Become a 'BetterU' by following these instructions for awesome resistance band exercises for women from the American Heart Association!
For Best Results:
- Perform these exercises 2–3 times per week.
- Allow one day of rest between workout sessions.
- Begin with 1 set of 8–15 repetitions.
- Increase to 2–3 sets over the following 2–4 weeks.
- Rest 30–60 seconds between sets.
Every movement (repetition) should be done with a smooth, controlled tempo so the band is pulled apart slowly, followed by a pause, before slowly releasing the tension on the band and returning to the starting position. The slow, controlled movements keep tension on the muscles, thus producing strength and safety. The exercise should control the band and not allow it to yank or snap the limbs/torso back to the starting position.
The Ready Position
The ready posture is much like that of a military person standing at attention. The exerciser should stand with feet shoulder-width apart, chest lifted up, the head directly over the shoulders, shoulders over the hips, the hips aligned directly over the knees, and the knees over the ankles. This ensures the proper stacking of the body and protects the head, neck, spine, and lower back.
This move is great for countering sitting at a computer all day and important for posture. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, assume the ready position, grasp the band at each end and wrap hands around several times to remove excess slack, palms out, arms extended in front of you at shoulder level, elbows slightly bent. Pull the band by keeping arms parallel to the floor by pulling the shoulders back and squeeze the shoulder blades together.
Works backside of the upper arm. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, in the ready position. Raise right elbow up to eyebrow level. Wrap one end of the band around the right hand several times, palm up. Drop the other end behind the back, grab with the left hand and wrap band around hand several times to remove excess slack, palm facing out. Maintain this level throughout the exercise. Extend the right elbow (but don’t lock it out) and pull the band out. The right hand is traveling up and out. Repeat on other side.
Standing Hip Abduction
Great for legs! Tie the ends of the band together with a half-bow or knot, forming a loop. Place band around both ankles. Stand next to the wall or furniture for balance, feet shoulder-width apart; assume ready position. Move the far leg away from the body, pulling the band apart.
Keep foot and toes of moving limb straight forward; do not rotate or twist. Turn around (remember to use wall or furniture to balance) and repeat on other side.
Great for obliques. Place one end of the band under your right foot. With elbow straight,
adjust the length of the band to remove all slack. With your right hand by the side of your body, bend your torso directly to the left without forward torso movement. Keep hips stationary. Repeat on other side.
Standing Hip Extension
For the buttocks or gluteal muscles. Tie the ends of the band together with a half-bow or knot, forming a loop. Place band around both ankles. Stand facing the wall or furniture for balance in the ready position. Move right leg straight back, toes pointing forward until you feel the buttocks contract. Do not sway the lower back and keep the left knee slightly bent. Repeat on other side.
Seated Leg Extension
Strengthen upper, front thighs. Sit in a chair all the way back. Wrap the ends of the band around your hands several times to remove excess slack and place the ball of the right foot on the middle of the band. Bring both hands together and pull back, drawing the thigh toward the chest, knee bent. Extend the right knee as the entire thigh and leg move downward and away from the body. Don’t lock out the knee. Repeat on