resistance bands

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Resistance-Band Row

Why this: As a large, complex and often overlooked joint, your shoulder is pretty prone to injury. Gainor recommends this exercise, which uses a resistance band, with or without handles, for strengthening your rotator cuff—the group of muscles and tendons that protect your shoulder joint and helps you move your arm over your head. Since rotator cuff injuries are most common between the ages of 40 and 70, the earlier you can start strengthening the shoulders, the better.

How to do it: Stand up straight over the center of a resistance band with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at your waist, sending your hips back. Holding an end of the band in each hand, bend your elbows and row the band up toward your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together. At the top of the movement, your elbows should form a 90-degree angle. Lower your arms for 1 rep. Complete 3 sets of 12 reps.

Did you know: Resistance bands can add a lot of variety to your workout, since you can gain resistance in all directions—instead of the preset path that standard weight machines offer. The bands also allow you to target smaller muscles more easily.
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.