If you're looking to up the ante in your workouts, you don't need to increase your weight or your speed to do it. Increasing the resistance in your workout with resistance bands, even in little increments, can add some intensity to your exercise routine and help you get more toned along the way.
Fitness expert Stephanie Mansour stopped by TODAY to share a 10-minute resistance band routine that you can use to start tackling your health goals. But in order to set yourself up for success, you'll need a few tools to get through a workout.
Mansour has a number of resistance bands, rings and straps designed to step up your fitness game, one workout at a time. If you're ready to break a sweat, keep reading to learn more about the tools and exactly how to use them.
Resistance gear for workouts
These bands have handles, which Mansour says helps you gain more control over a resistance band. To use them, you simply hold onto the handles and then step onto the bands. With these bands, you can complete exercises like bicep curls, overhead presses and bent-over rows.
Bala Bangles come in 1- and 2-pound sizes and can be used as both wrist and ankle weights. Mansour says ankle weights can help to level up your workout and make moves like leg lifts and fire hydrants just a little more intense.
Small, looped bands such as these are an easy way to level up your squats for extra burn, and they can help you focus on stability and control. If you wrap them around your thighs and ankles, Mansour says they're a great way to work the glutes and lower body. When they're around your thighs, you can use them to perform exercises like bridge poses and side leg lifts. When you use them around your ankles, use them to do side steps and squats. The set comes with five different bands that range in different levels of intensity, from extra light to extra heavy.
This pilates ring can be used to work your inner and outer thighs, plus your core, according to Mansour. It comes in black, pink, purple and blue, if you want a ring that matches your workout apparel.
Anyone who simply wants a good stretch, is recovering from an injury or going through physical therapy can appreciate these bands. They don't have any handles and are open, so you can use them to stretch your legs and torso. To use them, hold onto the strap while seated and then pull on the band while it's wrapped around your foot to stretch the hamstring and calf. If you want to use them while standing, hold onto the band while it's over your head and move your arms from side to side to stretch your chest, biceps and armpits.
Mansour says yoga straps are easier to control since they are sturdier. These bands from Tumaz come in 6-, 8- and 10-feet variations in 18 different colors.
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