January, the start of a new year, is traditionally a time when people think about their fitness and set themselves goals for the year ahead. This year is a bit different to normal than most though, in that we find ourselves in yet another lockdown, so the ways in which we can keep active are limited.
Therefore, each Wednesday during January we are going to speak to a GB player to find out what training sessions they like doing at home and why. You can then have a go yourself!
This week Dave Scott talks to us about the benefits of using ‘looped’ resistance bands (which are like giant elastic bands) for maintaining strength and explains a few different techniques. You can watch his video here.
Below you will find the descriptions to each exercise that Dave mentioned in his video:
Standing up, start with the band behind your back, looping one end across your left hand and the other end across your right hand. Your arms should be extended out to the side at shoulder height. Then, slowly bring your arms forwards until your hands meet in front of your body. Then, slowly take your arms back out to the side and repeat. Try and keep your arms straight throughout.
Kneel down on the floor and then step forward with your right leg, keeping your knee at a right angle. Loop one end of the band under your right foot and loop the other end across your right hand. Then, push your right hand (palm facing upwards) above your head, straightening your arm, and then bring it back down. Repeat a couple of times before switching over to the other side (i.e. one end of the band is looped under your left foot and the other end is looped across your left hand).
Start by standing up with your feet shoulder width apart. Loop part of the band under your feet so that it is flat on the floor. Bend your knees and hold either side of the loop in your hands – so your left hand will be by your left leg and your right hand will be by your right leg. Then, pulling the band up, return to a standing position and repeat (i.e. moving up and then down). To make it easier, hold slightly higher up the band (i.e. towards your body) or to make it harder, hold slightly lower down the band (i.e. towards your feet).
Start sitting on the floor with your legs together, extended straight out in front of you. Loop part of the band under your feet and hold either side of the loop in your hands – so your left hand will be by your left leg and your right hand will be by your right leg. Then, pull your elbows back towards your body and then extend them out in front of you and repeat. To make it easier, hold slightly higher up the band (i.e. towards your body) or to make it harder, hold lower down the band (i.e. towards your feet).
‘Looped’ resistance bands are a good alternative to weights. They are relatively cheap to buy and they are small and light so don’t take up a lot of room. They are available in different sizes and resistance levels.
You can also get ‘open ended’ resistance bands which sometimes come with cuffs, clips, handles and anchor points whilst ‘therapy’ resistance bands are much thinner and are good for stretching.
Use a band which is appropriate and comfortable for you and start with a low number of reps and sets. Always ask for advice if you are unsure which is best for you and/or what to do.
Give it a go and let us know how you get on! You can challenge yourself further by increasing the number of repetitions. There are also lots of other different techniques so let us know what your favourite is to help you #GetFitStayFit.