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Fitness Guru: Strength bands for training results | Features

Strength bands are a great tool to target, isolate and develop muscles. Using elastic resistance exercises can help you stay with your program despite travel, time or schedule interruptions. Elastic bands, tubing or loops provide a consistent resistance for so many types of movements that develop the body and make you stronger.

You can stay fit whether or not you are at the gym, posh resort hotel, at home, or in a fairly tight space. Bands are portable and take up little room. Longer resistance bands with handles are helpful for back and arm exercises, and shorter loops for isolated hip and leg work. Typically, you would use a simple solid attachment point for a longer resistance band, like a banister or post. Shorter bands work really well looped around your wrists, hips, legs, ankles, or feet.

Bands are also an important component of a sports training program where you need strength and power. Elastic resistance training gives you the ability to exercise multiple joints and planes in a standing position, similar to your sport. It also enhances movement patterns. Hockey players, for example, skate and move in all directions. A training program has to include not only whole-body power and explosive muscular strength, but also specific simulation exercises. A resisted “hockey slap shot,” for example, where a band is secured around a hockey stick and the other end attached to a stationary object, loads and strengthens the hip complex as well as the whole body. This cylinder rotational move involves the motion of the shoulders, and pelvis, with the power coming from the hip and preserving your back, all crucial for a winning slap shot.

Resisted glute kickback

Figure 1: Correct form

Correct form. 

Fitness Figure 2: Incorrect Form

Incorrect form. 

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