171221 BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO RESISTANCE BANDS 1 of 2 by Rachel Baker

THIS RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE WORKOUT GEAR IS VERSATILE

By Rachel Baker

Reprinted with permission of THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW

Resistance bands are a fantastic option for people of all fitness levels, but especially for beginners looking to start a new exercise routine. They are gentle and easy to adjust for increased or decreased intensity, and they require very little space or financial investment to get started. Here are the basics of resistance bands if you’re curious about adding them to your fitness regimen.

Resistance bands provide resistance through their elastic stretch, whereas weights and body exercises provide resistance via gravity. Because resistance bands come in different thicknesses and varied levels of elasticity, they make it very easy to start out slow with minimal resistance which can help beginners prevent overuse injuries from jumping in too quickly.

Their ability to ease you into a new workout also promotes developing good form before moving on to a higher resistance.

Exercising with resistance bands instead of weight machines at the gym allows you to work with constant tension through the movement, which helps engage and incorporate stabilizer muscles such as those in the core. That means even if you’re doing an arm or leg exercise with a resistance band, you’re also working your core and other small muscles that keep you balanced as you work against the band’s tension.

Bands come in a large variety. Therapy bands are for rehabilitative exercises after an injury. They are gentler than other resistance bands and tend to come in flat latex loops, rather than the tubular shape of most other bands. These are best used under the supervision of a physical therapist or other health care provider.

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