BANDS FOR A FULL BODY WORKOUT
I promise you, it's worth the $20
These small and portable pieces of equipment are amazing!! And most because they get the muscles that many other machines, moves, or heavy weight exercise cannot get. I am all about making my work outs as efficient as possible. Who has time to mess around the gym these days??
Hold that thought, you don't need to go to a gym to use these??? Score! These at-home moves are wonderful! AND... target muscles that so many women try to target in the gym, on the treadmill, on an elliptical or whatever the magazines try and tell them to do. But to be honest? The simpler the better.
It's not always about the heaviest weight you can lift, Sometimes it's just about using more of your body to do it. By adding these bands to some of the simplest moves out there, like the squat, you are already making your exercise more efficient and functional. So you can get as creative, or as simple as you'd like! But this equipment either way adds another layer to your workout without adding a ton of weight that, in all honesty, could do more damage to your body over time.
This is the set that I use and carry with me when I travel! Yes! When I travel! Not sure when you'll be able to head to a studio class or go to the gym? Well these bands can be used ANYWHERE and at ANY TIME! Check out these moves below as great starter moves if you're a novice to bands. And keep an eye out for ore posts to come with more moves and more ways to use these awesome pieces of equipment.
By adding a band to one of the most common moves out there, the squat, you are already activating so many more muscles than you were without the band! And PLEASE do this move in a full-body mirror. You will see how your knees and legs react differently during this move when you are activating these muscles. Now, to get technical? These bands activate the vastus lateralis muscle more than a regular squat. That's because a majority of America when they do squat have weakness in this muscle, which causes your knees to buckle when you're fatigued. Do you find that when you squat your knees do this on the way back up in a squat? That doesn't mean that you're weak! It just means that some muscles are overtrained than others and these are muscles aren't activated in the way that they should be.
But by adding these bands to again, one of the simplest moves out there, the squat, you are activating the muscles like the vastus lateralis muscle which attaches to your hip and kneecap and therefore functionally working your entire leg; front, back and the sides.
This is one of my least favorite exercises. Mostly because after the first one, you feel like you're gonna nail it... then a few reps later... different story. But it is one of the most functional movements out there. The lateral movement in exercise is sometimes a forgotten art. Again, read the paragraph above and you'll understand why it is so important to activate the muscles that this exercise gets so very well :-) If you spend hours a week on the elliptical or treadmill, this exercise is a MUST! You're only training your body to go one way on those machines, which is a common reason why people who use those machines a ton have knee and hip problems. You need to strengthen the muscles around those joints, and I cannot tell you the importance of the vastus lateralis muscle and how it works in your body.
To complete: lower to a squat > stay low and step your right leg into a wide squat > continue to stay low and return to a regular squat > then repeat the step into a wide squat on the left side > return left leg to regular squat > stand > repeat.
Looking to step up your squat game a bit? This one's a great one. I could give my lecture on functional movement a million times, but I'll just refer you to the paragraphs above. This particular squat isn't just an up and down motion. In this version I start in the standing position and jump into a wide squat position. But instead of just going right back up and right back down, jump out of the wide squat position into the standing position. And repeat! With the addition of the band, it gets those muscles on the side more than if you did it without the band and it doesn't overwork the other muscles that I'm sure you have taken care of by now.
Now, this won't give you a big booty! I love this move because it isn't solely focused on your big muscles in your butt. It gets those little guys underneath and below the gluteus maximus that connect to your hammies as well as your lower back! I am huge on back health and because people tend to sit way too much, their lumbar is weaker. Focus on standing up straight and not bending your upper body over during this move. That's your body trying to use your stronger core muscles for this move instead of your back. But that's not why we're doing it :-D It's a simple move and might not take you to fatigue or make you sweat, but a great functional movement to get every little muscle in the back of your leg that other exercises sometimes forget!
I hope that get a set of bands and try these exercises soon. If you do, let me know how it went in the comments below! I would love to hear how it went, and if you have any other types of workouts that you want to learn more bout.