Ankle band workouts give British supermodels Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Elle Macpherson their awe-inspiring legs, reports the "Daily Mail UK." While the bands don't come with a money-back guarantee if you're not selected for the next Victoria's Secret catalog, they do provide a cheap, portable and convenient means of sneaking in a workout. The color of the band indicates its resistance level. Lighter colors usually mean less resistance, but some manufacturers have their own color schemes.
Some people simply tie the ends of a resistance band together to create a loop for leg work, but you probably won't like the part where the humidity makes it virtually impossible to untie the knot. If you frequently tie the bands, they lose their integrity, and eventually snap. Some band exercises require you to use a special attachment device to secure one end to a stable object. All of this is unnecessary with an ankle band.
Types of Ankle Bands
Ankle bands come in two forms. One type uses a wider form of elastic, which creates a continuous loop. The other, called a figure 8 band, is made from a tube shaped material. The center of the figure 8 band is secured to create two separate loops. Each band has its benefits. The figure 8 band is somewhat longer, and supports some upper body as well as lower body exercises. The length, however, might work to its disadvantage, since longer bands provide less resistance.
Pilates Band Exercises
If you perform the Pilates side-lying series in perfect form and it still feels too easy, it's time to add an ankle band. The bands work on a principle similar to other Pilates equipment. If Joseph Pilates could effectively rehabilitate patients by using the hospital bed springs as resistance, you can benefit from a simple rubber band. Speaking of rehabilitation, if your wonder woman athletic endeavors sideline you with an injury, the bands facilitate a variety of Pilates-evolved rehab exercises, which can be performed in the comfort of your bed.
Athletic coaches use ankle bands in their speed, agility and quickness programs. These programs involve different variations on forward, backward and side to side movement patterns. In most cases, the placement of the band effects the intensity of the exercise. Placing the band around your ankles usually adds more challenge to the workout. If it's too difficult, bring the band around your outer thighs, just above your knees. Some ankle band sport conditioning exercises involve bounding and jumping movements. These require a stronger, heavier resistance band, in order to prevent snapping.
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.