09 November, 2011
“Ripcords” is the trademarked name of exercise bands marketed by Astone Fitness. Also known as resistance bands, Ripcords look like large rubber bands with handles at each end. Ripcords and other brands of exercise bands come in several thicknesses, with thicker bands offering stronger resistance and a more vigorous muscle-building workout. And, unlike weights or barbells, exercise bands are light and portable, making it easy to develop a full-body workout at home or while you travel.
To work your biceps, stand with both feet together in the middle of the Ripcord or exercise band and grasp one handle in each hand. Slowly and smoothly bend your arms at your elbows to bring your hands to your shoulders. Alternate hands to vary the workout. For a triceps workout, place one end of the band under one foot and grasp the other end with your hand on the same side. Bend your elbow so that it points toward the ceiling, with your forearm and hand behind you. Smoothly straighten your elbow and lift your hand toward the ceiling.
For a chest-press exercise, attach the Ripcord firmly to a ring or other stationary object that is about chest high. Turn around so that you are facing away from the band and grasp a handle in each hand. Lift your arms so that your shoulders and elbows are at about the same level, and bend your arms to a 90-degree angle. With feet shoulder-width apart for stability, push your hands out and away from your body, then slowly return them to the 90-degree angle. For a chest fly exercise, attach the Ripcord as for the chest press and face away from the band. Grasp a handle in each hand, bring your arms to shoulder height and place your feet in a lunge position for stability. Bring both hands and arms together in front of your body, then return them to their original position. Keep a slight bend in your elbows during this exercise.
Strengthen Your Core
While seated, place one Ripcord handle over each foot. Lie down on your back with your feet together and pointing slightly toward the ceiling. Grasp the Ripcord in the middle and with a smooth rocking motion, press your feet toward the ceiling. This exercise, called a reverse curl, uses the resistance in the band to work out your lower abdominal muscles. In the same position, lower one leg toward the ground, then the other, in alternating movements. This exercise also strengthens core muscles.
Ripcords add resistance to squat exercises. Stand with both feet shoulder-width apart and evenly spaced on the Ripcord. Grasp a handle in each hand and raise your hands to your shoulders as in the bicep curl. Squat so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, then return to a standing position. For a side leg lift exercise, stand on the band with your feet shoulder-width apart and evenly spaced. Raise one foot to the side as high as possible, then return your foot to the floor.
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