Resistance Band Workouts: The Importance of Stretching

If you do a  resistance band training session at home it is easy to forget to include a few stretches first to warm the muscles up and get them ready for exercise. It is easy to think that resistance band training is not as serious as lifting heavy weights but it not a good practice to skip the warm up.

Why Stretch Muscles Before a Resistance Band Routine?

7Stretching warms and loosens the muscles to prepare them for exercise.  One of the most common causes of athletic injury is failure to warm up muscles resulting in torn muscles and even torn ligaments which are harder to repair and sometimes require surgery. Some easy movements like swinging your arms, stretching arms overhead, jogging lightly in place and side to side movements of the core area will get some of your muscles loosened up. Then begin a disciplined warm up that stretches large muscle groups, paying particular attention to arms, legs, and core. Hold each stretch for 8 to 10 seconds and then release.

Simple Stretches For a Resistance Band Workout

Arm warm-ups: Interlace your fingers and push both arms out in front of you with palms facing you, hold, then switch so palms are facing outwards and hold. Lift your arms up overhead, clasp your elbows, hold and then release.

Leg warm-ups: Do walking lunges, holding each lunge for a few seconds. With one foot in front of the other, your front foot should be flat on the ground, knee bent at a right angle over your ankle. Your back heel should be raised, with leg straight. You should feel the stretch in your gluteal muscles, your front quadriceps, your back leg hamstring and your calf muscles.

Core warm-up: Stand with legs apart, feet firmly planted and facing forward. Soften the knees. Bend at the waist with hands down on the floor in front of you. Plant the right hand on the floor, raise the left hand to point to the ceilng and twist at the waist. Hold. Then lower slowly and switch sides.

Resistance bands give you more of a workout than you might think – it’s not smart to underestimate the power of these thin, rubbery cords, so learn the basics of stretching and allow a couple of minutes before and after your resistance band workout to nurture your muscles with a few warm-up and cool-down stretches.

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S1 Foot Pod by Polar Review

If you own a Polar heart rate watch, you can pair it with a Polar S1 Foot Pod to measure the speed, distance and pace of your running workouts. Whether you’re running in preparation for a 5K race, a marathon, or simply for your health, the foot pod can help ensure that you are getting the right training to meet your fitness goals.

One of the first things that people notice about the S1 Foot Pod is its accuracy. Even without calibration, the foot pod is reasonably accurate. When correctly calibrated, the accuracy goes up to 99%. It gives results very close to that of a GPS receiver. See S1 Foot Pod review below..

Product Features

  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Shock and water resistant
  • Battery life is 20 hours on average

Foot Pod by Polar ReviewFoot Pod- How It Works

The foot pod is a small device that works with your speed and distance monitor (SDM) to determine your speed and distance traveled. This device is attached to your shoe and uses an accelerometer to estimate your stride length. Your SDM watch uses the data from the foot pod to approximate your speed and distance. Like other devices of this nature, the S1 Foot Pod must be calibrated to get accurate results.

Accuracy

Out of the box, the S1 Foot Pod is at least 97% accurate. For greater accuracy, the foot pod must be calibrated to your stride. A foot pod that has been calibrated correctly can be up to 99 percent accurate.

Tough and Durable

The S1 Foot Pod is designed and built for durability. It is shock-resistant and water-resistant up to 2 meters. You can use the foot pod even under the rain but it should not be worn while swimming.

Compatibility

Polar manufactures many different models of heart rate watches and training computers. The S1 Foot Pod is not compatible with all models. It works with the FT60, FT80, FT80 G1, RS400, RS400sd, RS200, RS300X, RS300Ssd, and RS300X G1.

When purchasing the S1 Foot Pod, make sure it is compatible with your Polar device.

Battery

The S1 Foot Pod uses one AAA battery. It has an average battery life of 20 hours.

Using the S1 Foot Pod

If you are serious about your running, it’s important to have a training device that can help you keep track of your pace and distance. The S1 Footpod will help ensure that you are running at the desired speed or pace. It will also help you keep track of the number of miles you have run, so you will know if you are progressing as planned with your training program.

The Foot Pod is very easy to use. To attach the unit, simply slide the fork under the laces of your shoe. Tighten the shoelace to secure the fork and attach the foot pod to the fork.

GPS Receiver vs. Foot Pod

Monitors that track your speed and distance can use a wrist-mounted GPS receiver or a shoe-mounted foot pod. Both types of devices have their advantages and disadvantages. GPS receivers are very accurate and do not require calibration but the accuracy may be compromised if you are inside a building or if satellite signals are blocked by trees or tall buildings. A foot pod works equally well in open terrain or in a covered gym but it may not be as accurate as a GPS unit. It also needs to be properly calibrated for either running or walking to get the most accurate results.

