Resistance Bands 101

Do you get bored with the same equipment? Do you enjoy mixing up your routine?

I personally LOVE trying to exercises and new equipment because it keeps me from getting bored and also, our muscles need change to keep it from platuae-ing.

If you’ve never tried resistance bands before or you bought them but wasn’t sure what to do with them, I’ve created a top 10 list of beginner exercises to use a resistance band. I’m not saying these are easy. But this will be a base that you can build off of. Also, if you are participating in my Love Your Body FIT Guide, a few of these should look familiar 🙂

The Basics:

It’s important to choose the correct band for your level and the exercise you are doing. Bands come in different resistances. Think of it like different sizes of weights. Some are heavier and you can use with squats, other 2lb weights are lighter and you use them for shoulder raises, for example. Choose the resistance you need to feel the exercise but not strain yourself.

Make sure the band is secure before you stand or move. It’s important to secure the band while you are sitting and then either move to standing or begin the exercise. Adjusting the bands while we are standing can challenge our balance and cause us to fall. Please be careful.

If the band is around your foot, keep your foot flexed! A resistance band is essentially like a large rubber band. If you let go, it can hurt. Keep your foot flexed and the band in place.

As I always say – draw in your core, please!

Exercises

  1. Walking Squats

Adjust the band so that it is around your thighs.

Begin in proper squat position, knees behind the toes, sitting back in the glutes, chest up

Take a step to the right with your right foot, bring your left foot in

Walk 4 steps right then 4 steps left

WIN_20180214_13_13_40_ProRepeat until you’ve completed your full set

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Tricep Push Down

Just like the machine at the gym, but now you can do it at home!

Hold the band by your chest with your left hand

Place the right hand in the band with your palm down

Press down with your right hand to the right side of your body squeezing the back of your arm.

Complete a full set on this side, then switch to the other side

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3. Plank Kick Back

Adjust the bands to the proper height on your thigh

Begin in plank position – hands and elbows directly under shoulders, back in a straight line

Kick your right leg up to the sky, squeezing the back of your right leg

Return to plank

Kick your left leg up to the sky

Repeat alternating legs until you’ve completed the whole set

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4. Mountain Climber

Adjust the bands so that they are securely around your feet

Begin in plank position

Draw in your belly and bring your right knee in to your right elbow

Return to plank and switch

Left knee to left elbow

Continue alternating through your whole set

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5. Row in Plank

Place the band around your hands

Begin in plank position

Row your right elbow to the sky, squeezing your shoulder blades

Continue a full set with your right arm, then switch to the left

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6. Bridge with Open

Place the bands around your thighs

Begin laying on your back, knees to the sky

Squeeze your glutes and raise your low back off the mat

At the top, open your knees apart wide

Bring your knees back to center and lower down

Repeat

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7. Plank Walk

Place the bands around your wrists or hands

Begin in plank position

Walk with your right arm to the right, then left

Repeat until you’ve completed your full set

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8. Clam shells

The side of your booty will be on FIRE with this one.

Place the band around your thighs

Lay on your right side to begin

Bend your knees as pictured, left knee on top of left

Open the left knee away from the right knee

Hold at the top, then close

Do a full set on this side then turn over and repeat

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9. Lift and Lower

Place the bands on your thighs

Lay on your right side to begin

Lift the left leg up away from the right leg, keeping the town straight or pointed down

Lower the leg back to starting

Repeat a full set on this side, then turn to the other side

 

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10. Standing Kick Out and Back

Place the bands around your thighs

Stand with your shoulders back and belly drawn in

Kick your right leg out to the side slowly

Do at least 10 of these

Then extend your right leg back behind you, squeezing the back of the leg

After your set, switch to the other side.

 

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Resistance bands are amazing because with little movement, they add a big difference. A bridge without a heavy band, is much different than a bridge WITH a heavy band. Too, having these basics allows you to mix up your workout routine to avoid platuaes and keep your workouts fresh.

From these basics, you are equipped to created other movements such as squat jumps or twisting mountain climbers. The possibilities are endless. Just remember, stay safe and adjust while sitting.

 

Enjoy!

