A jump rope and resistance bands are two of the most conveniently portable workout accessories, you can find for yourself. Both can offer a quick, fierce workout. To compensate for lack of jump rope skills, one might be able to fit in cardio without the use of any equipment by going through a bodyweight circuit in quick succession or simply going for a run or a long walk.
The same may not be true for strength training. Especially for those seasoned in fitness or downright beginners, bodyweight exercises might end up being too hard, too easy, too boring or may not recruit all the muscles well enough, thanks to the hours of sitting we all do on a daily basis.
Enter resistance bands. Though you might have to explore a little to figure out the appropriate resistance matching your fitness, it is a worthy purchase. These bands might look harmless but they are capable of generating a massive burn in the smallest to the largest of muscles. The following video is a sample of a quick full-body resistance-band workout including a warm up and stretches to cool down.
Save both time and money
A little bit of self-education goes a long way in optimizing your everyday routine. A gym may not always be accessible or affordable while traveling or otherwise. Do not let that turn into an excuse to slouch over your laptop for endless hours. Science backed research claims that the longer you sit, the less productive you get. A few stretches every other hour may not cut it, considering the damage we tend to do to ourselves with dire levels of inactivity.
Purchase a pair of tube-resistance bands of varying tension that tax your muscle groups, between 15 to 30 repetitions of a movement and you are good to go. They barely take up space or add any extra weight to your suitcase. Add to that a doorjamb or anchor and you can literally replicate just about any exercise one can perform in a commercial gym!
Of course, as is the case while using any exercise equipment, employ the utmost caution while testing resistance bands for the first few times as well. If the resistance is too hard or the bands are too cheap, they might unexpectedly snap and cause injury. It is best to try a few basic moves at home before executing a trial run in the park or at an unfamiliar venue.
Walk tall, fix your posture and get pain free
This is no exaggeration that band exercises can help get rid of routine niggling pains. The bane of most desk bound jobs are rounded shoulders and weak hips and hamstrings that eventually cause frequent lower back or knee pain. Even if you take the trouble to visit the gym occasionally and regularly train your legs, chances are you might STILL have a weaker posterior chain and a poor posture as a direct side effect.
As the world famous strength conditioning coach, Bret Contreras seconds in his research, long hours of daily sitting renders one with ‘glute amnesia,’ which means that people often fail to activate their hips and hamstrings even while doing the most fundamental exercises like squats!
Undo the damage of sitting
Here is a simple test. Stand up straight, take a deep breath, exhale and relax your body. Do your thumbs point straight ahead or towards each other? If they point towards each other, you suffer from rounded shoulders that are fast becoming common among gym enthusiasts as well as couch potatoes.
The best exercise to strengthen the much-ignored rhomboids, that is the area between the shoulder blades are band pull-aparts. Weight lifters can use them as a mobility drill warm-up before heavy lifting while sedentary people can use them as rehabilitation for posture improvement.
The following video is an elaborate description of various band pull-apart versions.
The best exercises to activate weak muscles in the hips are glute-bridges and monster walk. A quick demonstration is provided in the video below.
If you think, you are tough enough then use bands to take your workouts to the next level. You will be surprised how much harder the simplest movements can become by adding a band with appropriate resistance into the equation. An ideal example would be a resistance band push-up. The following videos offer several options to work your abs harder in the comfort of your home. So go ahead, start exploring with what all you can do and have fun with it!