The expander is one of the small devices in the sports sector and allows easy strength training. To generate ratings for strength, material, band execution and much more for our team, our team has examined a variety of tests and comparisons on the Internet.
- Expander: Small and effective
- This is how an expander works
- Advantages and applications
- The expander test
- Manufacturer of expanders: brief information
- Expander buy: Internet and retail compared
- Knowledge expansion: Interesting facts about the expander
- Expander: An old device rediscovered
- Facts that expander fans should know
- How to build muscle
- No diligence, no price: why regular training is important
- The best expander exercises
- Strength training with the expander
- Cardio training with the expander
- With handle or without handle? Expander vs. Fitness bands
- Break a leg? Safe training with the expander
- Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
- Supplements, accessories and combination options for expander in training
- Alternatives to the expander
Expander: Small and effective
Expanders are handy sports equipment , the effect of which has it all . Essentially, these are elastic metal springs, tension cords or bands , which are each provided with a handle on the right and left .
The spring or tether, or the band gives in to train, but at the same time exercises enough resistance to make the exercise effectively. The type of exercise performed, the variations, the duration of training and the resistance of the springs will determine how effective the exercises are with the expander . In the small appliance, the focus of the exercises is mainly on the upper body.
Expanders are suitable for beginners as well as for advanced users , who want to bring variety into their training plan with the device. Also for ball athletes or runners, it may be advantageous to train the muscles of the upper body – as a balance, supplement or to increase the throwing power.
This is how an expander works
If you want to train with the expander, they do not need much space. Many exercises can be performed while sitting or standing.
One of the simple ones basic exercises is child’s play, but very effective : with both hands you hold the device firmly and close the fists tight enough to not slip. The expander is in front of your body. The handles now have to move away from each other to stretch the springs in the middle. They exert traction and should not perform the exercise too jerkily to avoid injury.
The further you move the two handles apart, the more the springs stretch – and the more pulling power you need to apply. In this way you train the muscles in your arms, shoulders and back. Muscle tension is what the body needs not only to actively move the expander, but also to endure the positions. They are very similar to exercise or gymnastic bands, but more comfortable to handle and easier to grip.
The resistance of the device can vary . It is determined by the characteristics of the springs, ligaments and tension cords . Expanders with springs are often particularly suitable for advanced strength training. For general fitness and cardio training expander with tapes or tubes are often more useful as you can also stand on the tapes to fix the expander during certain exercises.
Advantages and applications
Tape versions, handles and wall mounting: What types of expanders are there?
The different expander models not only differ in the price and quality of their material from each other, but they also have functional differences.
Expanders are available in different band versions . Expanders differ from each other in the clamping element , which holds the resistance when pulling the handles apart and thus causes the training effect . Some expanders are provided with one or more rows of springs . The springs are usually made of metal and react flexibly to the tensile force.
Other expanders have tapes to create the tension . The bands are usually made of rubber, latex or an elastic plastic.
Allergy sufferers should therefore pay attention to the material used. Even if you hold the sports equipment especially by the handles during the exercises, touches with the tape are sometimes unavoidable. Some types of training even require direct contact with the band.
The third type of band designs is the tension cord . As the name implies, this is a string of elastic but strong fibers.
Each tape version has its advantages and disadvantages . Expander with tension cord or band already start in a low price range. With a bit of luck you can buy simple models for 10-20 €. However, such bargains have the reputation of not having a long life . If you are a beginner, you do not want to invest a lot of money, and your first expander is supposed to be a test, such a device is still worth a second look.
The band design affects the strength of the expander and thus the resistance that the device offers to the traction. The higher the number of the specified thickness, the more force you will need to spend to stretch the ribbon, the string or the feather.
- If you have good general fitness and are already performing light to moderate upper body strength training, you may be able to get started on the expanders with a higher strength.
- However, if you are still on your way to becoming a smooth, dream figure and your desired level of fitness, low-powered expanders are more suitable for you.
- In an expander test good products could be found in all strengths; Fundamental qualitative differences depending on the expander strength were not found by the testers.
The different models included in an expander test also differed in the number and strength of springs, bands and tension cords. These factors, among other aspects, affect how much the exercises challenge the muscles. Most expanders in external tests had 1-5 clamping elements.
