You arrive at the gym and while looking over the sea of machines your stomach just starts to curl.
Where to begin? And how do I use them?
Awkward… This is the reason that you perhaps decided that exercise was just not for you. Well let’s try this again, minus the sea of gym equipment. How about beginning in that open space of unoccupied floor and pulling out one simple piece of equipment – a resistance band.
I have decided to write a few posts on simple exercise equipment that is both multi-purpose and incredibly effective. Equipment that is cheap enough to purchase and use at home – no gyms required!
So, part 1 – The Simple Resistance Band
Well don’t underestimate it. It may just look like a simple piece of colourful elastic, but this right here is a powerful piece of exercise gear and one you should definitely use in your training
Why do I love it so much? Well besides it being light weight, portable and very cost effective, it’s one of the most multi-functional pieces of equipment you could own. Okay, so what the heck do you do with it?
Well, it’s really quite simple.
Consider this piece of band your weight – like a dumbbell… however instead of weighing you down like normal weights, these bands are pulled to create tension or resistance – which ultimately becomes the force that your muscles pull against.
This force is then experienced on both the pull and the release, meaning that unlike a weight, the resistance band uses a constant tension, while allowing you to focus on doing each movement with precision – targeting multiple muscle groups, especially those smaller ones that are most often ignored or forgotten.
So now you see all the pretty colours… well choose wisely.
Colours are linked to the overall level of resistance you can expect, so start light if you are a newbie and work your way up! Besides their portability and price, resistance bands are so multipurpose and can be used for full body strength workouts and even stretches, allowing for a full range of motion.
If you are looking to purchase a resistance band, you will find a variety of styles (thinner bands or bands with handles) in most sports stores. I found mine at Mr Price (a South African sports store), and it only cost R80!
There are tons of resources online of various resistance band exercises to get you going, but keep an eye out as I’ll be posting a list of my favourites.