Don’t Resist Resistance Bands
The Space-Saving Workout Tool
Whether you’re always on the road and can’t make it to a gym or simply looking to mix up your workouts, resistance bands are an easy, low-cost way to get fit.
Once associated with physiotherapy and lackluster workouts, resistance bands weren’t always considered a go-to piece of equipment in the gym.
After years of gathering dust in the corner, resistance bands have reinvented themselves and are now staging a comeback.
Before you splurge on a set of weights or the latest fitness gimmick being offered for just three easy payments, here’s why you should consider purchasing a set of resistance bands.
- Space Savers: These versatility tubes and bands can be stowed away easily in your luggage, without adding weight or bulk. Living in a small space? No problem. Just hang your bands on a hook or the back of a door.
- Fitness on the Road: Getting a workout in while traveling can be difficult. If your destination doesn’t have a gym nearby,
your only option does not need to be going for a run. The great thing about resistance bands is that you can easily transport them with you on your trips and get a workout done in the comfort of your hotel room with no other equipment.
- Low Cost: When it comes to purchasing fitness equipment, the dollars can quickly add up. A full set of weights can cost you hundreds. Most resistance bands cost between $10–$30, depending on size, type, and brand.
- Full-Body Workouts: There are endless exercises you can do with a single resistance band. With just one piece of equipment you can do a full-body workout, anywhere.
- All Fitness Levels: If you are new to exercise or a seasoned pro, there is a resistance band for you.
Unlike with a dumbbell, with a resistance band, you can easily adjust the tension to meet your fitness level simply by changing your body position.
There are also different size bands that offer varying resistance levels.
- Resistance: It might seem a bit obvious to state that one of the benefits of resistance bands is, in fact, resistance. However, it is one of the most notable benefits.
These bands force your muscles to work on the concentric and eccentric contraction of the exercise, meaning there is no one time when your muscles aren’t engaged and working while doing exercises with resistance bands.
When using a resistance band, it is important to follow some basic safety guidelines to avoid injury and get the most out of your workout.
Before you begin training, inspect the band for any wear or tear.
Most resistance bands are good for up to 20,000 stretches or 200 workouts.
If you notice the band is thinning in a particular area or has a hole, discard it immediately.
Do not store your band in direct sunlight. This can cause the material to break down faster than usual and could result in weak spots.
Paired with the friction from doing exercises, these weak spots will eventually snap, and you could be seriously injured.
As with any exercise, proper form is crucial to a safe workout. Choose a band that has a comfortable handle that is easy to grip.
If you feel the band slipping out of position, take a moment to readjust.
If you notice you are losing control of the band, and your muscles can’t maintain form, consider choosing an easier tension.
Some exercises require the resistance band to be anchored around a pole or under a bench.
Before attempting these, ensure that the object you are going to secure the band around is firmly planted on the ground or wall.
The last thing you want is for a chair to come flying at you while you’re in the middle of an exercise.
Resistance Band Workouts
Upper Body Exercises
Target your arms, shoulders, chest, and back with these upper body exercises.
Do three to four sets of 12 repetitions for each exercise below.
If you want to build mass, increase the tension in the band and reduce the repetitions.
- Overhead Press: Stand shoulder width apart with the band secured under your feet. Grab the handles and, with your palms facing forward, press your arms up toward the ceiling.
Once your arms are fully extended, slowly bend your elbows and lower your hands to shoulder height. Pause for a moment before pressing upward again. Continue this movement 12–15 times to complete one set.
- Bent-Over Row: Stand on the resistance band with your feet shoulder width apart. Hinge forward at your hips and slightly bend your knees. Grasp the handles so your arms are extended outside your hips and your palms are facing in.
Pull upward by bending your elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Straighten your arms back down toward the floor. Repeat 12–15 times to complete one set.
- Standing Chest Press: Secure your resistance band around a pole or other stationary object, at chest height. With your back facing the pole, grab the handles so your palms face down and press forward until your arms are straight.
Your arms should be parallel to the floor and at chest height. Contract your arms by bending your elbows until your hands are aligned with your chest. Repeat this movement 12–15 times to complete one set.
Lower Body Exercises
Improve your lower body strength by incorporating these exercises into your workout.
- Squat: Stand with your feet on top of the resistance band, shoulder width apart. Hold the handles securely next to your shoulders.
There should be a significant amount of tension in the band while you are in an erect position.
Keep your hands in place and lower yourself into a squat. Return to standing. Repeat this movement 12–15 times to complete one set.
- Leg Raise: This exercise requires a closed-loop flat band. Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and the band wrapped around both ankles.
Press one leg into the mat while lifting the other straight up and down.
Learn your torso slightly back to engage your core and increase the difficulty of this exercise. Complete 12 lifts with each leg to complete one set.
- Standing Hamstring Curl: Step into the flat loop band and secure it to the floor with one foot. Cross the band over itself as if to create the number 8.
Hook your other ankle in the loop and lift it upward toward your glutes. Slowly lower your foot toward the ground. Complete this movement 12 times with each leg to complete one set.
These moves are great when you are short on time and looking for a complete full-body workout.
Throw in some jumping jacks to get your heart rate up and round out the routine with some squats and planks.
- Bridge Kick Press: Lie on your back and hook the resistance band around one foot. Bend the leg that is not securing the resistance band so your heel is in contact with the ground.
Grab the resistance evenly with both hands, palms facing up. Lift your hips off the floor, press the foot with the resistance band forward, and push both arms overhead.
Pause for a moment before lowering your hips, arms, and legs back to their starting positions. Repeat 12 times for one set.
- Split Squat to Curl: Stand with your feet in a split position. Secure the resistance band under your front foot and grab the handles with your palms facing up. Curls your arms up, contracting your biceps.
Hold this position and lower your body into a lunge. As your press up and out of the lunge, lower your arms back down to your side. Complete this movement 10 times with each leg for one set.
- Push-up: Get into a plank position while holding the ends of your resistance band in each hand.
The band should run up your arms and cross over your back. Tension in the bad should be at its highest when your arms are fully extended. Perform as many push-ups as you can to complete one set.
Resistance bands are one of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment on the market.
They are a great tool for every fitness level and goal. So go ahead and skip the gym.
Now you can get your sweat on in the comfort of your own living room.