Five Movements to Do with Exercise Tubes and How They Can Help You
So you’ve been working out with resistance bands and you’re getting stronger. You look good. You feel great. But there’s a problem: as your muscles are getting bigger, they’re also getting tighter and less flexible. You’re losing joint mobility and range of motion. It’s not fair.
Getting in Shape Is About More Than Getting Strong
We’ve talked before about the three components of an exercise program: cardiovascular training, strength training, and flexibility. Limited joint mobility and range of motion are what happens when you focus on the first two (and especially the second) while neglecting the third. If you spend all your time pumping those muscles, they’re going to get strong but they’re also going to tense up and get shorter.
Fortunately the fix is easy. Simple mobility stretches during your warmup before a workout — along with longer static stretches afterward during the cool down — should be enough. You don’t need to turn yourself into a super-yogi. You just need to add a few muscle lengthening moves to your workouts.
Use Resistance Bands for Strength Training and Stretching
We like to recommend ExerBand Resistance Tubing as a versatile, economical fitness tool. But if you’re only using bands for strength training, you’re missing out on half the fun. They’re also a great help for stretching and mobility.
Loosen up Before Your Workout
You don’t want to go cold into any workout. Light calisthenics are a great way to warm up and get the blood flowing. Think jumping jacks, running in place, or even jumping an imaginary rope. Part of this workout should also include dynamic stretches and range of motion movements. There’s no need to hold these stretches for a long time, just long enough to help brush the cobwebs from your muscles and joints. ExerBand Resistance Tubing can help with these exercises, acting almost like a stretching partner:
Chest Stretch — Hold the band in front of you then gently pull your arms out to your sides to stretch the chest. You may need to adjust your grip to change the tension if the band is too tight or too loose. You should feel your shoulder blades retracting toward one another. Make this a gentle stretch; don’t let it cause any discomfort.
Chest and Shoulder Mobility — While holding the band stretched out before you, maintain a good, neutral posture as you then raise your hands overhead and then lower them behind your back. Move slowly and repeat several times, once again avoiding any discomfort.
Stretch After Your Workout
Your cool down after a workout (whether cardio or strength training) is a great time to do some static stretching. Once again, resistance bands will come in handy.
Hamstring — If you’re flexible enough, you’ll be able to use your hands for this one. But bands are a great way to give yourself some assistance if you have tight hamstrings. Wrapping the band around your foot will make it less likely to slide off during the stretch.
Thigh and Hip Opener — Lower your leg to the side while lying on your back. You may or may not have the flexibility to bring the leg all the way to the ground. The band will help you control the leg and bring it to a comfortable stretch.
Hip and Glutes — Now bring the leg across your body, again using the band to control the leg and bring it to an appropriate stretch of the glutes.