How to use resistance bands to tone your entire body without ever going to the gym

How to use resistance bands to tone your entire body without ever going to the gym
If you are unable to go to the gym, resistance bands are a relatively inexpensive option to build strength and stability and improve heart health while working out at home.

Resistance bands are rubbery, elastic bands that you can use to strengthen your muscles at home. You can use resistance bands for many types of exercises that can help you tone your whole body using a relatively simple piece of equipment.

Here's what you need to know about resistance band workouts and how you can use them at home.

A workout guide

Resistance training is any type of exercise that uses resistance or weight to build strength in your muscles. Working out with resistance bands is one option for resistance training that allows you to work out at home using just one piece of equipment.

You can do many types of workouts using resistance bands, allowing you to tone muscles in your arms, legs, and core. Below are three resistance band workouts that you can try at home.

1. Alternating arm and leg: This exercise works out your core muscles including your abdominal and gluteal muscles.

  • Pull-on the resistance band so that it sits above both knees.

  • Get on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.

  • Reach one hand forward while kicking the opposite foot back.

  • Return to tabletop, then repeat on the other side.

2. Bicep curl: This exercise targets your biceps and can be done either standing or sitting.

  • Wrap the band under your right foot if standing or under your right knee if you're sitting.

  • Hold the ends of the band out in front of you in your right hand, with your right elbow against your side and our fist facing upward.

  • Pull your hand upward toward your right shoulder while keeping your elbow in the same position.

  • Release your arm and bring it back down, then repeat on the left side.

3. Squat: This tones your thighs and gluteal muscles.

  • Stand in a squat position with feet shoulder-width apart and the resistance band around your thighs.

  • Bend your knees into a squat while at the same time pulling your knees slightly apart to create tension.

  • Rise back up and repeat.

Though resistance band training is relatively simple, Folden says that you may want to work with a trainer for the first couple of times, particularly if you are uncertain about proper form.

"But once you get the hang of it, resistance band workouts can be a great way to exercise independently at home, in the gym or even while travelling," Folden says.

Folden also says that while bands are meant to be used many times, it's important to always inspect them to make sure there are no tears. "Micro tears can lead to full that can recoil and hurt you during a workout."

The benefits of resistance training

Resistance exercises build strength because stretching the band requires effort, which creates resistance against your muscles. Imagine how your arms would feel while stretching a giant rubber band.

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