The grips of some expanders have a hand- flattering shape in tests and are easy to grip. However, if you have particularly strong or petite hands, this given shape can be more irritating than good. The size of the handles may also vary from expander to expander in a particular case.
In addition, some expander can be mounted on a wall and allow you modified exercises. The disadvantage of such devices, however, is that they need more space and you need to attach a corresponding attachment device. Of course, a permanently installed expander can not simply be used on the move .
Some expanders are adjustable . They allow you to switch between different intensities or resistances with a single device, The advantage of the adjustable expander is its versatility. Different levels of resistance during training allow you to target muscle growth more effectively. If you have the option to choose a higher intensity, the expander may motivate you to develop ambition and increase yourself. On the other hand, it can also tempt you to resort to a lower intensity of training because the exercises are easier to perform with less resistance. In both cases, the easy availability of each alternative is crucial. Whether an adjustable expander offers you more advantages than disadvantages is best judged by yourself.
Adjustable expanders are usually cheaper to buy than a corresponding number of expanders, each with a thickness. For example, in most cases, a five-step adjustable expander costs less than five comparable expanders, each of which is not adjustable. However, adjustable expanders suffer from the reputation of being more vulnerable and more sensitive. Whether this reputation is justified is difficult to judge objectively .
The expander test
Test criterion: Type of band execution
Expanders differ in their design: some have springs (for example made of metal), others have an elastic band . Still others consist of tying laces, which can be stretched between the handles. The type of band execution does not necessarily mean a qualitative difference between different devices. However, it affects the strength of the resistance the expander provides to the muscles . If you want to do a lot of exercises that require you to stand on the expander, it may be a good idea to buy a band or tether expander.
Easy play and hard work: expander strengths
The strength of an expander in the test provides information about how stressful it is to stretch its clamping elements . Some expanders have only a low resistance . These models are particularly well suited for beginners, health athletes and individuals recovering from injury, surgery or illness and want to use the expander as part of rehabilitation. Even older people may benefit more from a low-power expander than from a higher-powered device. Higher strengths are especially useful for those who are well trained and want the same training effect with fewer repetitions. This procedure tends to result in larger muscles, while light, low-resistance exercise tends to keep the muscles lean. For example, bodybuilders – after a sufficient period of familiarization – are more likely to resort to expanders with greater resistance.
Test criterion: Value for money
The price is not the most important test criterion for the evaluation of a sports equipment. But an expensive device, which offers no added value compared to a cheaper competitor, lets you pay for a name. However, subjects in the external expander test could not find any particular abnormalities in this respect.
Test criterion: adjustability
Some expanders from the tests are individually adjustable , allowing you to train with varying levels of resistance . The advantage of such devices is not just that you only need to purchase one device ; They also provide the incentive to include greater variations and different forms of exercise and supplements in the training. In addition, with an adjustable expander you can change the resistance during different exercises – according to your individual needs.
Our shopping tips
If you want to buy an expander, you should keep an eye on some aspects. First, it makes sense to think about which expander you want and need. On this basis, you can choose a suitable expander.
For beginners who have never trained with an expander, simpler devices are often sufficient. If you want to inquire at a local specialty store, take your time and form your own opinion. The attractive environment in sports shops often has a positive effect on the purchase – but keep a clear head and do not let yourself be tempted to purchases that you have not thought out well before .
Pay attention to how big the handles of the expander are. Especially if you have very large or strong hands, the handles should be wide enough so that you can comfortably fit your hand width. In addition, you should be able to estimate whether they can easily close the fist around the handle. You can also take a closer look at the material of the handles : is it a smooth plastic cast on which you could easily lose your grip? Or are the handles coated and have a velvety surface , which provides more safety and stability for the hands during sweaty exercises?
Manufacturer of expanders: brief information
Expanders are of interest to a wide range of people – so it is not surprising that manufacturers of sports equipment also offer a wide range of products. Below we have summarized some information about leading expander manufacturers for you.
In addition to expanders, Dittmann also produces other fitness equipment such as muscle stimulators or fitness bands . In addition, the Group also produces appropriate accessories. Dittmann is internationally represented in the fitness industry and has several expanders and fitness bands in the bestsellers.
In addition to expanders, fitness belts and other adult sports equipment, Hudora also manufactures sports and leisure items for children ,such as in-line skates, baby swings and table tennis equipment.
