Resistance bands are elastic strips used for strength training. They are commonly used for physical therapy as they are excellent at slowly building or rebuilding muscle strength, after a physical injury.

They commonly come in sets of increasingly stronger bands that can be used singularly or in multiples creating varied resistance, suitable for all uses. They are great because they are relatively inexpensive, lightweight and versatile.

Band sets will usually come with at least two handles and a central strap that can be used for holding under the foot and sometimes additional straps for doorways to allow for pull downs and to help with sit ups.

For a simple home workout try the following exercises:

Bicep curl

With the handles in both hands, palms facing upwards place the band under your feet. Make sure there is some tension in the band, widening your stance if necessary. Keeping your elbows close to your body curl your hands up to your shoulders and return to the starting position.

Overhead press

With the handles in both hands at shoulder height and the band under your feet push your arms upwards until your arms are fully extended and return to the starting position.

Chest stretch

Holding the resistance band taut put your arms out in front of you. Keeping your arms straight, chest up and shoulder blades retracted, pull the band wide apart to open up your chest. Pause with your arms at their widest, then return to the starting position.

Lateral raise

Whilst standing on the resistance band, place your hands by your sides, palms facing each other. Looking straight ahead, raise your arms out to the sides to shoulder height, leading with your elbows, then return to the starting position.

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