10 July, 2020

Resistance bands are one of the most functional and effective pieces of equipment you can have in your gym bag. If you don’t currently own a set of resistance bands, you might be heading to the shops and purchasing some after reading this! You can use them for strength training, for mobility before working out and also for rehabilitation exercises. They’re portable, affordable and easy to store – making them perfect for home use, hotel workouts, or making the most of a small space at the gym.

Available in a variety of sizes, lengths, and resistance levels, there’s a band out there for just about everyone and every exercise!

 

Why Resistance Bands Work:

As well as being a cheap and effective tool to assist with your workouts, resistance bands can provide some additional benefits that a dumbbell or kettlebell can’t provide. As resistance bands stretch, they create increased tension in your muscles and cause them to contract. The more you stretch the band, the more intense the resistance gets, and the harder the exercise becomes.

Take a bicep curl as an example; as you curl the dumbbell upwards, there comes a point where the curl gets easier for your biceps (near the top of the motion). The length of the lever that challenges your biceps decreases as you finish the exercise, meaning gravity can no longer create challenge with the dumbbell (and your muscle no longer needs to create as much force to fight that challenge).

Do the same curl with a resistance band and as you near the top, instead of it getting easier you have to work to earn the squeeze at the top of the curl. The stretched band forces you to accelerate through the entire range of motion and challenges the muscle fibers in a different way.

 

Resistance Band Exercises:

 

Lateral Walk

Type of Band – Small/Mini, medium/heavy strength

Banded Crab Walk

Wrap the resistance band around your thighs and slowly lower down into a half-squat position. Lift your right foot and take a step to the right, following with your left foot. Keep taking steps to the right for desired reps, then go back the other way with your left foot.

 

Glute Bridge

Type of Band – Small/Mini, medium/heavy strength

Glute Bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent 90 degrees and feet on the floor. Wrap a resistance band around your thighs. Brace your core, press into your heels and squeeze your glutes to raise your hips toward the ceiling. Hold the position for a second before lowering to back to the start.

 

Squat to Press

Type of Band – Power band or tube band with handles

Banded Squat Press

Stand on the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the handles (or wrap your hands around the band) by your shoulders with your palms facing in toward the face. Sit back down into a squat. Push through your heels to return to stand, and as you come to full extension at the knee, press your hands overhead.

 

Deadlift

Type of Band – Small, medium strength

Banded Deadlift

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Wrap a resistance band around your feet. Grab the top of the resistance band with both hands, and stand up straight. Hinge at your hips and lower down, with a slight bend in your knees, until your hands go just past your knees. Slowly return to start.

 

Band Pull-Apart

Type of Band – Power band or therapy band

band pull apart

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding the band with both hands in front of your body at shoulder height. Grip the band so that there’s about a foot in between your hands. Slowly pull the band apart so that your hands move to your sides, keeping them at shoulder height. In a controlled movement, bring your hands back to starting position.

 

Bent Over Row

Type of Band – Power band or tube band with handles

Banded Row

Stand on a resistance band, bend forward with a flat back, and hold both handles (or grip the band) just under your knee. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and lift the band up towards your ribs. Lower the band and repeat.

 

Bicep Curl

Type of Band – Power band or tube band with handles

Band Bicep Curl

Stand with both feet on a resistance band. Hold one handle in each hand (or grip the band), arms extended, palms facing forward. Slowly curl your hands up toward your shoulders, squeezing your biceps. Keep your elbows tight to the sides of your body. Slowly lower under control.

 

Push Up

Type of Band – Power band

Band Push Up

Get in a plank position, draping the resistance band across your upper back and holding the ends under your hands. Drop your chest down towards the floor, then contract your glutes and abs and push straight up until your arms are fully extended.

 

Plank with Tap

Type of Band – Small/Mini

Band plank taps

Wrap a resistance band around your ankles and get into a high plank position, with your shoulders stacked over your wrists. Keeping your core tight and pelvis stable, lift your right foot and tap it a few inches to the right. Return to start and repeat on the left side.

 

Flutter Kick

Type of Band – Small/Mini

Wrap a resistance band around your ankle and lie flat on the ground, hands at your sides. Hover your feet a couple inches off the ground, and lift your chest up. Move one foot up while the other goes down, performing a ‘flutter’ movement.

 

 

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