Now more than ever when you are still reluctant about hitting a gym, resistance bands can be your saviour. Light-weight, easy to carry and versatile, these stretchy bands can work on a range of body parts, burn fat, balance out muscle imbalances and also build muscle endurance. They also add variety and make workouts fun. Vesna P. Jacob, holistic fitness guru, pilates expert and author, says, “The beauty of the band is that it supports your movement making it more stable and safer to do, and at the same time adding a challenge to the workout. This little routine is best done to the music you really like, so do the movement by following the beat of music.” She suggests a set of six exercises that you do at home for maximum effect in short time. “The exercises are designed to work all the parts of the body. For the real fat burn, try to do 50 reps of each exercise or each exercise for the entire duration of your favourite song,” she adds.
Up & Back
Wrap the band around the hands so there is tension which is comfortable but noticeable. Stretch the arms high over the head puling the hands away from one another, as you exhale pull the bands behind the head towards the shoulder, make sure you don’t push the head forward while doing this. The movement should be happening from the shoulders joints. As you exhale, bring the arms into the starting position.
Side to Side
Continuing with the arms, stretch the arm fully on one side so that entire arm is parallel to the floor. And with the other arm bent, change the side. This looks great when done with a rhythm
Bra Fat Buster
This exercise is much tougher than what it looks like. Place the band behind the body. Lean forward so that the upper body is almost parallel to the ground. Pull the hands away from each other and pull the arms up and down as fast as you can to the beat of the song, arms straight and pulling the hands away while keeping the elbows parallel to each other throughout.
Step on the band and stretch it out so that you are feeling the tension on the side of the legs, bend the elbows so that you feel tension in your arms as well, and lift one leg up and step to the side and back (diagonally), lift the leg and bring it back to the starting position.
Wrap the band around one foot, shift the entire weight on to the other leg so that you are balancing on it, bring the knee to the chest, and as you exhale push your leg as far as out possible and lean forward so that your upper body is as parallel to the ground, come back to the starting position and repeat.
‘Hundred’ with band
The hundred is a classical Pilates exercise, but we will do this with a twist. Lie down on your back, wrap the band around your feet and hold the ends in your hands. Stretch the legs up towards the ceiling. Tighten your abs, lift your head up and start a quick short flapping movement with the arms, this is a great exercise for the whole body. Inhale on 6 flaps and exhale on 4 flaps.