 

Best,

Emily Langlois, CPT

Emily Langlois is a Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, Group Fitness Instructor and founder of FITonYourTime.com

Visit FITonYourTime.com now!

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Knock Knock

I heard this joke today and thought it was funny enough to share. Happy Tuesday!

Knock, knock!
Who’s there?
Ben.
Ben who?
Ben out of shape so I’m working out.

Shoulder Raise

Trainer Tip:

Lift the weights only to shoulder height
Squeeze the core to protect your low back
Keep your shoulders down, away from your ears
Be careful not to load the weight into your back when it get gets hard, use those shoulders! 🙂

 

 

Emily Langlois is a certified personal trainer, weight loss specialist and group fitness instructor. She founded FITonYourTime to help women achieve their weight-loss and

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muscle tone goals through 6-week exercise programs.

 

Best,

Emily Langlois

FITonYourTime.com

Why Am I Not Seeing Results? How To Break Your Plateau and Get The Results You Want

Our bodies are a basic equation of what goes in versus what is expended. How many calories you take in versus how many you work off. If there is a surplus of calories coming in compared to those we burn, we will gain weight. If we burn more than we take in, we will lose weight.

It is a myth that once we reach a certain level our bodies “stall”. We reach plateaus simply because our bodies learn to regulate the amount of calories coming in versus the amount of calories we work off.

Our bodies main goal is to keep us alive. In doing so, it will continuously try to adapt to what we do to it. It will adapts to exercise and to our surroundings.

To break the plateau then, we must break the adaption our body has learned. We change one side of the equation. You may either change the calories coming in or the calories going out.

Let’s first discuss calories coming in as nutrition tends to be a key question. Now, I’d like to start by outlining that I am a personal trainer, not a dietitian. It is in my scope to understand macro-nutrients and the effects they have on our bodies.

Simply put, before you begin questioning why a workout program isn’t working, be sure that you are eating according to your goals. You should be eating a proper balance of ALL macro-nutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) and selecting the foods that fuel your body. Under-eating as well as over-eating can limit the results you see. So take a sound look at your diet and be sure that you are fueling your body properly.

Calories are not all equal. Eating a 100 calorie bag of popcorn is not the same nutritionally as a chicken breast and broccoli. They might equal by calorie count but will have dramatically different effects on your health and goal achievement. So be sure you are eating the RIGHT foods, not simply calorie consumption.

The other side of the equation is calories burned. There is a basic level of calories you burn throughout the day in your daily life. Working, cooking, cleaning, running around with your kiddos all burn calories. When we talk about your activity level, your whole daily life should be accounted for. A busy mom of 4 kids who is also a kindergarten teacher will burn more calories than a single IT Director. Traditionally.

When it comes to your workout, you want to change your routines every 4 weeks so that you are continuously progressing. As I mentioned previously, our bodies are trying to adapt to keep us alive. It will soon learn your workouts and they will no longer push your muscles like it originally did. You must change your routine often to push yourself and create muscle confusion.

How can you change your workouts?

Changing your workouts can be changing exercises, selecting more difficult or more complex exercises that require more complex muscle engagement. Or you may change the pace of your workouts. Doing an exercise slower, for example, squatting down for a count of 4 and holding for 2 seconds, will engage the muscles in a different way than if you normally do a squat quickly. Conversely, if your normal routine involves slow squats, do squat jumps to increase its intensity.

This works for arms as well as squats. To increase the complexity of a bicep curl, for example, change the angle of the curl or increase the complexity of the curl to a 45 degree angle bicep curl followed with a hammer curl. This will intensify the base exercise of your program. You may slow this exercise down by bringing it up for 2 counts, hold for 2 counts then slowly and controlled lower for 4 counts.

As a summary, our bodies are an equation of what comes in versus what goes out. This can always be changed on either side to confuse the body and to see the results you want. You must be sure you are continuously monitoring both sides of the equation to align it to your goals.

 

 

Emily Langlois founded FITonYourTime.com to IMG_20170626_131130_045

train and inspire men and women to become healthier, happier and stronger every day. Visit FITonYourTime.com for a variety of Online Training options to Fit YOU and YOUR goals.

