who have been building muscle strength.
BLUE (18 lbs): Blue resistance bands are heavy resistance. These are much more stiff than red, green or yellow and do not provide as much stretch. Blue bands are for those who are very strong, or for larger muscle groups, such as the legs, chest and back. These are also the bands to use when working out with someone else – when two people pull against a band.
BLACK (20 lbs) :Black resistance bands have the most resistance. These are the hardest bands to stretch and pull. Like blue bands, black bands are used for the large muscle groups, such as the legs, or when working with others. Some sets of bands come in all black and the level of resistance is not based on color in these sets.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BAND SET
Know your fitness level: When shopping for a resistance band, you should be very aware of your current fitness level and body strength. It is very important to go by your current strength level and not what you would like to achieve.
For the purposes of diversity in strength, resistance bands come in different varieties and resistances. Buying an ideal resistance will not only improve the effectiveness of your workouts, but also reduce the probability of sustaining injuries during exercise. If you are rehabilitating from a recent injury, we strongly advise that you use light resistance bands. If you are of average fitness level, older, or untrained, consider a medium resistance band.
Heavy bands can be used for untrained individuals who are active. Extra-heavy bands are recommended for active men and women who have built up a level of strength that requires more resistance. Ultra-heavy resistance bands should be used by body builders and exceptionally strong individuals who require a more challenging resistance.
Exercise dosage: Now that we have discussed the different types of bands it’s time to determine what exercise dosage you should prescribe to yourself. This includes resistance levels and the number of repetitions. Bear in mind that different colors indicate different levels of strength and resistance. In simple terms, go for a resistance band that will enable you to complete 8 to 12 revolutions for every set up to the point of fatigue. This is known as the “multiple repetition maximum” or the number of repetitions you can complete in one set.
BENEFITS OF RESISTANCE BANDS
Why You Should Try Resistance Bands
They are highly portable and versatile: You can easily pack resistance bands in your suitcase for travel and they are versatile enough for you to do exercises in your car, hotel room, or even outside.
They increase coordination : Resistance bands cause tension all over the body. Therefore, during exercises your body is forced to stabilize which helps to improve coordination. It is also a perfect way to engage several of your muscles at the same time.
They add variety to the type of exercises you can do: Lifting weights limits you to a few exercises which can become repetitive and boring. However, the resistance bands give you the opportunity to change your positioning in several ways to keep your routines exciting and challenging.
They're inexpensive: Exercise equipment can be expensive, especially when you need a variety of pieces to perform a particular exercise. Resistance bands keep the budget conscious exerciser in mind by offering a wide range of exercise options at an incredibly affordable price. Bands cost anywhere between $6 to $20 depending on how many you buy and where you buy them.
The Benefit of Resistance Bands over Isotonic Resistance (Free Weights, Machines, and Pulleys):
They're great for all fitness levels: Depending on how you use them, bands can be great for beginners as well as more advanced exercisers. You can use them for basic moves or add intensity to traditional exercises.
More muscles get activated: The difference between free weights and elastic resistance is that free weights provide a constant, unchanging resistance to set muscle groups throughout the entire range of motion, while elastic bands provide not only a greater resistance all the way through the movement, but also work more muscle groups with less required momentum.
Greater muscle tension: Naturally elastic resistance produces a greater amount of tension on muscles compared to free weights because, as previously stated, it has the capacity to minimize momentum –causing greater muscle activity throughout the entire movement, which effectively increases the amount of time the muscle is under tension.
WHY STRENGTH TRAINING IS IMPORTANT
Adaptable for multiple fitness levels: Whether you are new to exercise or consider yourself a pro, you will always find something interesting to do with your resistance bands. They are available in different resistances for different strength levels, allowing you to exercise at your comfort level.
Can be used with familiar exercises: You do not have to learn complicated routines to use your resistance band. They can be used with many of the training moves you are already familiar with.
Whole-body exercises: Resistance bands can be used for a comprehensive, full-body workout that challenges virtually every major muscle group in your body.
They are highly portable: Resistance bands are one of the most compact excise tools you’ll find on the market today. You can easily take them with you to the office, gym, or on the road while traveling.
Adds variety: If you do the same exercises every day, your muscles might get used to this routine and not progress. Resistance bands are a perfect way to change things up and bring something new to your strength exercise.
Can be combined with other equipment: Resistance bands are so versatile that you can even use them along with weights, allowing you to get the benefits of two types of exercises at once.
Prevent muscle loss: Inactive adults experience a 3 to 8 percent loss of muscle mass per decade. Resistance training may increase resting metabolism by about 7 percent and help minimize muscle loss.