PowerCord also sells expanders, fitness straps, tubes and similar products. In addition to small and handy sports equipment, the Group also sells, for example, gymnastic rings, as they are found mounted in gyms.
Expander buy: Internet and retail compared
Expanders test winners and other fitness equipment are readily available today . They belong to the standard devices and are very popular among health-conscious as well as ambitious athletes and rehabilitators. That is why you will often find one or two expander test winners in sports shops with a small selection.
A problem with the purchase on site is the selection . Stationary retailers need to limit their assortment as they can not stock any number of items. When issuing new or used goods, you may need to make another selection. Personal preferences of sales personnel can lead to them highlighting particular models.
Even traders on the Internet present certain expander and other devices preferred. However, with large providers, you have a much wider choice of devices to choose from . Ordering a certain amount of expander also proves to be easier if you do not have to go through the specialized trade first.
In principle, you should be able to assume that sellers in a specialist shop are well versed with their goods. But even the most enthusiastic athlete and most interested seller can not keep up with all the developments that take place on the market. Trends come and go – the range of temporary fashions and long-lasting classics is so diverse that no one can keep track of them. Despite all efforts and good will, the staff in the stationary trade is not always a great help.
In addition, buyers can easily feel compelled by sellers to buy . You may want to go to a store just to look around once – and leave it with sportswear, fitness equipment, and expensive accessories, which in the worst case, they only use most of them once and then let them dust in the basement.
Knowledge expansion: Interesting facts about the expander
Expander: An old device rediscovered
Expanders are not a very new invention, but have enjoyed increasing popularity for some time now . The reason is not only in fashions that naturally come and go, but is also attributable to the expander itself. It is easy to stow, has space in every home and suitcase, and the different strengths make it an excellent choice for people at different levels of performance and needs.
Strength training based on your own body weight is the oldest form of weight training. It seems that human beings have always been fascinated by their extraordinary appearance and extreme physical performance. Long before the invention of modern expanders, people were pulling loads to do work (for example, moving goods by sled – even before the wheel came through). The principle of traction is similar.
The workers of antiquity suffered heavily from the consequences of enormous physical labor and essentially spent their entire lives on their feet and on the move. In the course of history, however, this changed extremely. At least since industrialization, one-sided physical stress and lack of exercise are central problems for the entire population.
The fitness wave of the 70s and 80s was historically overripe from this point of view. Although their climax is already fading, the effects of the enthusiasm for sports at the end of the twenty-first century are still palpable – until today. So it is not surprising that old trends, sports and equipment are always rediscovered and experience a renaissance. While the expander has since been regarded as primitive, boring and one-sided and enjoyed only moderate popularity in selected groups of people, he has today regained his reputation as a positive fitness helper.
Facts that expander fans should know
How to build muscle
A muscle is made of compact tissue. The cells form so-called filaments of actin and myosin, which are grouped into muscle fibers. The individual fibers in turn are in larger bundles, the muscle fiber bundles. The body needs nutrients to constantly repair, maintain, and create new cells . In addition to vitamins and minerals protein (protein) plays an important role.
The human body needs about 0.8 to 1.0 g of protein per kg of body weight per day to maintain mass. However, in periods when the body is strengthening muscles or when exercising more, the body needs more protein. How much, exactly, is an issue to which different groups give different answers. If you’re not a bodybuilder or a competitive athlete, and you’re practicing a healthy and balanced diet, you do not have to worry about protein deficiencies. Dietary supplements are not necessary in this case.
No diligence, no price: why regular training is important
Regularity is the alpha and omega in building muscle . If you require certain muscles in your body, the organism uses this stimulus as an opportunity to strengthen the muscle. Training with the expander offers the body such a stimulus: it strengthens the muscle by forming more filaments, When the new cells are grown, the muscle can perform better. That’s why training is easier after a period of getting used to: the muscles are then so much reinforced that they can effortlessly master the load. To increase your performance, you need to increase the intensity or duration of your workout. You can do more repetitions of the same exercises, add new exercises to your training schedule, or use an expander that has more resistance.
However, you should not increase the intensity of the workout too quickly or start with a high intensity or many repetitions – because that increases the likelihood of fine cracks in the muscle tissue . The result is uncomfortable sore muscles . In addition, the risk of injury increases if you ask too much of your body at once. In turn, injuries take time to heal, costing time in training.
