The X-Band Walk

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Hi folks, long time, no talk! Sorry about that, but as an apology, I’ve prepared a number of posts about training exercises. First up is the X-Band Walk. This exercise can be performed with any resistance band or Theraband you have. Most gyms will have these, as well as physical therapists’ offices. If not, there are plenty of online suppliers of resistance bands, and you can get a single or a whole set for relatively cheap. Side note – Resistance bands are one of the best “bang for your buck” training tools out there. Highly mobile, infinitely useable, and cheap! What are you waiting for, go get some!

Anyway, one of my favorite exercises to use a resistance band for is the X-Band Walk. You loop the band under both your feet, then pull the remainder of the band up to your chest, twisting it once to create an “X”. Then you shuffle sideways for a set number of reps. I typically incorporate 3 sets of 10 reps (10 side steps each way). The X-Band walk quickly works the often forgotten gluteus minimus muscle on the outside of your hips, as well as the adductors and abductors on the inside and outside of your thigh. X-Band walks strengthen the muscles you rely upon to push off the ground at an angle. Too often we focus our workouts in the frontal plane (think going forward and backward, like a lunge), while completely ignoring our lateral work. The X-Band helps isolate those muscles that are crucial to stabilization. Why is this important? Because we aren’t roadrunners, plodding down smooth pavement. Adventure Racers are in a constant state of realignment and re-adjustment while running, having to lunge, jump, and push of the trails to avoid rocks and roots (and sometimes collapsed racers…) Additionally, these same muscles are your first line defense against rolled ankles and knees, and your body’s ability to absorb stress from an unusual angle (read: not from directly in front of you).

I like incorporating 3 sets of 10 into my workouts, but feel free to change that up as you see fit.

BONUS: You may notice my stylish VALAR BOTIS t-shirt I’m working in. Guaranteed to increase your fitness levels by 17%!*

 

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*No, false, absolutely false. Come on. Seriously?