Gym equipment can be extremely expensive. The All American Rack, for example, costs nearly $2,500. If you're looking for great workout gear without a high price tag, consider resistance bands.
Regardless of your program goals, strength equipment can be very inexpensive. A quick look at Perform Better's site will show you how little resistance bands cost. Economy bands go for $7. You can get the equivalent of 100 pounds of Olympic weight plates for about 75% less money. In addition, resistance bands require very little space.
You're really getting a great bang for your buck with bands, and most exercises have a resistance band variation.
Tubes = Bands
Bands and tubes are in the same family. If your preference is tubes, easy attachment handles can turn them into effective tools for extra-heavy strength movements. Bands' effectiveness stems from their constant resistance. During both the eccentric (lengthening) and concentric (shortening) contractions, a band provides resistance. This deeply engages the muscles to recruit new muscle fiber bundles while increasing neuromuscular junction activity. Both effects lead to bigger, more explosive movements.
Don't get me wrong. If you're a guy who can squat and deadlift a car, bands are probably not your ideal equipment choice. But even elite athletes benefit from band work. Just ask our friends Terrell Owens and Ben Watson.
You can easily supplement a workout with explosive tube or band movements. Resistance tubing offers an intense variation. Try the band variation of each of the following exercises. Do five reps of each with no rest between them.
- Front Squats
- Standing Shoulder Presses
- Single-Arm Bicep Curls
- Tricep Kickbacks
- Upright Rows
- Oblique Crunches
Complete five sets with two-minute rest intervals between sets. You will be doing cardio and strength training at the same time.
Not every training day has to be focused on moving heavy weights. In fact, that can result in overtraining. Also, it often neglects secondary muscle groups. Bands and tubes make for an effective counterattack. Don't be surprised if you experience soreness like you've never felt.
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