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Resistance Bands(Really Long Post)

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Hi All!


You may or may not have noticed that I am pretty high on resistance bands for exercise. I began with a set last fall and have progressed to my most recent set, the Lifeline Gym. I thought I would share some observations.(Mostly because I can't stand to see the forums sit idle any longer!!!;))


I have found that the resistance bands give a very good workout. They are safer to use than free weights and much less expensive than traditional home gyms. They also do pretty good job of simulating traditional weight lifting exercises, plus they don't require as much space and are more portable.


Another benefit is the use of "negative" resistance. For instance when doing a dumbell curl, you grip the weight in the hand with the arm down by your side. Then you bend the elbow lifting the weight to the shoulder. To complete the exercise you lower the weight back to the starting point. This exercise primarily works the biceps muscle on the front of the upper arm.


The "negative" comes into play when you lower the weight. The key is to control the weight as you lower it, this will give the triceps some work. That is pretty easy to do during the first repetitions, but many people become sloppy as they tire and just lower or drop the weight.


With the resistance band, there is always tension on the muscles. When you curl up, you stretch the band(positive resistance) working the biceps. When you extend the arm, the band contracts(negative resistance) working the triceps. The constant tension and effective use of both types of resistance helps you develop more quickly and see improvement faster. Seeing improvement is a big aid to keeping motivated.:)


When I began to use resistance bands, I had an inexpensive set from Walmart. I went through two of those before I bought a pair of the Lifelines off Ebay. I got the pair because they were of two different strengths. I figured I could use one for some exercises and the other for others or I would work up to the stronger one. I was correct, at least partly. The Walmart bands were good, but not in the class of the Lifelines. I could barely do 10 chest presses with the lower strength Lifeline when I got it and had been doing sets of 20 with the Walmart band. I learned that there is a difference in the types of bands. I am also now to a point where I can use the stronger one for a few reps of some exercises to give myself a little more workout.


One note of caution: Don't let the band come free and smack you! I have been smacked and it caused welts and bruises. These things may be colorful and seem a little like toys, but they can hurt you. Also, I have had some bruises on the outside of my upper arms where the bands rest when doing some exercises. It has primarily happened when I was doing higher tension exercises like shoulder presses or chest presses. They put a lot of tension on the band and cause it to 'dig in' some.


If you decide to try these things, good luck. If you read this whole post, thank you.:D



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