If you stop exercising your muscles, the body will maintain muscle mass for a short while. Without stimulation, however, he soon begins to break down the “superfluous” cells. As a result, muscle performance decreases after a voluntary or involuntary exercise break. Even if you do not normally train with the expander , it can help you to bridge such breaks – for example, when you’re on vacation and only want to do a few exercises in between to maximize your muscle mass.
The best expander exercises
Below we introduce our best exercises for the expander . Before you start, however, you should follow our safety tips: warm-up is mandatory . In addition, not all exercises are suitable for each expander. It is therefore important to find out in advance whether you can stand on the expander, for example.
If you have doubts about doing the exercises, you can ask another person to observe you and give you feedback. Even videos from the Internet , for example, on youtube.com can provide a clue . They find professional support among others with physiotherapists and freelance trainers . The exercises that we present here are intended primarily as a suggestion. Always pay attention to your safety and stop the exercise when you feel pain.
Strength training with the expander
A very popular exercise for the expander is the bicep curl . Instead of holding the expander with both hands , take one leg forward and stand with one foot in a grip . Make sure that the expander can not slip away and they will not hurt your foot. The other handle is on the same side of the body: For the right bicep curl, the right foot holds one end of the expander below, for the left bicep the left foot . Once you have taken the position safely, you can start with the actual exercise: Angle the forearm up to a maximum of 90 ° and allow the arm to lower in a controlled manner. The back of the hand points down.
In the chest pull you stand upright on a level surface. Around you, you should have enough space to do the exercise and not hit anywhere. Distribute the weight evenly on both legs . The feet are about shoulder or hip width apart. Hold the expander at chest or shoulder height so that both hands are at the same distance from the center of the body. The arms are stretched, but not overstretched at the elbows, Now pull the handles apart in one movement and keep your arms straight. Avoid jerky and hasty movements. Concentrate on chest posture at the beginning and, if necessary, stand in front of a mirror to check posture.
A modification of the chest pull intensifies the exercise. To do this, perform the chest pull as described above – but not in an upright posture. Instead, bend your upper body until it’s almost parallel to the floor. The arm movements remain the same.
For the butterfly, attach the expander centrally to a wall so that both handles are equidistant from the wall. You can also see this setup in some gyms. With the Butterfly, stand with your back to the wall , holding both handles at shoulder height, while bending your upper body slightly forward. Then move your stretched arms back and forth. Pain in the back, for example between the shoulder blades, may indicate that you are not doing the exercise properly. For example, you might stretch your arms too far back. Again, pay attention to the pain signals and do not try to ignore them.
To lift the side, stand with both feet on the band of the expander. For this exercise are particularly well devices that have only a band in the middle. The feet are flat on the floor (about shoulder to hip width) and hold the band of the expander. The weight of the body is evenly distributed on both legs. Tilt the upper body slightly forward and raise the arms in an extended position until the expander is slightly cocked. Raise the arms further, up to chest level: between the trunk and the arms creates a right angle. Then lower the arms again until the expander is only slightly taut (but not relaxed). Repeat the exercise as often as your training plan provides. Lateral lifting mainly trains the outer areas of the shoulders.
For covers, put your feet on the floor as if they were taking a step. The expander pinch it under the back foot and lean your upper body forward , while also shifting the body weight in that direction. The arms are raised and alternate between an extended and elbowed position, keeping the elbow joint as steady as possible. Coatings are especially suitable for training the triceps .
Abdominal Crunches – Train the abdominal muscles . Secure the expander to a wall, as with a butterfly. Then lay on your back so that your head is facing the wall. Your body should form a right angle with the wall. Angle the legs so that the torso and thigh, upper and lower legs also form a right angle. If this position is too heavy, you can also put your feet on the floor while your legs are loosely bent. Hold the expander attached behind your head with both hands. As with normal crunches without an expander, lift your upper body slightly, making a rolling motion. If you are not used to crunches, you can do a few repetitions without an expander first. At low fitness levels, you may want to do crunches without an expander for a week or two before going to the abdominal crunches with expander.
A very similar exercise, the reverse crunches dar. They also lie on the back and stretch the legs straight up, so that a right angle between the trunk and legs. The arms stretch sideways, holding one end of the expander with one hand, while the other holds the other handle firmly. The band lies on the soles of the feet. For the reverse crunches, alternately press the weight of your buttocks against the ground and lift the buttocks or hips slightly off the ground . The expander remains taut throughout the exercise over the soles of the feet.