Emily Langlois

The Importance of Stretching

Everyone’s body benefits from stretching! Especially as we age or develop pains from past injuries or chronic conditions, stretching looses tight muscles and keep our bodies moving!

Stretching also helps to correct imbalances. For example, if we sit all day, our hips become tight, also effecting our glutes and hamstrings. If we don’t stretch these muscles, they will remain in that tight position and will over time become more and more drawn to that position. Similarly, if we sit with our shoulders rounded for an extended period of time, this elongates our upper back muscles and creates a ripple effect for surrounding muscles. As with our hips, glutes and hamstrings, we need to stretch these over-worked muscles to return them to the proper lengths or they will remain in their imbalanced positions.

Stretching should be done daily and also before and after exercise. The benefits of daily stretching is to loosen the tight muscles from our daily movements. The benefits of stretching after exercise are similar, but even more important because we want to loosen the muscles we just worked!

Below are a few stretches that can help everyone!

Hip

Exercise 1. Sit on a exercise ball or edge of a chair. One foot should be stable on the ground at 90 degrees, foot turned out slightly at a diagonal. Extend the other leg straight out.

For more of a stretch, bend straight down, folding at the hips

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Low Back

Exercise 1. Lay on your back and draw your knees in.

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Exercise 2. Place your left foot over your right leg above the knee. For more of a stretch, draw your legs in towards your chest.

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Exercise 3. Cat Cow

Start in a table top position, look up round your spine. Then look down curving your spine up to the sky. Repeat.

Shoulder and Upper Back

Exercise 1. Start in a table top position left arm on the ball. For more of a stretch, slowly roll the ball to the right across your body. Be sure to keep your thumb up on while your hand is on the ball!

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Exercise 2. Start with feet wide and slowly fold forward. Bring your right arm in front of you and make large circles. After 10, reverse the circle. Repeat with your left arm.

 

Hamstrings

Exercise 1. Lay on the ground or mat and slowly extend your right leg up to the sky, keeping your left leg on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat other leg.

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Neck

Exercise 1. Start by rolling your shoulders back. Now slowly tilt your head to the left, bringing your left ear to the left shoulder. Hold. Come center and repeat other side.

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Foam Rolling is also a wonderful technique used to reduce “knots” within your muscle. Foam rolling can be done daily or before and after an exercise. Those with less mobility may not find foam rolling as comfortable.

I recommend asking guidance from a personal trainer before you foam roll for the first time to ensure you are reaching the right muscles and at the proper spots.

 

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To learn more about Online Personal Training with Emily, please complete the form below or visit FITonYourTime.com

 

 

About the Author:

Emily Langlois is an Online Personal Trainer specializing in custom workouts to fit YOU. Your current pains, age, time limits or other responsibilities can no longer hold you back. You have a workout program designed for YOU to fit in YOUR life.

Good pic I work with a variety of clients with the majority who have some type of chronic condition or injury that’s caused them pain. I will help you find exercises for YOU to help you stay healthy, strong, happy and doing the things YOU love.

Upper Body Workout For “Bad” Shoulders

Shoulder pain can come from a variety of causes. If you live with this, you know how frustrating it is. It is made even more frustrating when you try to strengthen your muscles, become healthier, make steps in the right direction but every workout program you try ends up leaving you in worse pain one or two days later!

I hear you.

You do not need to be held back by shoulder pain! You deserve a program that is meant for you. The circuit below will strengthen your upper body, including the muscles around your shoulders but won’t cause you pain in a day or days following!

Of course, please always consult your physician if you have any questions or hesitations.