Reduces body fat and burns calories: A regular strength training program helps you reduce body fat and burn calories more efficiently, which can result in healthy weight loss.
Preserves muscles regardless of your age: Strength training helps preserve and enhance your muscle mass and bone mass, regardless of your age.
EXERCISE WITH YOUR RESISTANCE BAND SET
Practical Exercise Tips to Get You Going
- When doing any of these exercises, body alignment and posture is critical. The shoulders and hips should be aligned, tighten the abdominals, and relax the knees. Be sure to practice the safest posture possible by maintaining a natural spinal curve.
- Include proper warm-up and cool-down activities with your elastic resistance training program.
- Use the band or tubing prescribed by your physician or therapist for the prescribed sets and repetitions.
- Perform all exercises in a slow and controlled manner. At no time should you feel “out of control”; remember to control the band or tubing rather than allowing it to control you. Do not allow the band or tubing to snap back.
- Avoid hyper extending or over-flexing joints when exercising. Don’t lock the joints.
- Breathe evenly while performing your exercises. Exhale during the more difficult phase of the repetition. Don’t hold your breath.
- For beginners, perform the exercises without the band or tubing until you are comfortable, and then add resistance. Begin with 8 to10 exercises that target major muscle groups.
- Don’t forget to warm up and cool down!
- Slowly begin by shifting your feet from the inside to the outside repeating for 30 seconds.
LEG SWING ACROSS
- Place your hands on a stationary position on a wall.
- Stand straight and tall through your spine.
- Takes turns with each leg, slowly swing your leg across your body back and forth, allowing your toes to touch down
- Perform leg swing for 30 second to warm up your hips
- Slowly bring your heel to your butt, alternating between feet.
- Alternating your legs both of your legs in a slow jerking movement allowing your arms to swings for 30 seconds.
- Lay down on the floor on a mat and put your feet hip-width apart.
- Slowly push through your heels driving your hips towards the sky, contracting your waist muscles as you raise your torso off the floor. Slowly roll your torso back to the ground and repeat for 30 seconds.
CAT COW MOTION
- Come down on your hands and knees, with your back straight like a tabletop.
- Touch your chin to your chest while slowly rounding your back upward (cat position).
- Move back to your starting position, then arch your head upward pushing your hips behind you, allowing your back to arch downward toward the floor (cow position).
- Look up and downward.
- Extend your arms to your side.
- Slowly rotate through the shoulders moving your hands in slow, circular motions in a clockwise direction.
- Repeat for 30 seconds, and change arm movement to a counter clockwise direction.
FORWARD HEAD ROLL
- Slowly bring your chin to the chest.
- Move back to the center with eyes looking on the floor.
- Rotate to the opposite side.
- Repeat 5 to 10 times for 30 seconds.
STANDING CALF STRETCH
From standing position, straighten your left leg in front of you and bend your right leg.
Place both hands just above your left knee and sink down to feel the stretch.
Repeat with opposite leg.
STANDING QUAD STRETCH
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, pull your abdominals in and relax your shoulders.
Bend your left leg, bringing your heel toward your butt, and grasp your left foot with your right hand.
Switch legs and repeat the stretch.
FLOOR HAMSTRING STRETCH
Sit on a mat with your right leg extended in front of you and your left leg bent with your foot against your right inner thigh.
Lean forward from your hips and reach for your ankle until you feel a stretch in your hamstring. Hold for 15 seconds, and then repeat on your other side.
- Begin on your hands and knees
- Spread your knees wide apart while keeping your big toes touching.
- Sit up straight and lengthen your spine up through the crown of your head.
- On an exhalation, bow forward, draping your torso between your thighs.
- Keep your arms long and extended, palms facing down.
RESISTANCE BANDS WORKOUT
- Place a cable pulley at the highest level.
- Stand with the feet hip-width apart and the hips straight with the knees slightly bent. Face away from the cable.
- Using a rope attachment, hold the rope with the right hand by the right ear and the left hand by the left ear.
- Elbows should be tucked in along the front of the body.
- Draw the belly button in to the spine and tuck the rib cage down towards the floor.
- Focus on rolling the rib cage down against the pull of the cable and slowly returning to the top.
- Place a cable pulley at chest-height and attach a single handle.
- Stand with the legs wider than shoulder-width apart so the pulley is to the right of the body, then reach across the body and grip the handle with the left hand first then the right hand, lacing the fingers together with the arms out straight to the right.
- Start with the body centered on the right leg, then push the right foot into the ground to shift the weight of the body to the left leg while rotating the abs and chest, keeping arms straighten directly ahead during the movement.
- Keep pushing off the right foot as the body shifts to the left hip and the arms and trunk twist as far to the left as possible.
