HOW TO STRETCH WITH RESISTANCE BANDS

Stretching is how you stay flexible no matter what your situation. Whether your back aches because you sit all day long or you are working to heal an injured joint. Stretching opens the muscle up to its full extent, increasing the circulation. Resistance bands are a practical choice for stretching exercises because they add tension to the move and are easily portable. Consider four stretching exercises you can do anywhere with resistance bands.

How to Handle Resistance Bands
Start by learning how to handle the resistance band. The bands come in different weights. Beginners will want to start with medium weight band. You can buy flat bands or tubes that come with handles on each end.

Start each stretch slowly to ensure you have control of the band to maximizing the toning and reduce the risk of injury. Pull on the band just enough to create tension.

Stretching the Chest Muscles
Sit on the floor cross-legged and grab one end of the band in each hand. Pull it taut over your head, but keep the band loose enough that you can pull down without it breaking. Stretch your arms out and then down to complete the stretch. You can do one set pulling down to the front of your chest and another going back behind your neck.

Side Stretch
Remain in the cross-legged position and grip the band with each hand. Place your left hand on the floor next to your body while you reach the right one over your head. The bicep of your right arm should be near your ear. Pull up with your right arm while activating the muscles on your left side to stretch them. Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds and then switch sides.

Lower Back Stretch
Extend your legs out in front and wrap the band around your feet as you grip it with both hands. The band goes from one hand, around the arches of both feet to the other hand. Pull back on the bands as you stretch your lower back. Keep the abs tight to support your back. Hold for about 30 seconds and then return to start.

Hamstring Stretch
Lie back on the floor and wrap the band around just one foot. Lift your leg up towards the ceiling while keeping the other leg slightly bent on the floor. You may not get the active leg all the way up and that’s okay. Just raise it as much as you can comfortably and pull down on the band to increase the tension. Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds then switch legs.

Stretching is your best option to warm up muscles and prevent injury. If you are recovering from an injury, ask your doctor for advice on the best stretches to manage your pain.

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