Stretch cords are also referred to as resistance bands and they are made out of durable rubber. Using the cords for exercises allows you to be creative and work out from multiple locations where you do not have access to conventional equipment. When doing exercises, choose cords that have enough resistance to adequately work your muscles.
Lying crunches work your abs and you need an assistant or door to do them. While lying on your back on a balance ball, hold the ends of the cord or the handles in your hands and have your assistant grasp the center of the cord behind you. After placing your hands up by your ears, lift your body forward and squeeze your abs forcefully. Slowly lower yourself down and repeat. If you use the door, pinch the center of the cord into the hinge side. In some cases, cords will come equipped with door attachments that slide in between the door and the jamb.
Clean and Press
Clean and presses work your glutes, thighs and shoulders all at the same time. To do these, stand on the cord with your feet shoulder width apart and hold one end in each hand. Slowly lower yourself into a squat, stand up and lift your hands to chest height. After pausing very briefly, pull your arms straight above your head. Lower yourself back to the starting position and repeat.
Hip Abduction and Adduction
The biggest difference with the hip abduction and adduction exercise is the direction of movement. Whenever you adduct your leg, you move it inward and when you abduct your leg, you move it outward. To do the adduction exercise, fasten one end of the band to your lower left leg and secure the other end around a post or have a training partner hold on to it. While standing with your left side facing the post, lift your foot and sweep your leg across the front of your body. Slowly bring your leg back to the start and repeat. After doing a set of reps, switch sides. To do abduction, fasten the cord to your lower right leg and stand with your left side facing the post. Now lift your foot and move your leg laterally in the air to your right. Slowly lower it down, repeat for a set of reps and switch sides.
The triceps are the major muscles on the back of the upper arm. To do extensions, stand on the cord with your feet hip-width apart and hold one end in each hand with your arms fully extended above you. Your palms should be facing each other at this point. Keeping your upper arms still, slowly bend your elbows to lower your hands behind your head and lift them back up. Feel the contraction on the back of your upper arms when you do this.
The biceps are the opposing muscles of the triceps and they are used for elbow flexion. To do a biceps curl, stand on the cord and hold one end or a handle in each hand with your palms facing forward. Steadily lift your hands up toward your chest and squeeze your biceps forcefully. Slowly lower your hands and repeat.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.