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Latex bands provide sufficient resistance to strengthen your muscles.
Latex bands may be small, but when they're stretched they provide tension that your muscles must overpower. If you don't have access to a gym or to weights at home, latex bands can provide an inexpensive and portable way to strength train. You can target all the major muscles in your body with the bands to improve your strength and endurance.
Training with Bands
The challenge when you're training with latex bands is selecting a band that provides an adequate amount of resistance. The tension you need on the band will vary significantly between exercises. For example, you may need a thicker, more resistant band when you're working your legs than when training your biceps. Complete one to two sets of each exercise, with each set consisting of 20 reps. Select a band that causes your muscles to feel fatigued by the time they reach the 20th rep.
To work your chest, incorporate the lying chest press. Wrap the latex band around your upper back and hold the ends of the bands in each hand. Lie on your back on the floor with the band beneath you. Start with your hands at your shoulders. Press one arm up towards the ceiling, extending your elbow fully, and then lower it back to the starting position. Complete the exercise with the opposite arm.
The lateral raise with a latex band develops your shoulders. Stand and hold the ends of the band in your hands. Stand on the band with both feet. Begin with your hands down by your sides and then, while keeping your elbows straight, lift your arms up and out to your sides until they're parallel with the floor. Lower your arms to complete one repetition.
Develop your back with the bent-over row. Hold the ends of the latex band in your hands. Assume a staggered stance, with one foot slightly forward of the other. Place your lead foot atop the band. While keeping your back straight, bend over slightly at the waist and hold that position as you pull the bands up toward your waist, driving your elbows up toward the ceiling. Control your hands back to the starting position.
To work your biceps and triceps, complete biceps curls and overhead triceps extensions. To perform the biceps curl, hold the ends of the latex band in your hands and step atop the band with both feet. Start with your hands down by your sides with your palms facing forwards. Bend your elbows to bring your hands up to the front of your shoulders and then return under control to the starting position. For triceps extensions, hold one end of the band in one hand and position your hand behind your back. Grab the other end of the band with your other hand and hold that hand behind your head. Extend your upper elbow until your arm is pointed vertically and then lower your hand slowly back behind your head.
Lower Body Exercises
Latex band exercises that develop the major muscles in your legs include squats and lunges. To perform the squat, grab the ends of the band with each hand and stand atop the band with both feet. Keep your arms down by your side. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat and then extend them to stand back up. For lunges, get into a large staggered stance so one foot is about 24 inches in front of your back foot. Hold the ends of the latex band with your hands in front of your abdomen and step on the band with your lead foot. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees so there's tension on the band and then lower your back knee towards the floor. Come back up and repeat. Switch legs once you're finished with the set.