How to use bands: Q & A with trainer Ashley Haug

Q) What’s the deal with the bands? How should I use them and why should I use them?


A) Resistance Tubing, or a “band,” is an excellent resource for your strength and flexibility workouts. For those of you on the go this summer with very little time to make it to the gym, or for those of you on a road trip or a business trip, the band is the perfect travel companion. With a little creative anchoring, it can be used much like any large cable machine you see in the gym. It can also enhance bodyweight exercises like a squat or pushup, adding in resistance similar to holding dumbbells. Only, more portable!

Bands

Like the cable machines, this type of resistance allows you to perform exercises in standing positions, which forces you to engage your core muscles as you resist being pulled by the band.

For example you can perform a cable chest press or row, by anchoring the tubing at chest height to a sturdy pole or object, and then with either your back to the anchor (chest press) or facing the anchor (row), pushing or pulling respectively. Working these large muscle groups of the body will not only develop your upper body strength, but the muscle you build will help you burn fat and calories even at rest, which is something we all want more of.

In addition to strength exercises, the band can also be used to improve flexibility. For tight hamstrings, you can anchor the tube on your foot while lying on a mat, face up. Then lift up that leg, use the band to help you straighten your leg at the knee and pull the toe towards you. These are just a few of the ways you can use a band in your workout. With the help of a knowledgeable professional, the band can be used to create an effective full-body strength and flexibility workout that you can do at the gym, on the road or in the comfort of your own home.

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Hamstring Stretch with band

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Upper back Row with band

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