How to Exercise with Elastic Bands
If you’re trying to find a gentle work out after your weight loss surgery and find that going to a gym is too expensive or inconvenient, elastic bands are a convenient way to practice resistance training at home. Elastic bands (also known as resistance bands) are a simple and effective way to strengthen muscles and improve range of motion if you have been inactive for a while and are trying to ease back into an exercise routine.
Tips for Using Elastic Bands for Exercise
- Choose the right band for your fitness level. Most manufacturers color code the bands according to resistance or difficulty to make choosing the appropriate band easier. Start with the lowest level and slowly work your way up so as not to overdo it in the beginning. As your strength and endurance increases you can use more than one band at a time to increase the resistance.
- Check the band for tears before exercising. If you find a tear or other damage retire the band and use another one. Although it may look amusing in cartoons, getting hit by a band that snaps at full stretch is no fun at all.
- Get a grip. To hold the band properly, take a firm grip near the end of the band, allowing the very ends to hang loose at the sides of your hand.
- Hold the band taut when you’re exercising. The elastic bands shouldn’t sag, even when you’re in the resting position of your exercises.
3 Sample Elastic Band Exercises
Chest Press: Wrap the band around your back with each end in your hands at armpit level. Push your arms out straight, slowly bringing your hands toward each other.
Bicep Curl: Stand on one end of the band while holding the other end in your hand. Curl your arm up slowly, keeping your upper arm and elbow close to your side. Lower your hand back to the starting position to complete the exercise.
Squat: Stand on the band with your feet hips-width apart, holding one end in each hand. Pull your hands up to hip level and then squat down, keeping your knees behind your toes as you lower your body. For a more intense exercise, hold your hands at shoulder level.
Using elastic bands after weight loss surgery has additional advantages if you have mobility issues. There are many exercises that you can do in a seated or reclined position. With frequent use, you will be surprised at how quickly your muscle tone improves.