If you are looking for an innovative way to get in shape, try Figure 8 bands! Resistance bands like Figure 8 bands can help you perform lots of functional resistance exercises that can pump up a stale routine, make it more exciting, and give you those results you want!
No matter what your ability level, there is a resistance band perfect for you. My favorite band happens to be known as the Ultra Toner (another name for the Figure 8). I have yet to find someone who isn’t challenged by the Ultra Toner. I remember when my youngest son was around 9 years old and he and his friends would put the Ultra Toner on their ankles and run around the basement playing tag—quite the workout. But on the serious side, this band can be used as resistance while performing lots of functional resistance exercises. If you want to feel the muscle burn and get some fast results, grab an Ultra Toner and keep reading.
Make sure you are using the correct resistance band.
The Ultra Toner bands come in a range of resistance levels, from easy-to-stretch to progressively more difficult. Yellow is the lightest resistance often for the beginner. The most popular color is green which is considered light resistance, the red band is considered medium resistance, and the blue band is high resistance. The beauty of the bands is the ability to work on both muscle strength and muscle endurance. Less repetition, more resistance will work your strength. More repetitions, less resistance will work your endurance.
I personally switch between the green and red depending on which muscle groups are being worked and how many repetitions I plan to do. And, personally I get a lot of strength training with free weights, so I enjoy using the bands for muscle endurance exercises…continued repetitions of the same movement until muscle fatigue. (Meaning I am dying!)
To determine the color right for you, use this rule of thumb: You should reach moderate to maximum muscle fatigue between 20-30 repetitions. If your band is too easy, you’ll know. If it’s too hard, you won’t be able to complete the full range of motion. Stay in control and keep a steady pace.
Related: Muscle Strength Vs. Muscle Endurance
Try these exercises.
- Place the Ultra Toner on your shoes (one loop on each foot, middle of your shoe), squat down low and side step to the right four times then left four times. Continue to do this until fatigue working the lower body—specifically your butt and thighs. Imagine you are sweeping your butt across a picnic bench!
- Keep the Ultra Toner on your shoes and sink down into a Plie (wide stance, heels face together, toes apart). Hold an isometric plie as you lift and lower the heels, working the calves and legs. Also incorporating core body balance.
- Stand tall with the Ultra Toner on your shoes; try balancing on one foot while performing quad lifts moving into leg extensions.
- Hold the Ultra Toner in your hands, pull open across the chest working the rhomboids and mid back. Balance on one foot and incorporate the core body stabilizers.
- Try using it during your ab routine. Place band on one shoe and hold other handle in opposite hand. In supine crunch position, pull hand and press foot away as you do your bicycle ab exercises. You have added resistance and it requires balance and mind body connection as you push and pull.
- Mimic many everyday activities with this band like rowing, pumping, side stepping, by continuing the repetitions to fatigue, you also get the heart rate up and burn up the calories.
There are so many benefits.
Resistance bands in general are much more portable than other exercise equipment. You can take them with you when you travel! Resistance bands are also affordable. It doesn’t get more portable or cheaper than this little band! Plus, resistance bands are a great change of pace. It’s important to do both forms of training—work on both muscle strength and muscle endurance for a functional, fit and fantastic body!