Author: Roslyn Rachel

Resistance Band Variations for Cable-Pulley Exercises

Resistance Band Variations for Cable-Pulley Exercises

As a Personal Trainer, you learn to get inventive. Sometimes because clients can get bored easily and you need to spice things up. Sometimes because someone has an injury that you need to adapt for. Usually though, a PT’s skill at improvisation and invention comes from just not having the equipment necessary to perform a certain exercise.

That’s where cheap, portable equipment such as resistance bands come in really handy. If you know how to use them, you can replace- perhaps not all- but definitely a huge portion of common weight training exercises with a simple resistance band.

When I PT in a gym, I regularly use a cable pulley. They’re so versatile. The sheer number of exercises and exercise variations you can perform on cables is vast. They’re great for pushing the limits of advanced lifters – and they’re also brilliant for smaller exercises that help with things like technique and muscle imbalances. I was pretty stuck the first time I PT’d in a gym with no cable pulley. There were certain exercises that I really wanted to teach my clients and I just couldn’t think how to do so. It’s different to when you train clients outside. For outdoor training, I’ll plan an entirely different type of session around the equipment that I know that I have.

Anyway, I’ve had to cope a few times now without the cables. And I’ve learned more than a few brilliant Resistance Band variations for some of my go-to cable exercises.

These are some of my favourites.

 

Resistance Band Variations for Cable-Pulley Exercises

 

Face Pulls

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: Tie the band to a sturdy pole just above head height. Take the bottom of the band with both hands and pull towards the bridge of the nose. Keep the back straight and bend the arms, keeping the elbows high.

Muscles: Deltoids, biceps, rhomboids, trapezius

Rear Delt Cross Overs

Band Strength: Light

How: Loop the band around a sturdy pole at chest height. Make sure each end crosses over. Take the ends of the band in each hand. Standing straight, open the arms (keeping the elbows straight) and pull the band back as far as you can, squeezing the shoulder blades together.

Muscles: Rear deltoids, rhomboids, trapezius

 

Tricep Extensions

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light

How: Tie the band to a high surface, letting it dangle down. Both hands should hold the bottom of the band. Start with the elbows bend and pull the band downwards, straightening the arms.

Muscle: Triceps

Seated Rows

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: Loop the band around a sturdy pole, around chest height when standing. Sit on the floor and take one end of the band in each hand. Start with straight arms, reaching forwards then pull the band back, bending the arms and tucking the elbows in.

Muscles: Trapezius, Rhomboids, Biceps, Lats

Glute Kick Backs

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: Tie one end of the band to a sturdy surface at floor level. Loop the other end of the band around the ankle. Standing on one supporting leg, raise the other leg in a diagonal-backward direction.

Muscles: Glutes and Hamstrings

Hamstring Curls

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: Tie one end of the band to a sturdy surface at floor level. Kneeling one leg on a bench, loop the other end of the resistance band around the foot. Keeping the thigh as still as possible, squeeze the hamstring, bending the leg up towards the bum.

Muscle: Hamstrings

Woodchops

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

Band Strength: Light-Medium

How: The band should be looped around a sturdy pole and you should stand side on. Keeping the arms as straight as possible, use both hands to pull the band across the body.

Muscle: Obliques

 

For more resistance band exercises, check out my Summer Workouts post. Have you ever had to get inventive in the gym, or is there an exercise that you really want to know how to do without the equipment? Let me know in the comments- I do love a challenge!

Resistance Band Variations for Cable Exercises

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How to be a PT when you’re not wearing gym-clothes

How to be a PT when you’re not wearing gym-clothes

I realise that this post may sound like I’m stating the obvious.

I’m writing it on a Tuesday evening. It’s a rare day when Im finished with work before 4pm. Unthinkable for a weekday, normally.

I’m on my way to meet my best friend for some casual after work drinks. Nothing out of the ordinary then, compared to the rest of the working millennials in London.

Except for me it really is.

I’m wearing a dress. Nothing fancy- just a casual dress that keeps me relatively cool in this unexpected scorching summer.

And that’s the strangest thing of all.

How to be a PT when you're not wearing gym clothes

It genuinely just feels really weird. I spend my life constantly in activewear, because I’m always either working or training. Or lounging around the house doing admin and running errands. But there’s no point changing clothes because I’ll either just have finished at the gym, or I’ll head there after I’m done.

For this reason my poor non-gym wardrobe has been somewhat neglected recently. I have piles and piles of old work or summer or going out clothes that, since I became full time freelance, just haven’t been worn. Not because they’re old or they don’t fit. Just because they’re kinda unnecessary

These days if my mum sees me in absolutely anything other than lycra leggings she’ll remark (with some surprise) how nice I look.

My point being that as much as it feels more of a privilege to dress up now (even if that means jeans!) it also makes me weirdly uncomfortable. As if I’ve lost my ‘PT’ identity somehow.

Which of course is completely ridiculous.

How to be a PT when you're not wearing gym clothes

It’s not as if anyone would not believe that I’m a PT just because I’m not in activewear. It’s not as if they’d even ask. I don’t make a habit of going around asking people what they do for a living. If someone told me they were a doctor I wouldn’t ask them why they’re not wearing scrubs or a white coat. It’s literally meaningless.

