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Total Body Sculpting

Sunday, August 6 2017

Last week we explored the advantages and disadvantages of using resistance bands. By now you may have decided that the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

For first-time band training fitness enthusiasts, I have provided a simple routine with detailed instructions to enable you to begin your journey to a healthier toned you. However, when purchasing your band pay special attention to the resistance of the band.

Resistance bands tend to come in different resistance categories and are often colour coded. It is useful to note that the different colours and strengths of the bands do not correspond to specific weights, unlike dumbbells and other strength training tools.

The yellow bands are classified as light resistance. This means that 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 you don’t need much resistance to feel the muscle working.

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 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 resistance bands are heavy resistance. These are stiffer than red, green or yellow and do not provide as much stretch. Blue bands are for those who are very strong, or for those larger muscle groups such as the legs, chest and back.

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 colour in these sets. Ensure that you read the label on the package or consult with a knowledgeable sales person to buy the correct resistance.

The following are a few simple exercises for beginners.

Tricep extensions This exercise is done like the tricep pushdown at the gym, except you will be using your resistance bands. You need to anchor the elastic on top of the door and step away to make tension in the band.

Body Positioning: You can sit on an exercise ball or a bench.

Hold both handles with your palms facing down: this is the start position. For the execution, keep your elbows locked on your sides and extend your arms pushing down, then slowly return to the initial position. You must ensure to keep your upper arms still to avoid the temptation to move your elbows forward.

Complete three sets of ten to 12 reps.

Alternating seated row Bands: Anchor the resistance band around any secure object.

From a seated position, grasp the band handles and fully extend your arms.

Pull the band in your left hand into your abdomen then exhale.

Slowly return to the starting position and repeat the movement using the right hand. It is important to keep your upper back straight and your chest up high at all times. This will ensure that the spine is in the proper position. As you pull the resistance band, try to keep your elbows in close to your body. Complete three sets of ten to 12 reps on each side.

Lying hamstring curl Bands: Loop band around the bottom of a pole or hook it at the bottom of a door. Using an ankle attachment, attach the band to one of your legs.

Body Positioning: Lie face down, brace your core, stabilise your body and powerfully contract your hamstrings.

Your foot should come up and towards your butt.

Complete a full set then repeat on the opposite leg. Complete three sets of ten to 12 reps on each leg.

Seated leg extension Bands: Loop band around the bottom of a pole or hook it at the bottom of a door.

Using an ankle attachment, attach the band to one of your legs. Sit on the floor and lean backwards. Place your arms at the side of your hips to provide support and balance.

Extend your right leg out and flex your foot so that just the right heel is on the floor. Lift your leg up as high as you can without rounding your back. Keeping your foot flexed engages the muscles in the shins and ankle. Hold for three counts and then lower. Complete three sets of ten to 12 reps on each leg.

Seated ab twist Bands: Mount your resistance band using the door anchor at the side of the door frame around waist height. Attach both ends of the resistance band onto one handle.

Sitting on a bench or ball with your side to the door, grab the handle with both hands and hold it about two inches at front of the center chest. Make sure that the band is straightened out, rotate slightly to the side closest to the door, then pull the band to your opposite side, so your hips are twisting from one side to the other. Bring the band back into position then repeat, and switch sides. Complete three sets of ten to 12 reps.



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