Women Working Out : Resistance Bands

Ladies! Don’t you just hate using those huge, unwieldy machines at the gym that are built for men? Do you hate trying to figure out how to adjust them after a 230 lb guy just finished chest pressing 175 pounds? Some women prefer working with free weights such as dumbbells and kettle weights simply because they are easier to manipulate. Resistance bands are also a very popular option for women.

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Resistance bands are often used in group exercise programmes such as aerobics, strength training and boot camp programmes because of their flexibility and effectiveness. You can use them to exercise just about any part of the body and because they are lightweight and easy to manoeuvre many women prefer them over free weights or cumbersome gym equipment.

Here are two favourite exercises for women using resistance bands (remember to warm up and cool down by doing stretches before and after your resistance band workout):

Arms:

Stand in the middle of the band. Keep your back straight, your shoulders pulled back and down and soften your knees. Hug your elbows into your waist. Now, using upper arm strength, pull the bands up to your shoulders and lower. Do this slowly for 10-12 reps. After the final rep raise your arms almost to the shoulder and do 6 small pulses. For more resistance shorten the band by widening your stance on the band.

Legs:

Stand in the middle of the band with your feet at hip distance apart, holding the ends of the band in each hand. Spread your feet a little further apart, creating resistance in the band. Now sidestep across the room by moving your right foot to the right and your left foot to meet it. Keep the band taught between your feet. For more resistance pull up on the band with your arms to keep it taught. Move ten steps in each direction and then repeat.

Resistance bands come in various strengths so start out with lightweight bands and work up to the stronger ones. By varying the length of the band, doubling it up or anchoring it and stretching it out, there is a great deal of flexibility and variety you can build into your workout. This makes it is easy to tailor it to your own fitness level.

So ladies, no more excuses! If you want a great workout that you can do pretty much anywhere, pick up some resistance bands and get started.