Cardio training with the expander
Who thinks about Expander, usually thinks of strength training and muscle-bound figures. We have already been able to report extensively that expander is also interesting for people who are interested in general fitness without large muscle masses. But did you know that expanders are equally good for endurance training?
The cardiovascular training (short: cardio) has its name for no reason: It calls the cardiovascular system and thereby promotes its health, The heart is a muscle that has to be trained like all other muscles for the body to strengthen it. The blood vessels also have muscles. They are not visible externally, but are located in the wall of the veins and arteries. These muscles can dilate and narrow blood vessels and thereby regulate blood flow. Athletes are therefore well advised to also invest time in cardio training. Not only do they do something good for their health, they also improve the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissues – because over time, the cardiovascular system becomes more and more efficient through cardiovascular training until it reaches its optimum.
Cardio exercises with the expander work somewhat differently than pure strength exercises . For cardio training, perform the exercises with less resistance and increase the number of repetitions or you extend the duration of training. A cardio unit should take at least 30 minutes to be effective. After about this time, the body reorganizes its energy metabolism: the anaerobic energy production becomes the aerobic energy, which is positive overall affects the organism and its health. You have to keep in mind that people today no longer live in their natural environment, to which they are evolutionarily adapted. From this point of view, humans are inhabitants of the steppe that led the lives of nomads. As a result, you were on the road all day: hunting, gathering fruit and leaves, and always wandering. Our body is optimally adapted to this light, longer load – and therefore reacts very positively to appropriate training.
You should pay attention to the correct execution of the individual exercises . It is not necessarily about completing the exercises quickly but working continuously at a reasonable pace and challenging the body. You may be more into a sweat than with strength exercises and breathe faster. In case of corresponding pre-existing conditions, you should also consult your doctor in this case.
Many gyms now offer courses that combine traditional and new sports. In some places, for example, sports clubs offer classes for aerobic training with expanders, or power yoga with weights and resistance bands. So, if you are too bored with pure cardio training with the expander, you can also look around for such offers.
If you have little experience with Expander Cardio, be inspired on Youtube. There are numerous instructions and suggestions from coaches and amateur athletes. For starters, it makes sense to pick simple expander exercises that you feel comfortable with.
With handle or without handle? Expander vs. Fitness bands
Another small device that is very similar to the expander is the fitness or exercise band. Fitness bands are made of rubber or latex, for example, and can be used in a similar way to expanders. Some fitness exercises can be performed with both the expander and the exercise band.
Whether a sports equipment is fundamentally superior to another is difficult to say: it depends on what they want to use the respective device . Expanders with strong springs and high resistance can make the muscle training for advanced and professionals very effective. On the other hand, users of a weaker fitness band would need to perform many more repetitions of the same exercise to achieve the same effect on the muscles.
The grips of the expander offer better support for many exercises than a fitness strap. Not only is this a matter of safety, it also plays an important role in the correct execution of the exercises. The handles help to achieve a uniform load.
For example, fitness straps that form a closed ring can, unlike the expander, be looped around the legs and stretched to train the muscles on the outside of the legs. This exercise would not be possible with the expander; To create a similar effect you have to resort to alternative exercises. However, there is little against the use of fitness bands as a supplement to expanders, if you feel like expanding their repertoire.
Break a leg? Safe training with the expander
So that you do not get injured while training with the expander, you should follow some basic rules .
Warming up before exercise reduces the risk of muscle tearing, strains and other injuries. Even if the expander is a small device and the use looks very easy, it is a form of strength training. For your health’s sake, you should invest the extra time to warm up your body, for example, while jogging. Sports scientists recommend for easy everyday training about five to ten minutes for the preparation. If you want to make the general warm-up phase shorter, you should work with low strength during expander training, or work your way up slowly to higher resistance bands within a workout.
Before you start, you should first check the expander for its integrity. Even if you use the sports equipment every day: Damage to the fitness helper can occur with every workout and could have serious consequences. For example, the strap could break or a handle could come off. In this case, there is a risk that you or others may be injured by loose parts. It is better, therefore, if you control the expander before each use from all sides. Performing this safety routine consistently before each workout will not only increase the safety of the exercises, but will also quickly get you used to the check-up.
