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Cardio Resistance Bands: Why You Should Perform These Fun Exercises as Your Cardio Routine

written by: Rochelle Connery • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 4/20/2011

Tired of running endless miles on a treadmill? Cardio resistance bands exercises will fix that! You don’t have to own expensive equipment or burn your knees out running on a cardio machine. Using resistance bands for cardio training make exercise more random and even more effective.

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    Why Resistance Bands are Effective for Cardio

    Not all forms of cardio tone and shape your body as resistance bands do. Instead of just burning calories, like running, walking and jogging often do, resistance bands tone your muscles while amplifying your heart rate, which helps you do double duty when exercising.

    Cardio resistance bands don’t necessarily take the place of other strength training, but they do perform a vital role in shaping limbs while burning calories. Your arms, legs, abs and shoulders have to work the resistance band manually, rather than just riding along idly on a cardio machine. Pulling the band and working against its resistance, as its name implies, is where the challenge comes in. You end up getting more done in less time, essentially.

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    Types of Cardio Resistance Bands

    Resistance bands come in a variety of shapes and styles. Some have adjustable handles, which are handy for arm cardio exercises. Others only consist of the band, which means you’ll have to knot the ends to create handles if needed.

    Some bands look like thick, tubular cables. Others are made of wide-width elastic that looks like gift wrapping ribbon. The latter variety ordinarily does not come with handles, but they are ideal for tying around your waist or a limb if necessary.

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    Band Pull Step Outs

    Band pull step outs are a great cardio resistance bands exercise. This exercise treats your legs like a squat, while your arms do the pulling. The movement performed during the exercise keeps your heart rate pumping for a great cardio workout.

    To perform this move, grab the ends of the resistance band with your hands. Take a wide step to one side with one foot and perform a squat, stretching the resistance band in front of your body. Retract the band while drawing your second foot in to meet the other foot. Immediately repeat the process so you’re never at a total stand-still.

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    Squats with Bands

    Kick up your squat act with cardio resistance bands. Although this isn’t your typical cardio exercise, you can make it cardio-friendly by performing the squats quickly with the extra resistance of a band.

    This exercise is best performed with a band containing handles.

    Stretch the middle of the band between your feet. Grab the handles with your handles and pull them up to your shoulders. Do your squats as you normally do, but make sure your arms are doing the work in pushing the handles up. This will work your upper body, whereas with regular squats, your upper body would remain fairly stable and rested.

    This exercise is ideal if you really want to build strength while doing cardio. The squats themselves will work your glutes and thighs as usual while the band will work on getting your arms and shoulders into the game for some action.