Resistance training that uses elastic tension for muscle contraction will tone your body inside and out. Internally, it strengthens your heart and improves blood flow to your brain. Research studies at the Brain Research Center at the University of British Columbia have linked resistance training to the creation of new brain cells, which means adding resistance to your workout can make you smarter! On the outside, resistance training will make your body lean and muscular without the bulk. Now that you know what it does, let's talk about how you can get started.
My favorite kind of resistance training is performed with elastic bands or rubber tubing which vary in style and tension strength. I like them because they're a nice break from dumbbells which can easily bulk you up. Bands and tubing create an elastic force that your muscles work against to push, pull, squeeze, stretch or bend. It's an entirely different sensation than working with dumbbells and can be just as hard or harder depending on the exercise. Don't underestimate these stretchy tools just because they don't have hard edges!
- They're relatively inexpensive.
- You can do lots of exercises with them and even wrap them around columns or rails for added tension.Some also come with door attachments.
- They're lightweight and portable.
- You can combine them with weights to make strength training exercises harder.
- They don't take up much storage space and they don't cause harm (like broken toes) if you lose your grip.
One of my favorites is the SPRI Ultra Toner (with soft handles) which can be used for single arm and double arm exercises for upper body conditioning. The SPRI Ultra Toner Exercise Guide will help get you started. Once you master the basics, get creative and make up your own.
I adore Marisa Tomei and I've got mad love for trainer Key Son. Key designed the Core & Curves workout which incorporates resistance training exercise. He might kill me for singing his praises here (he's a very modest guy) but I have to rave because Core & Curves is well-done for a 20-minute results-oriented workout. Sometimes that's all you need but you still have to work hard from one minute to the next! Key works almost exclusively with models and actresses, prepping them for runway shows, commercial campaigns and film. He keeps his clients nicely toned and lean...just ask Hilary Swank. Core & Curves will help you achieve Key's signature lean physique. You'll use the Gaiam Toning Band pictured below for speed and agility exercises. It comes with the dvd...just follow Marisa's lead!
The Jane Fonda Workout with Minibands may sound like it's from the 80's but it's actually a new release. The dvd features the Tone It Up girls a.k.a Team Fonda guiding you through a resistance training workout using minibands for lower body for strength. Prepare for leaner hips, legs and glutes! This dvd package includes 3 minibands (light, med, heavy) and a laminated flip book with additional instruction from the Tone It Up girls. With Jane Fonda's stamp on the dvd, what more do you need?
If you're the type of girl who likes to go the extra mile...try Sh?ToBu for a resistance workout when you're not technically working out. Sh?ToBu shaping tights are designed to make your muscles work harder and burn calories during everyday activities. Between FILA's BTS collection and Sh?ToBu tights, you can literally RESIST 2 TONE all day long!