Ayurvedic Seasonal Influence and Resistance Work
In the world of Ayurveda, the understanding is that the seasons have an influence on us that we do well to work with/respond to in some form of harmony. We see this in intuitive lifestyle ways, getting hygge and eating soups and stews in the winter, being outdoors and playful picnicking with salads and fruits in the summer.
We can also respond to seasonal changes through our exercise, harnessing an aspect of our lifestyle in a way that helps us feel in the flow.
In the spring, the primary (or loudest) elements in nature are water and earth. That combination gives us lush plants and juiciness in the body; it can also create mud. These elements, when balanced, provide us with cohesiveness and stability. And along the lines of mud, these elemental influences can also tend to get us a little bogged down. So, how do we communicate with these elements within ourselves to help keep dynamic balance?
In the realm of resistance training, that might look like building a little extra heat, warming up a little longer. It might be more repetition, whether within a set of exercises or the number of sets themselves. Possibly adding some pulsing in your movements, to disrupt stagnation or congestion. It might be a booty shaking dance break between exercises. (<—- I’m a fan of this one)
This is a small window into our empowered options in our resistance work, and there are lots of other practices (yoga, pranayama, nutritional choices) that can support us in the different seasons. If you’d like to know more, let us know, and of course let us know what questions you have!
Reconditioning Required: moving rubber CAN make you stronger!
So maybe I was a little resistant to resistance bands. I’ve been lifting for over half of my life. This girl learned she could lift heavy free weights back in the late 90’s, and she still loves to lift heavy weights. I feel strong -- in part because I move big weights. Being separated from free weights, while I would not choose this, I enjoy the environment of adaptation, so I took a tour through a host of home training tools. On this tour, resistance bands seemed to dominate in the world of the home workout gear of choice. Huh...Is that really tough? Can you really drive your muscles to adapt to more strength moving RUBBER?!
Now even the sturdiest of us, every now and then, wind up in ‘required reconditioning’ (perhaps from trying to impersonate David Lee Roth, or Gabby Douglas, or Wonder Woman). It was in times of injury, and small muscle stability work (think shoulder external rotation) that I relate to resistance bands. A therapy tool, a stretch buddy, or better awareness (or ability to isolate) of the small boring muscles that support the stability of something bigger and cooler—that’s the rap I gave ‘resistance bands'. I did not categorize resistance bands as a way to put on much muscle, but rather as a way to keep my muscles...well groomed.
To build modest to beastly-light muscle power you need to demand (overload) more of your muscles than your muscles are used to so that the body will adapt to your demands. To review: the realization made by me, was that resistance bands were a solid option to the goal of BUILDING muscle, not to rehab it or stretch it, but BUILD IT.
Whether a free weight, body weight, or elastic tension, you have to have the same components to build muscle: resistance and overload (create tension on your muscles they are not use to), recovery, and progressive challenge to the strength adaptations of your body. So we can stress the muscle using resistance with gravity, an added weight (free weights or machines) or elastic tension. Sufficiently overloaded muscles will adapt over time, so they can manage the added stress. Bam! You just got stronger!
Free weights use loads and gravity to provide tension. Free weights are SWEET and you have to obey the laws of gravity...what a downer (😬🙄). Body weight work follows similar rules. The force will always be downward, so you have to position your body in a way that allows you to target your muscles correctly.
With resistance bands, the force is caused by elastic tension—the more you stretch the band, the more tension is created. This means you can target your muscles from any direction. FREEDOM!!!💥🦸 ♀ 💥 The freedom of position of the body helps the individual isolate a muscle group much easier than always having to be beholden to the downward force of gravity. Finally, resistance bands match our muscles natural strength curve, in that the strength of the band varies with range (more stretch = more resistance).
Most muscles increase in strength up to a certain point during a movement, after which they become weaker. When you use free weights you are limited in that you can only use a weight which your muscles are capable of moving in their weakest position--usually at the beginning of the movement. This means that when they are in their strongest position, they are not receiving an adequate level of resistance.
With elastics, the movement is easy at the beginning and progressively becomes more difficult. You get the highest level of resistance exactly where you need it most – the point at which the muscles are in their strongest position.
Where to start?
There are essentially 4 types of bands:
● Tube bands (we have those at EQUIVITA), then in that group ‘braided tube' -- the very popular TRX system is in that classification I believe.
● Flat loop bands
● Flat bands (like Thera band that the PT’s provide for stretching)
● Superbands (we have these at EQUIVITA), are big loop bands that are thick layered
If you have questions or epiphanies please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In good health,