Note: Avoid any movement that involves lifting above your head

Upper Body Circuit 1

By: Emily Langlois

  1. Wall Push Ups
    1. Stand hip width apart facing a stable wall
      1. The further you stand from the wall, the more challenging this exercise will be
    2. Place your arms shoulder width apart, shoulder height on the wall
    3. Lower yourself, keeping your back in a straight line, down towards the wall
    4. Push yourself back up from the wall, again keeping you core in tight to support your back
    5. Repeat
  2. Lateral Raise
    1. Sit tall in a chair keeping your shoulders back
    2. Draw in on your core to help you sit up straight
    3. Grab a pair of light weights
    4. Keep your arms straight, raise your arms out to the side, up to shoulder height
    5. Lower down
    6. Repeat
  3. Bicep Curl
    1. Sit tall in a chair keeping your shoulders back
    2. Draw in your core to help you sit up straight
    3. Grab a pair of light weights
    4. Curl your arms ups bending at the elbow
    5. Keepi your elbow drawn in to your side at all times, using only your arm muscle to raise and lower the weight
    6. Lower the weights returning them to your sides
    7. Repeat
  4. Tricep Kick Back
    1. Grab a light pair of hand weights and stand up straight
    2. Draw in your core and slightly bend forward, hinging at the waist keeping your back flat
    3. Extend your arms behind you.
    4. Bend at the elbow bringing your foream and weight down back towards your chest
    5. Repeat, extending your arm

If you have questions or would like more information on Online Personal Training with Emily, please complete the quick form below or visit FITonYourTime.com

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong. Stay Happy. Stay YOU!

About the Author:

20180102_083012 (1)Emily Langlois is an Online Personal Trainer specializing in custom workouts to fit YOU. Your current pains, age, time limits or other responsibilities can no longer hold you back! You have a workout program designed for YOU to fit in YOUR life.

I work with a variety of clients with the majority of them over 50 and/or have some type of chronic condition or injury causing them pain. I will help you find exercises for YOU to help you stay healthy, strong, happy and doing the things YOU love.

Stretch and Strengthen Your Hips!

Hip pain can come from a variety of causes. If you live with this, you know how frustrating it is. It is made even more frustrating when you try to strengthen your muscles, become healthier, make steps in the right direction but every workout program you try ends up leaving you in worse pain one or two days later!

I hear you.

You do not need to be held back by hip pain! You deserve a program that is meant for you. On days that your pain is naturally worse, please take it easy on your hip flexors. On a day that you feel ready for leg exercises, try one similar to the circuit I’ve created below. The circuit below will both stretch and strengthen your hips but won’t cause you pain in a day or days following!

Of course, please always consult your physician if you have any questions or hesitations.

Lower Body Circuit 1

By Emily Langlois

Do 12 Repetitions for Each Exercise. Repeat.

Bridge

  1. Lay on your back on your mat or padded floor20180110_190337
  2. Knees should be bent, feet hip width apart
  3. Push through your heels and draw in your core
  4. Lift your hips off the floor, keeping your back in a straight line
  5. Slowly lower back down to the ground
  6. Repeat

 

Side Step

  1. Stand with your feet together and squat to a 45 degree angle or halfway down to a chair
  2. Step with your right foot out and step again
  3. Now step with your left foot and left again
  4. Repeat

Seated Leg Extension

  1. Start in a seated position20180110_190503
  2. Plant your left leg on the ground
  3. Kick your right leg out parallel to the ground
  4. Bring down to the ground
  5. Repeat a full sent on this side
  6. Switch to other side

 

 

 

Partial Squat

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  2. Sit back in your legs about 45 degrees or halfway down towards a chair.
  3. Hold for 15 seconds.20180107_075754
  4. Stand.
  5. Repeat.

 

 

Calf Raise

  1. Stand Facing the tall side of the chair holding the chair for support if needed.
  2. Raise up on to your toes, keeping your heels off the ground.
  3. Lower heels to the ground.
  4. Repeat.

Bird Dog

  1. Start on the ground with your hands and feet on the ground.
  2. Wrists should be directly under shoulders, knees under your hips, hip width apart
  3. Draw in your core and slowly raise your right leg back to the sky
  4. If you feel stable, lift your left arm up to reach parallel to the ground
  5. Lower your arm and leg to the ground
  6. Repeat lifting your left leg and right arm

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Seated Hip Stretch

  1. Sit tall in a stable chair
  2. Extend your right foot out to 45 degree angle, keeping the knee behind the toe
  3. Extend the left leg straight back behind you
  4. For more of a stretch, fold your upper body down towards the ground

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For questions or to learn more about Online Personal Training with Emily, please complete the quick form below or visit FITonYourTime.com.

