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ACE certified personal trainer and fitness instructor Destanee Hall demonstrates the Hip Raise With Miniband Abduction. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/CELIA STOREY)

Stretch bands are an extremely useful form of resistance for those looking to strength-train in places other than a traditional fitness center's weight floor.

These little rubber tubes come in all shapes, sizes and resistance levels, and the stretch band market has made great strides.

For years, stretch bands were for group-exercise classes. Traditional weight trainers viewed the bands as too flimsy to withstand the rigors of a really intense workout. In some ways, they were right. Early bands degraded fairly rapidly after purchase, and more than a few exercisers fell victim to the dreaded "snap" of a stretch band failing under pressure.

For this reason and others, stretch bands remained largely a tool for group classes, physical therapy clinics and other uses that didn't necessarily stretch the band to its limits.

Those days are over.

As market demand has grown for portable, effective strength-training resources, so too has the quality of the stretch band. There are all sorts of strong designs on the market, including some that are virtually indestructible. It's safe to say that stretch bands can challenge any exerciser under almost any condition imaginable.

The best part is that stretch bands are also inexpensive. For less than $30, it's possible to buy a few different stretch bands designed for different uses.

I like using the type of band that includes a fabric sleeve to reduce the snags or nicks that can compromise the band's integrity. The miniband is also one of my favorites, as it applies constant resistance bilaterally for the arms or the legs.

This week's exercise is designed for the miniband, as the constant resistance really challenges the gluteal group and other core muscles. The Hip Raise With Miniband Abduction isn't complicated but does require a dedicated focus on form to perform correctly.

1. Select a light resistance miniband and position it around both legs, just above the knees.

2. Now lie on your back on the side of an exercise bench, so that your legs and hips are unsupported. Your feet should be about 1 foot apart.

3. Place your hands on your hips.

4. Press your hips up until they are parallel with the floor.

5. As you reach full extension, press your knees apart from one another to tighten the miniband.

6. Hold for a beat, then release the knees inward and allow the hips to drop back down.

7. Continue this pattern of hip raises and hip abduction until you've done 12 repetitions for two sets.

For those looking to strengthen the glutes without performing a million squats or deadlifts, this is a nice alternative that won't add pressure to your arms or back. The resistance level is completely controllable based on the type of miniband chosen, as well as how far it's stretched during the abduction phase. After some practice, it's fairly easy to identify the best combination based on one's fitness level and goals. Happy stretching!

Matt Parrott has a doctorate in education (sport studies) and a master's in kinesiology and is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine.

vballtop@aol.com

Style on 06/10/2019

Print Headline: Miniband stretch won't add pressure to arms, back

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