Hi everybody, Kris Stokes, your Amarillo personal trainer, here from Custom Fitness. I’m here today in the Custom Fitness studio where we provide boutique style training using minimal equipment. Today, I want to show you one of my favorite pieces of equipment that can really go with you anywhere, so at anytime you can workout and will accomplish some really excellent, efficient results. If you have any questions about this, give us a call: 806-322-3188 we’d be happy to help. So what is the equipment I love? My bands.
As a personal trainer in Amarillo for quite some time I haven’t found another piece of equipment as versatile with such stunning results. There’s a lot of different kinds of bands; some have handles, some are wide and flat. The one I’m using today are just my long circle band. They are latex, but you can buy them in a non-latex form as well. I prefer bands because they are very easy to grab and go. You can throw them in your car, bring them on a trip, take them to the office and have a workout ready for you. So they will intensify your body weight exercises, give you an extra edge on your strength exercises, and even can use them in the cardio room.
Today we’re going to look at how to keep yourself safe when using bands, different attachment points, and give you a few exercises you can do that will work your core. It’s summer, everyone wants to work their core.
So today, we are going to start with our bands. Maybe you have one of the other kinds mentioned previously stored away in a closet or under the bed somewhere. The first thing we need to do when you pull out a piece of equipment is to check it out. These are basically large rubber bands, so you want to make sure they are in good condition before you start using them. If it was to snap and break and hit you in the leg (it’s going to hurt, but not too bad) you’ll probably get a bruise. If it hits you in the face however, it could hit your eye or other sensitive places and do a lot of damage. I’ve had a few friends who have experienced the latter and I want to make sure you guys are taken care of and are being safe when you use these.
Check ‘Em Out
First thing to do, is know how old the band is. If it’s over 12 months old you really need to be checking it. If you have only had if for a few months, the signs of wear and tear won’t be as obvious as it is if it is a year or older. So you’re going to pull and stretch on the band all the way around it, both sides. You are looking to make sure there are no cracks, no tears, nothing that looks like a dried out rubber band. Looking out for places that look worn down, discoloration (sun and heat exposure can deteriorate your bands). If your bands have handles, double check that the handles are firmly attached to the band without fraying. We just want to make sure there’s no chance of the band breaking during your exercise; that would result in a really bad time for us.
When your bands have passed the check and you are ready to work out, you have 2 options we can use with bands when we are by ourselves. You can use bands unattached. For example, if I was doing a chest press, I would use my body as the attachment point, and stretch the band behind me to perform the exercise. Option 2 is a door or wall anchor. In our other studio space, we have a wall anchor, but you probably don’t have that at home. So, I’m in a different part of our studio where I can show you what a door anchor looks like. A door anchor is a loop of fabric that is sewn into a knot or large donut pad (there are a lot of different kinds out there). The piece with the knob on it will go through you door above your top hinge. You place it all the way through the space of the door and close it. You want to make sure you lock the door, so someone doesn’t come in after you during your workout and you end up flying across the room. Remember to lock the door, or put a sign up on the other side just to make sure no one comes in while you’re workout out.
If you have a handled band, then you slide one handle through the loop and you have your anchor. What do you do if you have a circle band? You can fold the circle in half and slip it through the loop, or you can make a slip knot around the fabric loop (fold the circle in half, slide it through the fabric loop, then bring that section of band down and through the band that is outside the fabric loop). Now I have a secure attachment for my bands.
We can change the intensity by working at a high attachment, above the highest hinge; a medium attachment, right above the middle hinge; and a low attachment, directly below the bottom hinge — just so when we pull up, we aren’t making the band walk up the door jam. Notice, we are putting the anchor on the hinge side of the door and not the handle side of the door. That is where safety comes into play because the hinges are the strongest part of your door. If you hear creaking or your door doesn’t shut, probably not the best door to use. If you have stairs on the other side of the door, or other obstacles, again not so safe. Try and find a space that is level, clear of any obstacles and that will be safe to use these rubber bands.
We have 3 of my favorite exercises for bands. Today everyone is talking about using their core and tightening their core. When we use bands the added bonus is that they automatically force your core to react. We have use our whole body to stabilize ourselves when we are trying to work with the resistance bands.
Exercise number one
We would usually do 30 seconds of each one, but I’ll do a few reps of each exercise and kind of walk you through how we are going to do it. So, to start off I am going to put my hand into this faux handle (or on the actual handle if you are using those kind of bands). My camera is set up a little too close, so I am going to back off a bit by placing the loop between my fingers and layer my other hand on top. I am going to find a stance where I am facing perpendicular to my door. I hold my core nice and tight as though I were coughing or sneezing. Hold shoulders down and level and bring the band down and away from the door.
Exercise number two
We face the door, stepping about 2 feet away from it, grabbing each side of the band with a hands. And we pull straight down and come straight back up with straight elbows. Keeping your hands shoulder width apart makes this less challenging as does putting your hands lower on the band, but if you’d like to increase the intensity perform the movement with your arms out past your shoulders or place your hands higher on the band. Either way, you press straight down and straight back up. These bands have about a 3 yard stretch to them. If you stretch them much further than that you are going to cause them to wear down faster.
The closer you are to the attachment point you are the easier it is, if you step further away the more difficult. We want to make sure we are making things the right intensity.
Exercise number three
I am going to move my anchor point to the middle anchor; real easy, real quick. Make sure the door is locked and tightly shut so we don’t get hurt. I am going to hold the band a little tighter since my camera is so close, but you can hold it with the loop around your hand and your other hand on top or other hand on your forearm. So we stand perpendicular to the door and anchor point, stand up nice and tall, hold in your stomach nice and tight, soften your knees and rotate away from the door. It is a small twist, but notice how the hands and sternum stay in line during the movement. As we twist, we aren’t losing our stabilization. We aren’t just letting the arms go crazy. This is all about the core rotation. So the movement is teeny tiny, but it will give you a great ab workout, really push those obliques.
Think maybe 30 seconds for each exercise, two sets total. Call us if you want any help or a customized program — that’s what we do best! We can write you out a customized program that fits to your body physical abilities and needs to get you to your goals faster. Give us a call at 806-322-3188 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to you soon!