By Christina Chapan
This is a series about using strength bands in your workout. When working with children, bands and balls are a great alternative to weight workouts. Strength bands are inexpensive and come in a variety of strengths and sizes, so all ages can participate in exercises and benefit from executing the exercises correctly.
Muscles Utilized: Deltoids
Stand on the band, holding handles with both hands. The band is distributed evenly under feet, shoulder width apart. Begin with arms bent in a goalpost-shape, wrists straight and abs engaged. Contract the shoulders to straighten arms up and lower back down. Use an even motion to bring up the tubes from shoulders to above the head.
|One-Arm Lateral Raise
Sit or stand with one end of the tube underfoot and the other end in one hand. Keeping elbow slightly bent and fixed, lift the arm out – shoulder-level – to one side.
Stand in the center of the band. Hold the handles for more resistance. Wrap the ends of the bands around your hands. Bring the bands forward and hold them at the starting position at the waist. Lift arms overhead and keep arms as straight as possible.
Muscles Utilized: Front and Side Deltoids
Stand with your feet evenly distributed on the tube, hip- or shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight, shoulders back, and chest out. Lift the band from hips to shoulder height and back again with an even motion. Palms are upright and fingers and thumbs are downward. Return to starting position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Muscles Utilized: Pectorals
Begin by lying down and facing the floor. Start in the push up position, pushing up with knees or toes towards the floor. Bend to wrap the band over your back and hold the ends with both hands flat on the floor. If using a tube with handles, hold the tube inward from the handles. Loop the band to add tension and bend elbows toward the pushup. To emphasize the triceps, move hands closer together with thumbs and index finger to form a diamond.
| One-Arm Chest Fly
Attach the band to a sturdy object or have a partner hold the band. Hold the handle in the right hand and wrap the loop around the hand to increase tension. Keeping the arm straight, with elbow slightly bent at shoulder level, contract the chest to bend the arm in towards the middle chest. Return to chest and repeat.
| Chest Press
Have a partner hold the middle part of the band or wrap the band around a stable object. Hold the handles in both hands, tubing running along the insides of the arms with palms facing each other. Squeeze the chest and press arms out in front. Return to chest and repeat. Don’t lock out the elbows and keep knees soft and abdominals tight and engaged. Keep arms at chest level.
Muscles Utilized: Triceps Brachii
|Triceps Overhead Press
Stand with back straight and one foot on the tube. With both hands, raise the tube straight overhead, and then slowly lower to the head. Elbows should be up by the upper part of the head and hands behind the head. Lift the tube back up so that arms are straight but not locked. Repeat for desired repetitions.
| Triceps Extension
Hold the tubing in one hand and place the other hand behind your back. Now grab the other end of the band with the overhead arm and stretch the top elbow until your arm is fully extended. Return to the starting position and repeat for desired repetitions.
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