RESISTNCE BANDS

The trusty sidekick to your superhero training routine

You know how every action movie has a sidekick — the modest friend who’s constantly cheering on the hero, pushing them to reach new heights, and generally having their back so they can save the day? In the world of workouts, that trusty sidekick is your set of resistance bands. They may not look like much, but they’re about to launch your workout results into the stratosphere. Ready to learn how they can help?

Maximize your results

Research has shown that workouts that incorporate resistance bands activate more muscle groups that free weights — and may even activate those muscle groups more deeply. This is in part because resistance bands stimulate your stabilizing muscles, which requires your body to work harder to balance and maintain proper form during exercise. The results? One study at Ithaca College compared the strength of athletes who combined bands with bench presses and squats to athletes who used only free weights, and found that the group who incorporated band training had gained twice as much muscle as their counterparts.

Increase circulation

Can’t get up from your desk yet? Stuck on a long plane ride? A resistance band is a great way to boost circulation and flexibility while sitting, both of which can helpprevent injury and pain in the long run. One seated resistance band exercise you can practice (while still being discreet) is leg abductors — wrap the band around your thighs to a comfortable firmness, and then open and close your legs. You can also try this by wrapping the band just below your knees, then opening them and allowing them to collapse back together.

Boost mobility

Resistance bands aren’t just a great workout accessory — they’re also an excellent tool for recovery and injury rehabilitation. This is because resistance bands not only help you focus on proper form, they’re also safer than free weights when it comes to adding strength training to injury rehab work. They’re particularly impactful for knee and shoulder injuries, which can be notoriously tough to rehabilitate.