Elastic band exercises are done with rubber bands more commonly known as resistance bands. The options for elastic band exercises are virtually limitless and allow a user to strengthen and tone the upper body and the lower body; the bands can be used for core workouts as well, strengthening the muscles that support the spine. Some elastic band exercises are done by securing one end of the resistance band to a fixed object and using a part of the body to pull on the band; other exercises require the user to hold both ends of the band in a certain way to provide resistance to a certain area of the body.
Upper body elastic band exercises can mimic the motions one would do when lifting free weights. A biceps curl, for example, can be executed by looping one end of the band under the foot and grasping the other end with the hand. The user can then pull up on the resistance band in the biceps curl motion. The level of resistance will vary according to the strength of the resistance band. Unlike free weights, a resistance band is easily packable and storable, which means the band can be used anywhere, including hotel rooms or at home, without having to transport bulky weights.
Lower body elastic band exercises can be performed by securing one end of the resistance band to a fixed object and the other end around the foot or leg. A user can stand with his or her back facing the object to which the elastic band is secured; the other end of the band will be wrapped just above the ankle. The leg is then extended forward, working the thigh muscles. The user can then turn so he or she is facing the object to which the band is secured and stretch the leg backward, working the groin and hamstring.
The best way to find the best elastic band exercises is to decide which muscles you want to work and consult a personal trainer. He or she can recommend several elastic band exercises that will strengthen and tone the muscles you want to focus on. The core muscles are commonly strengthened and toned using resistance bands; the muscles worked include the stomach muscles, lower back muscles, hip muscles, and groin muscles. Many resistance band exercises that work the arms and shoulders often also strengthen core muscles; some leg exercises may also help work core muscles.