Aug 312013 This video features a five-star review written by a 58 year-old man for SLEEK-TONE exercise bands and narrated by a voice familiar to nearly all Americans. The reviewer, "DDE", has reached the plateau of upper middle age and believes these loop bands are a way to help him stay limber as he gets older. He cites as an inspiration the German tennis player Tommy Haas, who at the age of 35 continues to rank high on the pro tour, an advanced age for the incredible demands of his sport. DDE points out that Haas uses resistance bands to stay fit and to rehabilitate the injuries that often plague tennis players.

Exercise bands, and the subset of closed loop bands that SLEEK-TONE focuses on and sells on, have risen in popularity recently. Aficionados of these simple but effective devices cite their reasonable cost and obvious convenience as practical reasons to own them. But as DDE's testimonial indicates, they offer very real physical benefits and should have a place in the workout routines of both occasional exercisers and serious athletes. Exercise bands use the resistance inherent in the latex rubber itself and therefore provide an alternative and a supplement to gravity-based weight work. It is possible to target specific muscle groups and carefully control the direction of force, which is one reason why physical therapists so often use and recommend them for rehab of injuries.

At the end of the video, our sonorous reader characteristically waxes philosophical about how exercise has "made DDE's feathers brighter," how he is "not caged, nor a couch potato", how this is what counts "as the days grow shorter, and the dusk comes upon us." A more cheerful and less weighty point is that resistance bands can help us stay fit, toned and flexible regardless of our age.

SLEEK-TONE is dedicated to making high-quality, reliable resistance loops that preserve their elasticity even through long use. The set of bands comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Apr 102012

The common image of strength training is a sweaty heavyweight lifting enormous barbells, but if you aren’t attracted to pumping iron, you don’t need to. You don’t need any iron at all in your home workout equipment. At minimum, you need your own body mass. More than that, a few pieces of plastic will help.

You own body has a large variety of weights in its limbs and joints that provide plenty of options for movement. Guided and repeated movements of simply your body can supply all the strength training you want. But to move your body with comfort and safety, you should buy a good workout mat. Padding makes most of the prone and seated activity a lot more comfortable. Shop for a mat that’s at least 3/8 inch thick. The thin yoga mats may be convenient to roll up and put under your arm for transport, but they are not thick enough to pad your body adequately.

There are many on-line sources for “body only” strength exercise routines. Make sure to evaluate the qualifications of the provider. There are many videos from physical therapists and certified physical trainers–you do not have to pay attention to just anyone. And though it hardly has to be stated, if what you’re doing burns, it’s fine, but if it hurts, stop! You can recognize the contrast between working muscles and damaging yourself.

Bodies, however, at least our own, can get boring, and boring means fewer workouts. So this is where simple resistance bands or tubes show up. These rainbow-colored bands add resistance between limbs, or can be attached to a door knob or a grip bar. They give variety and increase the strength needed to perform a movement. The bands gain in strength as the color gets darker. This means you can go a very long way in getting to your strength training objectives with only these light, very affordable, easily stored bands. Purchase them online or at any good sporting goods store. Hanging them on light plastic hooks can avoid tangles.

A fitness ball makes a last, inexpensive piece of home exercise equipment. Pick one that enables you sit on it with flat feet. What you do with just your body, you can intensify with these versatile balls. Think about push-ups. They are one thing with your feet planted firmly on the floor. With your feet on an unstable round surface, they are totally another. A fitness ball will challenge your balance and core stability–and they will increase.

A buying tip: get the ball with a pump, extra plugs (in case you damage one trying to re-inflate a flat ball) and the instruction booklet or DVD. Save yourself the frustration of not having them. A bicycle pump with a ball needle is not an equivalent.

“Pumping Plastic!” just doesn’t have the cachet carried by “pumping iron.” But it is just as effective, much less costly, and much less space-consuming than iron for your home exercise equipment. Eat your iron–don’t pump it.