THIS RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE WORKOUT GEAR IS VERSATILE
By Rachel Baker
Reprinted with permission of THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW
Figure eight resistance bands come with handles on each end and are typically used for training the upper body. Ring resistance bands are made from a single ring with two handles and are generally used for lower body exercises. Lateral resistance bands come with Velcro cuffs on each end for extra security during leg workouts.
These bands are all great if you want something designed for specific workouts, but if you want a few bands that can do it all, then compact and loop bands are your go- to.
You’re probably already familiar with compact bands. They are long, tubular and come with handles on each end. Some compact band sets come with a velcro ankle cuff as well. These are especially great if you’re interested in using door hooks for pulling and pushing upper
Loop bands have increased in popularity over the past few years, especially for lower body exercises that focus on abductor and adductor muscles. They come in long loops or short loops.
The long loops, sometimes called power bands, are great for full body exercises, and while they might lack a bit of the comfort that compact band handles offer, they are just as versatile. They can also be used to assist body weight exercises like pull-ups, or to add extra resistance to push-ups or squats.
The small loops, often called minibands, are great for adding intensity and increasing muscle engagement for exercises like glute bridges, leg raises, kick backs and plank jacks.
If you’re interested in trying resistance bands, purchase a few with different strengths if you can.
This allows you to switch them out when working parts of your body that might be stronger or weaker than other areas, and gives you room for increasing the difficulty as you build strength.
Elastic resistance bands are a good choice for beginners who are starting a new exercise routine, making it easy to start out slow.