- Then push off the left foot and slowly twist the arms across the body to return the hands to the starting position.
- Stand next to a cable/band with your feet together.
- Hold the cable/band handle close to your body, just below chest height, with your hands at the midline of your body.
- Engage your abdominal/core muscles to brace your torso. Keep the torso vertical to the floor.
- Pull your shoulder blades down and back without arching your lower back.
- Sit with one leg stretched out in front.
- Secure a resistance band around the ball of the outstretched foot.
- The resistance should be pulling the bottom of your foot away from you.
- Start with your toes pointed away from your body and slowly pull your toes towards your shin.
- Return to your starting position slowly and with control. Repeat.
- The movement comes from your ankle, so avoid any bending or over straightening of your knee throughout the movement. Always aim to keep your foot aligned facing forward.
- As an exercise progression, modify your movement to include a slight foot rotation as your toes pull toward your shin. The direction of your slight rotation should bring the big toe toward the inside border of your shin bone.
- Attempt to sit upright and avoid any excessive arching or slouching in the lower back.
- Lie on your back, one leg extended on the floor and the other in the air.
- Secure band to the foot that is in the air, knee bent at a 90 degree angle.
- Pull the foot handle up by extending your leg and allow it to slowly return after a short pause. Keep your thigh perpendicular to the floor and immobile throughout.
- Attach a cuff (cable or band resistance) to one ankle with the anchor or resistance point behind your body.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart. In this position, the band/resistance cable should be under little, to no tension.
- Gently contract your abdominal/core muscles ("bracing") to stiffen your torso and stabilize your spine.
- Depress and retract your scapulae (pull your shoulders down and back) without arching your lower back.
- Place two cable pulleys slightly above the shoulder height with handle attachments.
- Grip one handle in each hand and step forward so that the arms are outstretched to the sides.
- With the elbows slightly bent, slowly bring both hands together in front of the body.
- When the hands are together, pause for one second before slowly returning the arms to the starting position.
- Stand with the feet hip-width apart, the hips straight, the back tall, and the knees slightly bent.
- Place the pulley at shoulder-height, and use a single handle.
- Turn so that the back is towards the machine and the right arm is directly in front of the pulley.
- Grip the handle in the right hand with the palm facing down.
- Press both feet into the floor, squeeze the stomach, and straighten the arm.
- Pause at the end for one second before slowly bringing the arm back to lower the weight.
- Place a cable pulley at about waist-height and attach a single handle, holding it in the left hand so that the right side of the body is closest to the machine.
- Keep the left elbow tucked in to the body, and turn the shoulder back away from the body to move the left hand to the outside of the body (the cable should pass in front of the stomach).
- Pause for one second before slowly lowering the weight to the starting position.
- Secure the band low behind you and grab the handles with your hands on each side of your thighs, palms facing each other.
- Pull the handles up until your arms are parallel to the floor and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.
- Keep your arms extended (or close to it) throughout.
- Secure the band low in front of you and grab the handles with your hands in front of your thighs, palms facing down.
- Pull one handle up at a time until your arm is parallel to the floor and allow it to slowly return while you pull up the other handle.
- Keep your arms extended (or close to it) throughout.
- Stand with the feet hip-width apart, the hips straight, the back straight and tall, and the knees slightly bent.
- Place the cable pulley at the highest position, use a rope attachment, and grip the ends firmly in both hands.
- Pull the elbows close to the sides, and slowly push the hands down toward the floor, straightening the arms all the way then bending the elbows to return to the starting position.
- Place the center of aresistance band under one foot and grasp a handle in each hand. With the palms facing the ceiling, bend the elbows to bring the hands up toward the shoulders.
- Keep the elbows in close to the sides through the movement and lower slowly back down to complete the repetition
- Stand with the feet hip-width apart, the hips straight, the back tall, and the knees slightly bent.
- Place the cable pulley at about shoulder-height, attach a rope handle, and hold one end of the rope in each hand with the palms facing down.
- Turn to face the machine. Lift the chest up and pull the elbows back until the hands are right in front of the shoulders, then pause for 2-3 seconds.
- Slowly straighten the arms to return the weight to the starting position.
- Kneel on a mat holding resistance cable or band handles in each hand with your arms straight in front of your body, at or just above shoulder height.
- Grip the handles with the thumbs wrapped around the handles and palms facing each other.
- Pull your shoulder blades down and back. Do not allow your lower back to arch.
MAINTAIN THESE MOVEMENTS DURING THE EXERCISE
- Slowly pull your arms in a wide arc back and down to the level of your hips.
- As you move through the arc, slowly rotate your arms so that your palms face upward.