In addition, you should always have enough space around you . Expanders are small sports equipment that seduce you to work with them anywhere. In fact, they can do the expander training in the bedroom or living room as well as in the hotel room or in the open air.
However, you should not choose your training location quite so arbitrarily. Exercising with the expander requires you to bend and stretch your arms – without bumping into the edges of the table, hanging on curtains or bumping into another person. For many exercises, however, it is sufficient if you can stand with outstretched arms. If you train with a high expander strength, you can first control without expanders that they really can move the arms freely. If there is enough space, it is best to go to the middle of the room or to an appropriate open space. If possible, do not stand behind doors that could be opened unexpectedly.
Especially beginners benefit from an entry with less expander strength . Keeping the expander at the right height, evenly straining both sides of the body and in general: doing the exercises correctly – that can be one of the first things to do be a challenge. Especially if you have motor problems, you should take your time. Once you have internalized the movements and the motor routines have become established, the mental effort decreases significantly. Nevertheless, it is important that athletes stay focused during the exercises. Carelessness easily leads to faulty movements and ultimately to injuries.
Incidentally, expander training itself is a potential protective factor that can reduce the risk of injury. Among other things, “Runner’s World” reported on the prevention by moderate strength training with the small sports equipment.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
What does an expander cost?
Expanders are very inexpensive compared to other sports equipment . However, the exact price varies greatly and depends, among other things, on the desired strength. With a little luck, however, you can already find inexpensive models for beginners from ten to twenty euros.
Is training with an expander really worthwhile?
Yes, the use of an expander is worthwhile! Especially for amateur athletes, health conscious people and people who value your appearance, you can benefit from the expander. Even bodybuilders rely in part on expanders to supplement their workouts, maintain muscle state at home and while traveling, and define small muscles that may be missed in other exercises. Expanders exist in many different strengths and are used in rehabilitation as well as in competitive athletes.
How often should I exercise with the expander?
Many sports scientists, trainers, athletes and doctors recommend training at least twice a week. This applies to both strength exercises and endurance training. Endurance training should last for at least 30 minutes as the body only changes its energy metabolism after this time. Shorter units do not necessarily have to be of no use, but most experts seem to agree on this recommendation. The training should be designed so that you get out of breath.
There is greater disagreement over the recommended duration of strength training. Many researchers and practitioners assume that just a few strength exercises can produce positive effects if you are active on a regular basis. For starters, professionals often recommend three to five different exercises to develop a routine and slowly get the body used to the higher levels of exercise.
It is often observed that beginners make particularly visible progress. In the bodybuilder scene, this phenomenon is colloquially and humorously known as “noob gain” (translated in about “greenhorn gain”).
Where does the name “Expander” come from?
The term “expander “is derived from the word “expand”, which means “to expand” . When you train with an expander, stretch the springs, ligaments or tension cords in the middle by pulling it – you “expand” them.
What forms of exercise are possible with the expander? What advantages are there?
You can use Expanders for both strength and endurance training . Strength training tends to work with higher intensity, but less repetitions per exercise. In endurance training or cardio training, use a lower resistance. In this way, the training does not use the muscles as much per movement as in the more intensive strength training. The actual training effect you achieve instead by higher repetition numbers and longer training sessions.
Cardio training supports the burning of fat throughout the body. In particular, longer training sessions promote a healthy cardiovascular system: the increased load causes the heart to pump more blood through the body. Since it is also the heart is a muscle, it is also trained by the regular stress. The vital organ becomes stronger and more powerful.
Strength training helps the body to optimally shape the muscles . Muscles are not only responsible for the movements and performance of the body: they also provide supportive and protective functions. A healthy body with properly trained muscles is better protected from injury than a body with underdeveloped muscle mass. In the age of chips in front of the TV and Coke on the computer, the majority of people in the so-called First World countries now suffer from one or more diseases or risk factors that could easily be prevented by lifestyle changes.
However, professional, family and personal commitments do not always make it easy to live up to such demands – some of which may be self-evident. However, today there is already general knowledge, which still sounded utopian in the 80s: everyone can prevent diseases from the outset by simple, small measures. Expanders thus also represent a good compromise between desire and reality. Already two training sessions per week can lead to significant improvements in health and well-being.
What should I watch for after injury, illness and surgery during expander training?
