As the saying goes “all good things come in small packages“. This could not be more true when it comes to Sanctband Active Series Mini loop bands. Measuring just 13 inches in length, when folded the Mini loop is small enough to fit into the palm of the hand or tuck neatly into a pocket. But looks can be deceiving, this unassuming, simple “little rubber band” is not only capable of strengthening the entire body, it can create quite a storm! From general fitness to sport specific functional conditioning and currently popular H.I.I.T (high intensity interval training) the Mini loop can do it all! These things are tough!
Sanctband Active Mini loops come in a range of 6 resistances to suit different strength levels and various exercises. Done seated, using a lighter resistance loop band, basic exercises for the elderly or less mobile can be performed safely and effectively. The simple loop design is easy hold with both hands. A great example of a basic hand held exercise is pushing and pulling the band apart. Just like drawing a bow and arrow, 1 arm is pushing the band away from the front of the body and the other arm is pulling the opposite end of the band towards the body. This basic exercise strengthens the shoulders, biceps, triceps, and if done properly can even involve the chest and back muscles. The same push/pull movement done at different angles targets different muscles, think overhead, sideways or downward. If we take this exercise off the chair, switch to a higher resistance loop and involve the lower body by adding a squat or a lunge, we can challenge a stronger, fitter person. Here we start get a glimpse of the Mini loop’s versatility.
Placing mini loops around the wrists or elbows, feet, ankles or knees is a snap. This leaves your hands free to pick up a medicine ball or drop to the floor to knock out push ups, then jump back up to do side squats. When using full length bands and tubes to achieve a similar effect, it can be clumsy and cumbersome as the long length of band needs to be wrapped a few times around the feet and the ends need to be held secure by the hands. Here is where the true brilliance of the mini loops come in, they’re able to do what the bigger bands and tubes cannot! Mini loops are excellent for making existing exercises tougher. Imagine doing burpees, star jumps and walking plank push ups with the additional lateral resistance of a Mini loop! The small size of the band limits the R.O.M (range of movement), especially when compared to full length bands or tubing. However, small R.O.M exercises are actually tougher because more control is required to execute the movements, thereby recruiting more muscle fibers.
Ideal for sport conditioning, Mini loops placed around the ankles or knees are excellent for strengthening the muscles of the hip. Using the hip abductors as an example, these very important muscles are responsible for laterally stabilizing the pelvis every time weight is transferred from one foot to the other. Pelvic stability is necessary in all activities like walking and running and especially essential in sports requiring sudden, fast changes in direction. Weak hip abductors can contribute to injury. Simple side steps against the resistance of the mini loop around the ankles can strengthen these hip abductors and even prevent injury.
Affordable, compact and light to carry, Active Series Mini loops are perfect for travel, outdoor workouts, personal or group training. Whether you are training for a marathon, an obstacle race or just trying to keep fit whilst juggling work/life balance, Mini loops are the perfect addition to any functional training tool box.
By Fay Eu (Group Fitness Instructor & Structural Integration Practitioner)
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