Everything You Need To Know About Resistance Exercise
Are you living the life you want to live?
Is a decrease in your physical strength and energy getting in the way of enjoying your favorite activities?
After the age of 30, adults lose 3-8% of their muscle mass per decade due to decreased activity.
As you lose muscle, you lose strength which will affect your quality of life.
Your metabolism also slows down as you lose muscle, so your body will need fewer calories to maintain itself, and you’re likely to gain excess body fat, unless you eat less. And excess fat contributes to a multitude of health problems: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
For those times when you just can’t make it to the gym, TheraBand Resistance Elastic bands offers an inexpensive and portable way to get a full-body resistant-training workout at home or on the road.
Resistance training (also called strength training or weight training) is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength and size of skeletal muscles.
You do not need to be a bodybuilder to benefit from resistant-training.
Practising resistance or strength training using TheraBand Elastic Bands is an effective health-boosting strategy.
When resistance training is undertaken repeatedly and consistently, muscles become stronger.
Benefits of Resistance Exercise Training
- Improved muscle strength and tone
- Increased bone density and strength and reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Helps you maintain flexibility and balance
- Weight management and reduced body fat
- Greater stamina – as you grow stronger, you won’t get tired as easily
- Prevention or control of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, back pain, depression and obesity
- Pain management
- Improved posture
- Decreased risk of injury
- Improved sense of wellbeing – resistance training can boost your self-confidence, improve your body image and reduce the risk of depression
- A better night’s sleep and avoidance of insomnia
- Enhanced performance of everyday tasks
Studies have also shown that resistance exercise may be more effective than aerobic exercise in improving body image and self esteem. One reason for this is that resistance training provides more immediate results. After training for a short period of time, you will notice that your muscles have grown and become more toned.
Basic principles of resistance training
You need to rest between sets. If your goal is muscle size or endurance, rest for about two minutes
Switching around your workout routine, such as regularly introducing new exercises, challenges your muscles and forces them to adapt with increased size and strength
Muscle needs time to repair and grow after a workout. A good rule of thumb is to rest the muscle group for at least 24 hours before working the same muscle group again.
To start, a typical beginner’s strength training program involves:
Eight to 10 exercises that work the major muscle groups of the body and are performed two to three times every week
Beginning with one set of each exercise, comprising as few as five repetitions (reps), no more than twice a week.
Your aim is to gradually increase to one set for each exercise – comprising eight to 12 reps, every second or third day. Once you can comfortably do 12 reps of an exercise you should look at progressing further.
10 Resistance Band Exercises You Can Do Anywhere
- Thera-Band Elbow Flexion (standing unilateral)
Strengthens the biceps and elbow.
Begin with one end of the band stabilised under your foot. Grasp the band with your elbow by your side, and tension on the band. Lift the band upward, keeping your wrist straight and elbow by your side. Hold and slowly return.
- Thera-Band Shoulder Empty Can Raise
Performing shoulder abduction in the scapular plane helps isolate the rotator cuff.
Begin with one end of the band stabilised under your foot.
Grasp the band with your elbow by your side, and tension on the band. Lift the band upward, keeping your wrist straight and elbow by your side.
Hold and slowly return.
- Thera-Band Shoulder Extension (Core)
Thera-Band Shoulder Chest Flies (sitting on ball)Strengthens the posterior shoulder, but can also be a great exercise for core stability.
Securely attach one end of the band in front of you. Begin in power position with knees & hips slightly bent and abdominals tight.
Keeping your elbow straight, pull the band backward. Hold & slowly return. Avoid rotating or bending the trunk.
- Strengthens the anterior shoulder and chest muscles.
Securely attach the middle of a long band or tubing. Grasp the other end of the bands behind you at shoulder level.
Keeping your elbow straight and arm parallel to the ground, pull the bands forward. Hold and slowly return.
Keep your back and neck straight, and avoid leaning over.
Persons with shoulder instability or pain should not perform this exercise.
You can perform this exercise while standing as well.
- Thera-Band Knee Flexion (in prone)
Strengthens the hamstring muscles.
Tie the ends of a long band together, creating a loop. Securely attach one end of the loop near the floor.
Lay on your stomach and place the other end of the loop around your ankle. Begin with your knee straight and flex (bend) your knee against the band. Hold and slowly return.
- Thera-Band Knee Extension
Strengthens the quadriceps (thigh) muscles.
Secure one end of the band behind a chair. Attach the other end of the band to your ankle. Slowly extend your knee against the band until straight. Hold and slowly return.
- Thera-Band Hip Extension
This exercise targets the hip extensors (gluteus maximus)
Loop the band around your ankle, and stabilize the other end of the band to a stationary object near the floor. Stand facing the attachment. Keep your knees straight and kick backward.
Keep your back straight, and avoid leaning or bending over. Hold and slowly return.
- Thera-Band Knee Squat
The squat is an excellent closed-chain exercise for the entire leg.
Stand on the middle of the band with both feet. Grasp the ends of the band at shoulder level. Perform squat, keeping back & elbows straight. Hold and slowly return.
Keep your back straight and knees pointing forward. Don’t allow your knees to rotate inward or outward.
- Thera-Band Abdominal Crunch in Supine
Adding elastic resistance to your curl-up will increase the contraction of your abdominal muscles.
Securely attach the ends of the band to a stationary object near the floor. Lay on your back with your knees bent. Extend arms in front and grasp the middle of the loop with hands close together.
Keep elbows straight in front and curl trunk upward, lifting shoulder blades from floor. Hold and slowly return.
Keep your elbows straight and be sure to lift shoulder blades off floor.
- Thera-Band Cervical Extension-Dynamic Isometric (sitting)
Helps increase strength and stability of the neck.
Begin in sitting with a loop of band securely attached on one end, and the loop around your head. Keep you back and neck straight while you slightly lean forward from your hips, moving your head about 10cm forward.
Hold and slowly return to the starting position. Keep your neck straight, moving with your shoulders.
For beginners,start with 8-10 exercises that work the major muscle groups of the body and are performed 2-3 times every week.
More advanced strength trainers (those using resistance bands for more than three months) should try to complete 2 or 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
It is easy to alter the intensity of the exercise by simply changing your position in relation to the origin of the band
Basic principles of resistance training
- For the most effective total body workouts, include exercises that work all of the major muscle groups i.e. legs, back, chest, shoulders arms and core.
- Design your routine to work your larger muscle groups first (eg. chest and back), prior to working the smaller muscles (eg. biceps and triceps).
- Warm up for 5-10 minutes and gently stretch the muscles you will be working.
- Switching around your workout routine, such as regularly introducing new exercises, challenges your muscles and forces them to adapt with increased size and strength
- To gain maximum benefit, do a split routine, with upper body exercises on one day and lower body plus core, on the next.
- During resistance training exercise muscle fibres are broken down and in the days following the work-out the fibres repair and grow stronger to meet the demands that have been placed on it. A good rule of thumb is to rest the muscle group for at least 24 hours before working the same muscle group again.
- Stretch each muscle group after each set and at the end of the entire workout to improve flexibility.
- Maintain good posture throughout each exercise: Keep your knees slightly bent, your abdominal muscles pulled in and your chest expanded.
- Perform the exercises in a slow and controlled manner
Have the Emed’s Musculoskeletal Profile before you start on a resistance training program done to discover any nutritional deficiencies at early stage to effectively prevent injuries and to restore muscle function and improve quality of life.