If you are injured due to injury, illness or surgery, you should exercise calmly. Inquire first with your doctor about whether and which movements are already possible. Ask specifically about expander training so that the doctor can assess how useful or potentially harmful the exercises may be in their current condition. Expanders with little resistance can have a positive effect on rehabilitation. Again, however, that you should first seek the advice of a specialist who knows you personally. In your own interest, you should find a healthy mediocrity and not be overburdened too quickly. This is especially true if you do not seek professional advice, but act on your own initiative.
Can an expander cause injury?
Any movement can result in injury if it is lacking in proper performance or if the body is forced into a motor process for which the arrangement of the joints, muscles and bones is inappropriate. Training with the expander is no exception . An expander, however, is not an exceptionally dangerous exercise machine. Simple security measures can help you avoid the worst mistakes. For example, you should warm up sufficiently before exercise and examine the expander for damage before each use.
Jerky movements or joint rotations that contradict the degrees of freedom of the joint are not useful and have a high damaging potential. Special care should be taken during exercises that include the head and neck area. For example, with crunches (with or without an expander), many people tend to jerk their heads forward . The impulse facilitates the exercise because the abdominal muscles are less demanding. Such movements not only reduce the effectiveness of training, but also bring a high risk of spinal injuries.
Compared to other power sports, the expander training can even be considered gentle , since only the own body weight and the resistance of the expander bands act on the muscles, but no additional weight is used. Since active movement is a prerequisite for the train, passive damage is less likely than with other types of power sports. If you are not sure if you are going to use the expander properly, then take another look at tutorials, watch videos. You may also ask another person to observe you during training and to give you feedback on posture and execution of the movements.
Professional trainers and physiotherapists can also develop targeted training plans and explore opportunities and limits with you. If you want to use the expander in the context of rehabilitation, are acutely or chronically physically impaired, you should always consult with your doctor and possibly your treating physiotherapist and heed their advice.
Can I do the expander exercises while sitting?
If, for physical reasons, you can not stand or do not stand for a long time, you can do many exercises while sitting down. Make sure that they sit as upright as possible without overstretching the head or spine. The feet should be parallel to each other on the ground in most cases. The legs are not closed, but are about hip or shoulder width apart. The chair should have a stable seat. Armrests and backrests may interfere with some exercises. In this case, a chair without armrests or a stool can remedy the situation. Also in this case: Avoid excessive demands and take into account your own health .
Does the expander help me lose weight?
Regular , conscientious training with the expander can help you maintain or reduce your weight. However, the expander is not a miracle cure: the key to success lies in continuous work and continuous improvement. Strength exercises with the expander promote the development of muscles. Muscle mass consumes significantly more energy than fat, even when at rest, sitting comfortably on the sofa long after exercise. More recently, researchers from various disciplines have found evidence that your body “afterglow” for a period of time immediately after training: the energy consumption is higher than would be expected under the circumstances.
You should not despise cardio training with the expander if you are interested in reducing your body weight. Endurance sports in general is a true fat burner. Depending on which exercises you perform and how long they are active.
However, with these good prospects there is a catch: the diet. The body loses weight when you consume more energy than you consume. By training with the expander – both weight training and cardio training – you can influence the second part of the equation: how much energy you consume. But supposing that you would eat more as a compensation or eat more calorie-rich foods, this will ruin your energy balance. However, if you have been able to keep your diet constant and have been keeping your weight, you can effectively lose weight through expander exercises. You can achieve a faster decline by slightly reducing your food intake and focusing on healthy, nutritious and lower calorie foods.
Do I need protein when training with the expander?
Proteins or proteins are contained in almost all foods. Even if you may not be aware of it, you are already taking in a lot of protein. For targeted muscle building, it may sometimes be necessary to take a closer look. However, as long as you are healthy and balanced and do not seek competitive or bodybuilding, you will not need protein powder, protein bars or amino acid drinks.
However, if you want to achieve a higher level of performance, you should be concerned with the function of proteins . Proteins consist of long chains of amino acids called polypeptide chains. Each amino acid consists of a central carbon atom, a carboxyl group, an amino group, a hydrogen atom and a specific radical. The different amino acids differ from each other only on the basis of this residue. The non-essential amino acids can be produced by man himself – but he must absorb the essential amino acids with the food. In total, eight amino acids are essential for humans.
The body needs protein not only for building and maintaining muscle, but for all other cells in the body, for neurotransmitters and hormones: protein is an important building block in many biological structures and processes.
