I’ve always believed that you should look for new ways to keep your workouts exciting and fun. A few years back I had a shoulder injury that at the time, I felt really set me back because I wasn’t able to do my regular workouts in the gym. My doctor advised me that I would not be able to do any weight training for six to eight weeks. Instead, he handed me a stretch band. He said he would like me to start using this “gradually” over the next few weeks to slowly gain strength back in my shoulder.
I went home and began using the cord. What I discovered was the amazing workout I got from using a stretch cord. This injury was no longer a setback; it was the best thing that could have happened to me! I was able to find a brand new way of exercising. No longer would I get depressed when I’d be in a hotel that didn’t have a gym in it. I’d just pack the stretch cord in my luggage and I was able to have my own gym right in my own hands.
Some other benefits of having a stretch cord:
• You don’t have to deal with a gym membership. You can buy a stretch cord for $10! Now, how about that?
• Stretch cords bring in different demands for muscles than weightlifting. That’s right— using a stretch cord forces you to do the movement differently than the common movement your muscles get used to in the gym.
• It’s instantly adjustable. You can tighten or lighten the resistance simply by moving the cord under your feet. Want a tough, bold workout? Adjust it to the left of your feet. Want a lighter, high-rep exercise? Loosen it to the right. It’s that simple.
• You don’t need a gym partner. Yes, you can do it alone— which is preferred.
• You can change up your movements in an instant. You can add variety to your workout and throw in some new range motion that you won’t be able to do using a weight machine.
• Finally, it helps make space in the house if you don’t want a big gym to deal with. Some people have the big NordicTrack or some big bulky contraption. That’s not the case here. Just a large rubber band— that’s all it is.
Stretching Your Workout
Now, I’ve outlined some fun and exciting exercises that I like to do with the stretch cord. Try these at home, outside or even at the beach!
Sit while grasping a stretch band with both hands, with legs extended out and the middle of the band around both feet. Keep back straight and head up, and pull the band toward the chest. Pause, and then return to the starting position.
Perform 12-15 reps x 4 sets
Stand grasping a stretch band, palms down at sides, with the middle of the band under shoulder-width feet. Extend arms up and out to sides until parallel to the floor. Pause, and then return to starting position.
Perform 12-15 reps x 4 sets
Hammer Curls – Forearms
Stand grasping a stretch band, palms down in front of thighs with the middle of the band under shoulder-width feet. Curl arms up, bringing hands below the head at the top. Pause, and then return to starting position.
Perform 12-15 reps x 3 sets until failure on last set