Truth is I love my identity when I’m in activewear. I worked insanely hard to become a PT and now I’m grateful that (as a result) my workwear is super comfortable and I can wear gym hoodies and run down the tube escalators, comfortable in one of my many pairs of trainers.

I never did suit office clothes.

Still, I think it’s time that I learned that I’m a PT regardless of whether I’m wearing lycra leggings, a fancy dress or just a scruffy old pair of jeans.

I love my job and I think it suits me. But I also love theatre, books and salt and vinegar crisps. And I’m not going to forget that again.

How to be a PT when you're not wearing gym clothes

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Backs, Abs and Breakfast – Time for the FlexFit Dance June Monthly Update!

Backs, Abs and Breakfast – Time for the FlexFit Dance June Monthly Update!

These update posts are really flying by! I was so surprised when I wrote my first one, in March, that I’d already been a full time PT for three months.

Well, now even June has come to an end. It’s the start of July (JULY?) and that time has doubled.

I still love it. No matter how early I get up and however crazy my hours are I’m still thankful at the end of every day that I do what I do. And that I don’t sit at a desk driving myself insane for several hours a day.

Here’s what’s been going on in June:

Work

FlexFit dance June Updates

In all honesty, I have overworked myself slightly in the past couple of weeks… I am a habitual over worker- every now and then I just don’t know when to stop. If someone offers me hours to work then I can’t resist but to say yes if I can squeeze it into my schedule. What with Tom and I desperately saving to go travelling, this has been even more relevant recently.

However, alongside endless admin work, blogging and of course my own training, the stupid amount of client hours I was working over June started to catch up to me! I didn’t really notice when I got ill and run down and completely lost my voice. I didn’t notice when I could barely move for a couple of days because I was so tired. And I certainly didn’t notice when I started getting all grouchy at friends and family (and especially poor Tom!) because I’d spend too long giving all my energy and happiness to my clients!

But then a day last week I actually fell asleep in the middle of the day. I’d had a jam-packed morning and was about to have a very late, busy evening and I’d gone home in between.

As someone who finds it near impossible to nap, this was a major warning signal!

Luckily all it took was a couple of days doing absolutely nothing (and a lovely spa day) and I felt better than ever.

I’m now paying a bit more attention to how much I agree to take on.

Lesson of the month: it’s okay to say no sometimes!

Life

FlexFit dance June Updates
This month I shared with you my favourite quick and healthy breakfasts – if this isn’t enough to tempt you, click through for more inspiration!

This month for me has been all about Scoliosis Awareness Month. You’ll know from some of my older posts that this is a condition I was diagnosed with as a teenager – and had surgery for at the age of 17. It’s a huge motivating factor in my training.

This month, in the lead up to Scoliosis Awareness Day (the last Saturday in June) I filled my Instagram account full of back-day workouts, exercises and tips for safe technique and good posture. It was my way of spreading a little bit of awareness into the world of social media. At the time, it really didn’t seem like much. I worried that I should be doing more – fundraising perhaps. However, I have since received the most extraordinary messages and comments from a few people that made it all worth it. Mostly sufferers or their families. It’s amazing how much power social media has. The fact that I was able to provide even the tiniest amount of comfort to people made me so happy. One of them has now even become a client.

With just a few weeks to go until the wedding, Staci is powering through her Fit Bride Bootcamp workouts! This month was an Abs Special. It’s ideal for bikini season, so go check out the workout (and Staci’s commentary!) over on the ever-beautiful Lattes & Lipsticks.

Training

FlexFit dance June Updates

I’ve been saying it for ages- and finally, this month, I tried out my first ever yoga class! Never one to do things by halves, I experienced my inauguration into Yoga on the 35th floor of Sky Garden (the Walkie Talkie building). It was a brilliant morning, made no less impressive by the 360 degree views of London’s skyline. You can read my full review right here. For now I’ll just say that (once I’ve found a style that really suits me), I think it’ll be a brilliant addition into my weight training. It’ll be nice to devote a set amount of time to stretch out the muscles that I normally place under so much stress! Which nicely brings me onto:

 

From June to July: What’s on & Goals for the Month:

1) Goal number one is to keep up with the yoga. For the time being, I think a realistic target would be to go to at least one class a fortnight. That way, if I have a crazy hectic week then I can make sure that I have a little bit of me time the following week. I’m going to try out a few different styles of classes. I like fast paced flow, but also want to devote a good amount of time to my hip flexors and hamstrings! So I’ll see where that takes me.

2) Goal number two – book a dance lesson for me and Tom. I was so surprised when he actually seemed keen, and I really miss dancing. I want to try some form of Latin…or jive/swing style dance. If you know of any reasonably priced classes in London please please comment and let me know!

3)Goal number three – post two blog posts per week. Consistently. I’m also considering trying out a bit of a revamp/redesign… So if you have any feedback or thoughts, I’d love to hear!

FlexFit dance June Updates

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