As their names suggest, resistance bands or exercise bands are flexible and stretchable tools that provide resistance for exercise. Because they provide increased resistance, exercise bands help to improve muscle strength. You can pull them with your arms or legs to work your upper and lower body. Some exercise bands have handles that you can anchor to a wall or door frame. People of all fitness levels can enjoy using them.
Adductor and Abductor Muscles
Abductors are those muscles you use to move your arms and legs away from the middle of your body. To abduct your arms, slowly raise them out to the sides until they are even with your shoulders. You use adductor muscles when you bring your arms or legs toward the middle of your body, for example, when you cross your legs or cross your arms over your chest.
Hip adduction exercises, which move your leg toward the middle of your body, help to strengthen your groin and inner thigh muscles. Attach an exercise band to a wall mount or anchor it to a heavy object, such as around a bedpost. Wrap the band around the ankle closest to the anchor and pull the band as you bring your leg across the front of your other leg. Anchor the exercise band at shoulder level and work your shoulder adductor muscles by pulling the band across the front of your body. Work both legs and arms.
Abductor exercises for your shoulders include the supine shoulder rotation, chest pull and horizontal abduction. You perform supine shoulder rotations and chest pulls while lying on your back as you pull the exercise band away from the mid-line of your body. Chest pulls work your shoulder rotator cuffs and chest pectoral muscles.
Perform hip abduction exercises while either lying down or standing. Loop one end of the resistance band to one ankle and the other end to your other ankle and lift one foot slightly off the floor. Extend your raised leg out to the side and pull the band away from your body as far as possible. Work both legs.
Before you begin any exercise program, get a checkup and ask your doctor if it is safe for you. Warm up your muscles with some light exercise before doing pre-workout stretches. Also stretch after your workout. Thoroughly examine your exercise band before each use. Do not use an exercise band if it is torn, worn or has nicks and holes. Double-check the anchor to make sure the band is secure before exercising.
- American College of Sports Medicine: Selecting and Effectively Using Rubber Band Resistance Exercise
- Sports Injury Clinic: Resistance Band Hip Adduction Exercise
- Sports Injury Clinic: Dislocated Shoulder Exercises
- Ohio State Wexner Medical Center: Shoulder Abduction Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: Standing Hip Abduction
- Sports Injury Clinic: Resistance Band Laying Hip Abduction Exercise
- University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture: Resistance Bands and Tubes
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