Pros

  • Very light
  • Accurate when calibrated correctly
  • Provides an accurate measure of distance and pace
  • Provides motivation to exercise
  • Can be used on a treadmill or on the road

Cons

  • Needs calibration from time to time
  • Large size
  • Somewhat pricey
  • Not compatible with all Polar devices

What Customers Say

A number of customers noted that the foot pod is sensitive to a person’s stride length. Thus, it has to be calibrated for running, walking, or working out on a treadmill. If your spouse also uses the device, the foot pod must be re-calibrated for him or her.

Many customers find the foot pod comfortable to wear. It is so light that they hardly notice they are wearing the device. They say the foot pod does not get in the way of their workout.

Although the S1 Foot Pod is very light, it is also quite large. One or two customers remarked that they are not too happy with the way it looks on their shoe. This is particularly true for individuals (mostly women) with smaller shoe sizes.

The foot pod is attached to the shoe with a fork or shoe clip secured into position under the shoe lace. Some customers find it tricky to attach the device to the shoe. One customer who is into barefoot or minimalist running also lamented the fact that he could not use the foot pod with his Vibram Five Fingers.

Schwinn 240 Recumbent Exercise Bike Review

Check out our review of Schwinn 240 Recumbent Exercise Bike! People who suffer from lower back strain often find it difficult to exercise as much as they would like to. But with the Schwinn 240 Recumbent Exercise Bike, this is no longer a problem.

It offers a compact design and the feel of a more traditional outdoor bike while relying on core, stabilizing muscles to balance your body weight. The reclined position of a recumbent bike removes stress on the back while allowing you to workout the muscles in your lower body.

Product Features

  • Recumbent bike equipped with 20-lb flywheel
  • Offers 16 resistance levels
  • Comes with 17 workout programs
  • Equipped with grip heart rate monitoring system
  • Ergonomically designed seat and dual-position lower back support
  • Maximum user weight: 275 lbs

Woman-Using-Schwinn-240-Recumbent-Exercise-BikeRecumbent Exercise Bike

The Schwinn 240 stationary bike allows riders to sit in a reclining position while they exercise. This is the preferred position for individuals who require more support for the lower and middle back. People who have back injuries are able to exercise more comfortably on the Schwinn 240 than on an upright stationary bike. In addition to its ergonomic design, the seat is also well padded to prevent sore buttocks.

Recumbent bikes, where the rider is in a semi-reclining position, requires a seat that provides back support. The pedals are in front of you, rather than below. Many people, especially those with back problems, find this more comfortable than an upright bike.

Oversized levelers and stabilizers ensure that the bike remains firm and stable and does not wobble while you pedal as hard as you can.

Fully Adjustable for Comfort and Support

When exercising on a recumbent bike, it’s important to be as comfortable as possible. On the Schwinn 240, the handlebars and seat are fully adjustable to fit your height and reach for maximum comfort. This is the patented BioFit Comfort seating system. The foot pedals are equipped with straps to keep your feet securely in place while you exercise.

Resistance Levels

You can vary the intensity of your workout by changing the speed of your pedaling or adjusting the resistance of the flywheel that is connected to the pedals. Resistance strengthens your muscles and improves your cardiovascular health. The Schwinn 240 offers 16 resistance levels, from the easiest level up to the heaviest level. With many resistance levels in between, you can gradually increase the resistance to get a challenging workout as your fitness level improves.ff

Built-in Workout Programs

To help you achieve your fitness goals, the Schwinn 240 features the exclusive BioConnect Feedback that comes with 17 workout programs, including customizable workouts. The workout programs automatically adjust the resistance and workout levels to help you reach your fitness goal.

The recumbent exercise bike is equipped with an adjustable console that displays your exercise setting and statistics while exercising. It shows speed, time, distance, calories burned, and other stats to help you measure your progress.

Heart Rate Monitor

To develop cardiovascular fitness, experts recommend sustained exercise from 20 to 90 minutes in duration with your heart rate at 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate. The Schwinn 240 exercise bike is equipped with heart rate sensors in the handlebars and sends the signals to the display console to show your heart rate in Beats Per Minute.

Apart from the contact sensors in the bike’s handlebars, the Schwinn 240 is also telemetry-enabled and can receive signals from a compatible heart rate chest strap transmitter.

Pros

  • Walk-through design makes it easy to mount
  • Provides good support for the back
  • Smooth and quiet operation
  • Lots of resistance levels and workout programs
  • Built-in transport wheel makes it easy to move the bike around

Cons

  • Flimsy power plug
  • Owner’s manual is poorly written
  • Assembly instructions are difficult to follow
  • Bike seat is uncomfortable; needs more padding

What Customers Say

Customers who reviewed the Schwinn 240 Recumbent Bike give it an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5, which is quite impressive. The bike is well-designed, durable, works quietly, and has many great features. Once customers get past the assembly, which can be very challenging for some, the bike turns out to be one of the best recumbent bikes in its class.