Stretch bands, or resistance bands, are strength-training tools that provide resistance during exercises. They come in a variety of resistance levels and can be used to target every muscle group in your body. The benefit of using stretch bands over dumbbells is that the bands allow for a greater range of motion and incorporate more muscle fibers within each move, which can deliver more lean muscle mass.
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Standing Leg Extension
The leg extension targets your quadriceps. Doing it with a resistance band allows you to strengthen your abdominal muscles at the same time. Make a loop with the stretch band and wrap one end of the loop around your right ankle. Secure the other end around a sturdy structure a couple of feet behind you, such as the leg of a sofa. Lift your right foot straight up a couple inches off the floor, then extend your foot straight forward until your shin is in line with your thigh. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
Prone or Lying Hamstring Curl
The prone hamstring curl, executed with a resistance band, allows you to target the muscles on the back of your thigh. Lie on your stomach on an exercise mat and make a loop with the stretch band. Wrap one end of the loop around your right ankle and the other around a sturdy structure a couple of feet behind you. Bend your right knee and bring your heel toward your glutes, making sure to keep your thigh on the floor throughout the movement. Reverse the movement and return your right leg to full extension. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
Performing the seated row exercise with a resistance band strengthens your back, biceps and abdominals. Sit on the floor with your back straight and legs extended in front of you. Wrap the stretch band around the soles of your feet and take an end in each hand. Pull the band toward your navel as you bend your elbows and bring them alongside your torso. The latissimus dorsi muscles on your back under your armpit should engage as you bring your elbows back. Additionally, this exercise works the rhomboid muscles of your middle back. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position for one repetition. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
Stretch bands can also strengthen your biceps. Place the middle of the band under your right foot and take an end in each hand, palms facing out. Hug your elbows into the sides of your torso and contract your biceps as your bring each hand toward its respective shoulder. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position for one repetition. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.