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong. Stay Happy. Stay YOU!

About the Author:

Emily Langlois is an Online Personal Trainer specializing in custom workouts to fit YOU. Your current pains, age, time limits or other responsibilities can no longer hold you back! You have a workout program designed for YOU to fit in YOUR life.

I work with a variety of clients with the majority of them over 50 and/or have some type of chronic condition or injury causing them pain. I will help you find exercises for YOU to help you stay healthy, strong, happy and doing the things YOU love.

 

Work Your Core Without Low Back Pain

Low back pain can come from a variety of causes. If you live with this, you know how painful it is. It is made even more frustrating when you try to strengthen your core, become healthier, make steps in the right direction but every workout program you try ends up leaving you in worse pain the next day.

I hear you. I too used to suffer from low back pain since I was a young teenager. My spine is too far forward and sits too far to one side causing me severe pain down through my leg. Exercising takes away the pain because moving my back looses the tight muscles. Over-exercise or work the wrong muscles, however, and you’re back on your back – no pun intended.

You do not need to be held back by your pain! You deserve a workout program that is meant for you. One that will strengthen you and help you reach your goals and won’t leave you feeling worse than before.  The circuit below will strengthen your core including the muscles supporting your low back.

Of course, please always consult your physician if you have any questions or hesitations.

Core Circuit 1

By Emily Langlois

Bridge

  1. Lay on your back on your mat or padded floor20180110_190337
  2. Knees should be bent, feet hip width apart
  3. Push through your heels and draw in your core
  4. Lift your hips off the floor, keeping your back in a straight line
  5. Slowly lower back down to the ground
  6. Repeat

 

 

Plank

  1. Place your wrists on the ground under your shoulders
  2. Start with your knees on the ground and as you become stronger and ready —
  3. Lift your knees up from the ground drawing in your core keeping your back in a straight line20180110_190816
  4. Hold for 15 – 30 seconds

 

 

 

Side Plank

  1. Lay on your right side
  2. Place your right wrist on the ground in line
  3. Push up through your right wrist and up to your shoulder keeping your shoulder, wrist and elbow in a straight line
  4. Lift your hips off the ground to create a straight line with your body
    1. If needed to start, keep your right knee on the ground, still lifting up through the hips

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Plank V up

  1. Start in the Plank position from above
  2. Walk your feet in under your hips, drawing in your core and squeezing the low belly20180110_190844
  3. Hold for 2 seconds
  4. Walk your feet back out to a high plank
  5. Repeat

 

 

Knee In

  1. Start in a seated position at the front of a solid chair
  2. Sit tall, bringing your shoulders back
  3. Draw in your core
  4. Using your low belly bring your right knee in towards you
  5. Place the right foot back on the ground
  6. Lift the left knee towards you
  7. Repeat

 

Bird Dog

  1. Start on the ground with your hands and feet on the ground.
  2. Wrists should be directly under shoulders, knees under your hips, hip width apart
  3. Draw in your core and slowly raise your right leg back to the sky
  4. If you feel stable, lift your left arm up to reach parallel to the ground
  5. Lower your arm and leg to the ground20180110_190428
  6. Repeat lifting your left leg and right arm

 

 

 

 

Cobra

  1. Lay on a mat with your front side down on the ground, arms beside you on the mat
  2. Squeeze in through the core and lift your head, neck and shoulders off the ground
  3. Hold as you lift through the whole upper body, strengthening your low back
    1. NOTE: Be sure not to collapse in your low back but think to lift everything up

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If you have questions or would like information about Online Personal Training, please complete the form below or visit FITonYourTime.com

Stay Healthy. Stay Strong. Stay Happy. Stay YOU!

About the Author:

Emily Langlois is an Online Personal Trainer specializing in custom workouts to fit YOU. Your current pains, age, time limits or other responsibilities can no longer hold you back! You have a workout program designed for YOU to fit in YOUR life.

Good pic I work with a variety of clients with the majority of them over 50 and/or have some type of chronic condition or injury causing them pain. I will help you find exercises for YOU to help you stay healthy, strong, happy and doing the things YOU love.