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Fitness

The budget fitness gadget that works every body part

June 5th 2017 / Anna Hunter / 0 comment

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It weighs next to nothing, doesn’t cost a lot and can target everything from bum to guns. Here’s how and why a resistance band ups the ante on your workout, according to a pro trainer

It may look like a glorified rubber band (admittedly it’s not very ‘gadgety’), but the humble resistance band can add as much power to your workout as a dumbbell/ double espresso combination. Sure, it appears unassuming, but the fact that the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Jennifer Lawrence and most of the Games of Thrones cast rely on a resistance band or three to improve strength, flexibility, tone, technique and general fitness levels proves that a session with a stretchy fluoro ring of rubber can reap serious rewards, plus you can take a band anywhere in a way that you most definitely can’t with a barbell.

Whether you want to perfect your squat, sculpt your arms or get your thighs burning, you can turn your resistance band to almost any body part to speed up your fitness progress safely and without shelling out for expensive gym equipment. Wondering exactly what to do with that floppy band in front of you? Doesn’t look too powerful right now does it? We recruited fitness expert and founder of Twenty Two Training Dalton Wong to talk us through the benefits of a band for arm days, core days, bum days and pretty much all days.

“I’ve put together my own signature 15 minute mini-band workouts, with three main aims incorporating toning, posture and fat burning. These are the programmes I use with my clients such as Jennifer Lawrence, Alice Eve and Kit Harington, and here’s a taster of how I like to use a band to target common focus points during a workout

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Bum

Placing the band around the ankles or knees when moving side-to-side can help you to target the glute muscles for maximum effect. Simple, but difficult at the same time.

Place the band around your knees and move your knees in and out. Here, you can use your glutes to help to stabilise the back and tone your bum.

Stomach

Single leg or double leg raises with a band around your ankles are surprisingly challenging. By using the band it adds more resistance to the core: you hold your tummy while your feet are moving.

Arms

Place the bands around the ankles and perform a push-up. In this move, the triceps have to stabilise the body with the bands, and the tension engages the arm muscles.

Now that you’ve got a few ideas for using your bands, here are a few Dos and Don’ts to bear in mind:

Do

Do use the band around the joints: ankles, wrists and knees.
Do increase the strength of the band you are using as you improve (more on that in a minute).

Don’t

Don’t use the bands on a moving object such as a treadmill.
Don’t use the bands as the sole focus of your programme.”

Dalton’s full mini-band workout programme (three 15 minute workouts), along with three bands of different resistance, therefore different strengths, can be purchased here for £30, but if you’re happy to go it alone in terms of a workout plan, you can buy a resistance band for as little as £3 on your weekly shop (try Tesco). Alternatively, for a Rosie Huntington-Whiteley approved workout, her trainer James Duigan has launched fitness bands through his Bodyism company at £12 a pop, each with a ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’ or ‘advanced’ level of resistance to tune in to the body part you’re working and your exercise experience.

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Don’t fancy ramping up the resistance on your tod? Try a low-impact resistance band based class such as barrecore’s Sculpt or the more HIIT focused Glutes Gains at Fitness First for pointers, ideas, technique and correction as to how to use a band to maximum effect. Band + bodyweight = burn. Just a warning there. The fact that weights are out of the equation doesn’t give those muscles a day off…

Want more home workout ideas using your band? Here's 5 you can do in front of the TV. You're welcome.

Follow Dalton on Twitter @Dalton_Wong and Instagram @Dalton_Wong22

Follow Anna on Twitter @AnnaMaryHunter and Instagram @annyhunter

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