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What I love about the campaign to sit less and move more is the concept of integrating exercise into the workday. No longer is fitness something you do only in your downtime. And this month’s article seeks to stretch that idea.
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Join the Band:
Inject Resistance Band Strength Training into your Workday

What I love about the campaign to sit less and move more is the concept of integrating exercise into the workday. No longer is fitness something you do only in your downtime. And this month’s article seeks to stretch that idea.

If you follow this blog, you know that researchers recommend breaking up periods of sitting with movement. Resistance bands offer a great way to get that break and increase your strength. (And if you’re using a standing desk, these are great for you too.)

Resistance bands are portable, low cost and versatile. The concept is simple: As the elastic band is stretched, the resistance increases. There are different color bands representing different thicknesses and resistances (each manufacturer has a different color scale). The goal is to stretch the band to twice its resting length and progress up the resistance spectrum to increase strength. Moving from one color to the next increases the resistance by 20-30 percent.

Bands can also be used for flexibility and balance exercises, injury rehabilitation and sport-specific training (e.g., golf or tennis swing). Handles can be added to the bands for people with arthritis or those who experience hand discomfort when wrapping the band around the hands to increase resistance. Latex-free bands are available for people with latex allergies.

    Resistance Band Strength Training Tips

  • Start with lighter resistance to ensure proper form and movements before progressing to a band that feels moderately challenging.
  • Move slowly and with control (3 seconds up; 3 seconds down), always pulling the band away from the face.
  • Remember to breathe (exhale when exerting effort).
  • Change the length of the band; the shorter band is harder and a longer band is easier.
  • Never elongate the band to more than three times its resting length.
  • Start with one set of 8 repetitions and gradually increase the repetitions and sets (1 set x 10 repetitions, 1 set x 12 repetitions), sets (2 x 8, 2 x 10, 2 x 12) and resistance (band color).
  • Progress to the next color band (i.e. higher resistance) when you are able to easily complete 3 sets of 10 to15 repetitions.
  • The American College of Sports Medicine guidelines recommend 2 to 3 days per week of strengthening and stretching of all major muscle groups.

Using bands for strength training can change the way you think about exercise – by making it easy to integrate basic fitness into your busy day and when traveling.

Feel inspired? Get our tip sheet of six resistance band exercises you can do at work here

Move of the Month

SHOULDER RAISES

  1. Anchor foot and hand at ends of band
  2. Start with arms at sides
  3. With palm facing downward, raise arm straight in front to shoulder height
  4. Pause and lower to starting position
  5. Repeat 10 times
  6. Switch foot and arm

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