So after attending a running event expo, you received an exercise band in your “swag” bag from Athletico. You have seen them before or even have a few collecting dust in your closet – but what is the purpose of this yellow or green piece of elastic? What are the physical benefits to you and why use one? With elastic band training, the resistance increases with the range of motion, allowing for greater resistance as your range of motion increases. Furthermore, the resistance is also being applied on the return phase while free weights (dumbbells) use gravity on the return.
Let’s be honest, most runners when finished with their run are not even thinking about their strength training program. They are mostly focused on the run. However, it is important that you include strength training and stretching component into your normal running/work-out routine in order to maximize results with races and avoid injury. Resistance band training is very convenient, requires little storage space, and has the ability to maximize time with whole body exercise.
Exercise bands add resistance to any exercise for purposes of increasing muscle strength and tone. By adding resistance to a particular exercise or movement, it will be an increased challenge/demand to those muscle groups and will help to facilitate improved muscle strength. Exercise bands are easy to transport and can be used for resistance training, stretching exercises, balance training, cardio training, and functional and sport-specific training.
Tips Before Using
When performing an exercise with an exercise band, you have to use slow and controlled movements to BOTH directions, meaning both in performing the movement as well as returning to the starting position. This will ensure that your muscles are being challenged concentrically as well as eccentrically, making your resistance training more effective.
It is recommended to consult a medial professional before beginning any exercise program. Seek medical attention before treating an injury.
Here are five exercises to try with your exercise band:
Stand with one foot on end of band with upright posture and abdominal muscles tight. Hold the other end of the band with your elbow down at your side. Slowly bend your elbow up toward your shoulder, and return to extended position. Perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions on each arm.
NOTE: The amount of resistance can vary based on the available length of the exercise band.
Sit with upright posture on floor with legs extended in front of you and feet together. Loop exercise band around your feet, holding one end in each hand, palms down. Pinch shoulder blades together, bringing elbows back behind your trunk. Hold 3-5 seconds. Return to starting position. Perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.
DIAGONAL TRUNK LIFT
Place right foot on end of band, with length of band along outside of right thigh. Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder width apart and knees slightly flexed. Grab other end of band with both hands clasped together at the side of your right hip. Keeping abdominal muscles tight, slowly rotate trunk to the left, while raising both arms up toward left ear, elbows extended. Slowly rotate back to starting position. Perform 1-2 sets of 8-12 repetitions to each side.
For this exercise, your exercise band needs to be tied in a loop. Place exercise band loop around the toes of your shoes. Stand with upright posture, abdominal muscles tight, knees slightly flexed, and toes pointed forward. Slowly side-step down your hallway, taking a larger step with your leading leg and a shorter step with your trailing leg, keeping the band taut at all times. At the end of the hallway, perform the same exercise back to starting location. Continue facing the same direction for the duration of this exercise. Perform 1-2 laps.
In stride stance, anchor band under foot. Grasping other end of band, raise arm behind head, thumb pointed down. Slowly press up toward ceiling, extending your elbow. Return to starting position. Perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions on each arm.
Anchor band under feet in shoulder width stance. Squat and return against resistance. Perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.
Good luck! If you would like to learn more from an Athletico physical therapist, please use the button below to request an appointment!
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