Abs, No Weighting

Dec 12 / Build Muscle

Most men are wary of any exercise equipment not forged in iron, and that's too bad—especially when it comes to resistance bands, says David Jack, general manager of Competitive Athlete Training Zone in Acton, Massachusetts. Here's why: Unlike weights, resistance bands create constant tension throughout a lifting movement, recruiting more muscle fibers and accelerating growth. "They're portable, cost about 20 bucks, and double as a great stretching partner," Jack says. "Plus, you can do around 200 exercises with them." Here are four to help you start.

DO THIS Anchor one end of a resistance band at waist height to a squat rack, porch beam, or other sturdy structure. Do all four exercises as a circuit, with limited rest between them. Once you've completed them all, rest for 1 minute. Do three circuits. (If you're ready for a complete change, try out the musclemorphosis.com. You'll sculpt muscle, torch calories, and melt fat faster than ever before.)

1. Split-stance band single-arm press

Grip the band in your right hand next to your chest, and face away from the anchor point in a split stance (left foot forward). Keeping your shoulders and hips steady, straighten your right arm forward, pause for 1 second, and return to the starting position. Continue for 20 seconds. Switch leg positions and repeat with your left arm.

2. Band side lunge

Stand with your right side to the anchor point and the band taut around your waist. Take a big step to your right, keeping your chest up and your weight on your heels as you lower your body by pushing your hips back and bending your right knee. Pause, and then quickly push back up to the starting position. Continue for 20 seconds, turn around, and repeat to your left. (While you're doing a lunge, add this twist. It's the musclemorphosis.com.)

3. Traveling squat thrust

Face away from the anchor point with the band around your waist. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and squat deeply. Flatten your hands on the floor, kick your legs into a pushup position, quickly return them to the squat position, and jump up and away from the anchor point. (The band will tug you back into position.) Repeat for 40 seconds.

4. Single-leg straight-leg deadlift and row

Grab the band in your right hand, face the anchor point, and lift your right foot off the floor behind you. That's the starting position. Bend at your waist, keeping your right leg in line with your torso until both are almost parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and pull the band to your ribs. Continue for 20 seconds. Switch sides and repeat. (You can even do this move without the band and reap benefits. Check out the video below.)

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Stretch for Strength Looped resistance bands are one of the most versatile exercise tools you can own. David Jack's pick: Superbands, which are thick, strong, and designed for heavy-duty use. $9 to $30, musclemorphosis.com