GRAND RAPIDS (KELSEY TUREK, STRENGTH AND SWEAT LLC) -- They're light, portable, and colorful—and they pack a big exercise punch!
Resistance bands are great for people of all ages and fitness levels because they come in different lengths and resistances, from very light to very heavy. They make every muscle work to keep the bands steady, but they are easy to use, too.
Here are 5 great exercises to do with a resistance band. Start with 10 reps of each exercise and complete 3 sets total. Work up to 20 reps per exercise. If you can easily do 20 reps, move to a heavier resistance.
1) Squats + upright rows: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, band under both feet, a handle in each hand, palms facing the thighs. Squat down, sending your booty back, and as you rise up, drive the elbows up to shoulder-height, keeping the palms facing the chest and the hands around the center of the chest. Lower the arms and repeat.
2) Static lunges + bicep curls: Stand with one foot forward, in line with the hips, and the other foot back, toes down, heel up. Put the middle of the resistance band under the front foot, holding onto the handles. Lunge down, bending both knees 90 degrees and as you rise up, curl the handles toward your shoulders.
3) Triceps extensions: Stand with your right foot forward, your left foot slightly back and with one end of the band under it. Grab the free handle in your right hand and pull up behind you to your shoulder, palm facing forward, elbow is bent toward sky. Press the handle up, straightening the arm, then lower.
4) Seated chest flyes: Sit with legs straight, feet close, the band looped around both feet, and crossed once, grabbing each handle. Sit up straight and tall and open arms to sides, slightly bent elbows, and gently bring them together in the center of the chest like you're hugging a tree.
5) Seated Russian twists: Sit with legs straight, feet close, the band looped around both feet, and crossed once, grabbing the handles together at the chest. Hinge back slightly, pulling in your abdominals, and twist the handles from side to side, keeping your legs as still as possible.
For more information on trainer Kelsey, visit her website: http://strengthandsweat.com/