Power bands are versatile pieces of fitness equipment that go by other names like exercise bands, resistance bands and rubber tubing. They come in various strengths that are color coded for easy reference, and they have handles and door attachments to create variations. Exercises with power bands simulate using free weights and they can be just as effective, when you follow the right steps.
Work your chest muscles. To do chest presses, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and the power band under your back, just below your shoulder blades. Grab the handles and push them straight up in the air until they are about 1 inch apart. Lower them back down and repeat. You can also do these in an alternating motion.
Perform overhead presses to work your shoulders. Stand on the bands with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Grab the handles and pull them up to a point where your hands are at shoulder height, with your palms facing forward. Push the handles straight up in the air until they are about 1 inch apart, lower them back to the starting point and repeat.
Pull the bands towards your body to work your back muscles. Stand on the band with one foot and grab the handles. Bend over slightly and let your arms go straight down towards the floor. Pull the handles straight back towards your waist while keeping your arms tight against your sides. Lower them back down and repeat.
Chop the band in a diagonal motion. Attach the band onto a door, on the hinge side, about 12 inches above the ground. Grab the handles with both hands together and stand with your right shoulder facing the door. Bend down slightly towards the door, then come up quickly and chop the handles in a diagonal motion over your left shoulder. Do a series of reps on your right side, then switch to your left. When you do these, generate the power from your core and make sure to keep your arms completely straight.
Work your legs with squats. Stand on the band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the handles in your hands at shoulder height, with your palms facing forward. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then stand back up. When you do squats, do not let your knees go past your ankles and keep your back as straight as possible.
Power bands also come without handles. If you use these, wrap the ends of the bands around your hands to secure them. When you do your exercises, experiment with the different resistances to see what works best for you. As far as your reps go, keep them in the 12 to 15 range.
Check your bands for small tears or holes before using. Over time bands deteriorate and may snap during an exercise causing an injury.