January 01, 2020

Resistance band exercises

A simple way to gain strength

You'd like to try some strength training, but you're intimidated by the dumbbells and weight machines at the health club. Plus, you'd like something you can do at home.

If that's the case, you may want to try resistance bands or tubes, which are available at sporting goods stores, from online retailers or in most gyms. They come in different tensions and are usually color-coded. They're much easier to transport and store than weights.

Strength training can provide many health benefits, such as better bone health, balance, and ability to perform everyday tasks such as unloading groceries, carrying a suitcase and mowing the lawn. Try to strength train at least twice a week, making sure to exercise all major muscle groups.

The exercises on the next page can help you start a strengthening routine using exercise bands. Remember to:

  • Check first — If you have health problems, talk with your doctor.
  • Start slow — Mayo Clinic experts say to start with one set of 10 repetitions or fewer for each exercise with a lower tension band. As you get stronger, you can make exercises harder by doing more repetitions — such as one or two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions — or progressing to a band with greater tension.
  • Stay in control — Count to three as you push or pull the band where you want it to go, hold it there for one second, then count to three as you ease back...