- Keep your torso erect and do not allow your lower back to arch.
- Inhale and slowly return your arms back to the start position keeping your elbows straight and torso vertical.
- Try performing this exercise alongside a mirror to monitor any change in your back or shoulder position.
- Stand with the feet hip-width apart.
- Keep the hips straight, the back tall, and the knees slightly bent. Attach a single handle to the cable pulley and press feet into the floor while pulling the cable back towards the body with the left hand.
- At the end of the movement pause for a second before slowly straightening the left arm to lower the weight to the starting position.
- Stand with the feet hip-width apart and keep the hips straight with the knees slightly bent.
- Put the cable pulley at about chest-height, and stand with it directly to the left of the body.
- Grip a handle in both hands with fingers laced together, straighten the arms out in front, keep back straight and tall, while simultaneously stepping backwards into a lunge with the left foot positioned so the left knee is close to the ground.
- Push off the right foot and bring the left leg forward to return to a standing position.
- Place a cable pulley at the lowest position, attach a rope handle, grip both ends of the rope so that the thumbs are pointed up to the ceiling.
- Kneel down and place the left foot forward with right knee behind the body keeping the right side of body next to the machine.
- Keep the back straight while pulling the rope up to the chest then pressing it up in front of the left shoulder.
- Keep the hands close together (do not allow the upper body to move while bringing the rope across the body).
- At the top of the movement pause for one second before slowly reversing the motion to return the weight to its original starting position.
- Place a cable pulley at shoulder-height, and attach a single handle.
- Stand with the pulley to the right of the body, then reach across the body and grip the handle with the left hand first before placing the right hand on top, lacing the fingers together.
- Start with the body centered on the right leg, then push off the right foot while stepping directly to the left into a sideways lunge.
- As the left foot hits the ground, keep both arms out straight in front of the body and twist the body so that the handle moves from above the right shoulder to the front of the left leg as the body sinks back into the left hip.
- At the bottom of the movement, push off the left foot and slowly rotate the arms across the body to return hands to the starting position above the right shoulder.
PROPER USE AND CARE
Common Mistakes While Using Resistance Bands
- Sawing - Sawing is when you thread your bands through a door anchor and then alternate pulling side to side (similar to a pulley system), which creates friction between the band and anchor. If you want to perform exercises with a side to side pulling action, it is recommended that you loop the band once more through the anchor, making a loop. This loop will create a simple knot which will prevent movement between the band and the anchor.
- Wrapping your bands around hard stationary objects -Elastic bands are made from latex, which is a soft material. What happens when you create a great amount of force between a soft and hard object? You damage the soft object. To avoid damaging your bands it is recommended that you use a special band anchor for outdoor use. This shields your band by keeping it in contact with a soft surface while being stretched.
- Overstretching bands to increase resistance - As you probably know, bands create more resistance as you stretch them. But the truth is bands do have a limit to their elasticity and overstretching can both damage the band and be dangerous to the user. Our bands are designed to stretch up to three times their length. So for example, a 12” (30 cm) band should not be stretched to more than 36” (90 cm) total length. Many people will either shorten the bands or continue to lengthen them to increase the resistance during an exercise.
- Storing bands incorrectly - Even if you do not keep your bands in dry conditions, they will last considerably longer if you keep them conditioned and lubricated. Great lubricants for bands usually contain silicone and some polymers. Black Magic Wet Tire Spray is a great product to use on your bands to keep them looking and performing like new.
Caring for Resistance Bands
- Before use, always examine the resistance band for small nicks, tears, or punctures that may cause the band to break. If you find any flaws, discard the product and replace before performing any exercises.
- Store all resistance bands and tubing out of direct sunlight and away from extreme temperatures.
- After use in chlorinated water, rinse the bands or tubing with tap water and dry flat.
- If the bands or tubing become sticky, clean with mild soap and water, dry flat, and then dust with talcum powder, baby powder or corn starch.
- Always consult your physician before beginning an exercise program.
- Your rehabilitation or exercise professional should help develop an individualized program to meet your needs and abilities.
- Use of any products described in this manual can cause serious injury when not used properly.
- Avoid exercises that involve stretching the resistance bands in such a fashion that they may snap toward the head and cause injury to the head or eyes. If these types of exercises are prescribed, protective eyewear should be worn.
- If you experience sharp pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or light- headedness with any of these exercises, stop immediately and contact your healthcare provider.
- As with any exercise program, muscle soreness may be experienced over the first few days. If your pain should persist for more than 3 or 4 days, consult your physician or therapist. Do not exercise while experiencing pain.
- Be sure the resistance band or tubing is securely anchored to a sturdy object or attachment before using.