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Figure 8 exercise bands offer a convenient resistance tool when you want a short cord with convenient handles. The figure 8 cord is stronger and more durable than the flat bands. Check the band before exercising to make sure it doesn't have weak or torn spots. Consult your doctor prior to beginning an exercise program if you have been sedentary or have a health condition.
The figure 8 bands adapt well for many upper body workouts. For example, hold one loop in your right hand and drop the other loop behind your back and grab it with your left hand. Bend your left elbow so your hand reaches as far up your back as possible. Lift your right hand up to stretch the triceps, reaching as far up as the band and your arm will allow. Alternatively, stretch the band across your back so each hand holds one loop. Lie prone on the floor with your hands near your shoulders in a push-up position. Push-ups strengthen your arm, shoulders and chest more effectively with the bands' added resistance.
Lower Body (3)
The figure 8 bands also adapt to lower body exercises. For example, lie on your left side with palm of your right hand on the floor. Insert your right leg in one side of the band and your left leg in the other side, with the loops at your ankles. Lift your right leg up, stretching the band as far as possible. You can also extend your right leg to the front and the back to include range of motion. Keep tension on the bands to efficiently challenge your leg and hip muscles. To make the exercise more challenging, fold the figure 8 in half and place both legs in doubled loops and perform this exercise.
Full Body (Ref 4 pp 209)
While the figure 8 is too short for some full-body exercises, it works well for others. For example, place your feet in one loop and hold the other loop with your hands as you lie on the floor for V-ups or modified curls. Alternatively, bend your right knee so your foot is flat on the floor with one loop wrapped around your instep and hold the other loop in your right hand with your palm facing up. Extend your right arm and leg up and out as far as the band will allow to strengthen your core, arms, legs, hips, shoulders and back muscles.
Cross Body Ref 4, p 39
Use two figure 8 bands to work across your body. Lie on the floor with the loop of one band around your left instep and the other end in your right hand. Repeat with your right instep and left hand. Alternate bringing your left knee and right elbow together over your core, extending them out and returning to your starting position. Repeat the exercise with your right leg and left arm. This exercise works your core, arms, legs, hips, shoulders and back muscles.