Supplements, accessories and combination options for expander in training
Expander and stepper
Stepper and expanders are a commonly seen combination of large and small appliance. Using the stepper, you can perform movements similar to climbing stairs, effectively shaping your legs, buttocks and lower back, as well as training the cardiovascular system. After climbing one foot goes down, fighting against a hydraulic resistance of the device. The invention of the quilted board goes back to the trainer Gin Miller. In 1989 she was looking for a training method to protect her injured knee and promote healing through the targeted building of supportive muscles. However, she did not use a modern quilting board, but simple wooden boxes, which she integrated into her exercises. Over time, the quilting board became longer and flatter and got a more professional surface.
Some steppers also have the option to attach expander . These are handles that are attached to the stepper with the help of resistance bands. With the expanders, you perform different arm movements with each step in order to achieve a higher intensity of the workout and to train the whole body: they additionally require musculature of the arms, shoulders and the back. Even steppers that are not equipped with special expanders, often allow the attachment of simple exercise straps. The rubber bands are hooked to the device and make the additional arm training during quilting also possible. Whether a stepper offers the possibility to combine it with expanders, however, depends on the corresponding device.
The correct execution of the movements on the stepper plays an important role. Not only the effectiveness of the training depends on it, but also your personal safety. Overheated versions, excessive deflection or incorrect movements can result in injury or damage to the device. A big advantage of the stepper, however, is that it basically allows only one movement. This reduces the likelihood of incorrect movement compared to free movement.
With steppers and expanders, combined strength training is also possible. For classic, straight steppers, perform a movement like climbing stairs. The legs are alternately moved up and down. Other types of steppers, for example twist, lateral or bilateral steppers, require additional sideways movement. As a rule of thumb, the more complex the exercise performed, the more effective the workout will be for building lean muscle as additional body parts are addressed. However, this also increases the difficulty level of the training.
For beginners, therefore, the straight movements on the classic stepper can be of greater benefit. If you want to use your stepper especially for cardio training, a simple stepper such as the mini-stepper is also quite sufficient. In order to increase the condition, simple movements may even be beneficial. However, not all types of steppers are suitable for cardio training; Although the Stepper is a classic fitness machine for training endurance, there are also variants of the popular sports equipment, which are primarily aimed at strength exercises. As a rule, these steppers have variably adjustable resistances which allow training on different levels. Adjustable resistance heaters are also suitable for High Intensity Training (HIT), which is particularly effective for building muscle.
Expander with additional, optional bands
Some expanders have hooks for extra straps . They are on the side of the handles that are not facing the hand. Such optional bands allow you to customize the resistance of the expander. Under certain circumstances, the removable bands can also be exchanged for those with greater resistance, which they can purchase separately; However, whether this possibility exists with your expander depends on the individual product.
Alternatives to the expander
Fitness or gymnastic bands are a good alternative to expanders. Like Expander, their function is based on resisting traction, thereby challenging the muscles. However, gymnastic bands do not have handles . Their handling is therefore slightly different. But you can also use fitness bands for exercises in which the handles of an expander would otherwise be in the way. This is especially true for some exercises for the legs.
Even without any equipment, you can build and maintain muscle. In push-ups , you not only train the arms, but also the shoulder girdle and parts of the back and trunk muscles. It looks quite similar when planking . Such exercises with your own body weight, without aids, are suitable if you can support your own body weight. In contrast, expanders have the advantage that you can already start with less weight or resistance (by the strength of the tape).
Dumbbells, especially dumbbells, are another alternative to expanders. Slow movements, with one dumbbell in each hand, can produce effects similar to those of the expander. However, you must pay more attention to actually performing the exercise in parallel, always keeping your arms level and not neglecting the non-dominant side.
If you are a member of a gym, you will find numerous alternatives with heavy equipment . Equipment training with additional weights offers advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is that by increasing your weight, you are demanding more muscle and therefore stimulating muscle growth more. However, the increased demand can also be a disadvantage: increasing the weight also increases the risk of injury and even small mistakes can lead to lengthy consequences.
In addition, membership in a gym for a month may cost as much as purchasing an expander for home use. Especially people who are interested in health sports and general physical fitness do not necessarily need a gym to exercise. However, you also do not have to choose one of the two options, but you can also use the expander as a supplement.