When we think of resistance training, we usually picture weights like dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells. But, resistance bands, while lighter, can be just as effective in creating resistance. They make for easy and portable exercise equipment, especially if you’re constantly travelling or want to squeeze in a resistance workout while at the office. Resistance bands aren’t just limited to weight training either, you can also use them for stretching and mobility and warm-ups and rehabilitation.
Below are exercises that you can do to incorporate resistance bands into your workouts.
- Stand on the band with your feet at around shoulder width. This is your starting position.
- While holding a handle in each hand at your shoulders, bend your legs whilst moving your hips backwards and keeping your knees in line with your feet.
- Return to starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps.
- Place yourself in a regular push-up position. Wrap the resistance band across your back (above the shoulder blades) and secure the band under your hands.
- When lowering your body toward the floor, ensure the natural arch of your lower back is maintained. If necessary, the knees may be lowered to the floor.
Prone Leg Curl
- Lie down on your belly and loop the band around your right ankle and secure it to a support, like a bench or leg of a couch.
- To create tension, move away from the anchor point.
- Bend your leg at the knee and tighten your core while bringing your heal toward your glutes, as far as comfortably possible.
- Slowly lower your leg and repeat for 10 to 15 reps, then switch to the other leg.
- Lie on your back and bend your knees at 90 degrees with your feet flat on the floor.
- Hold a resistance band across your hips and secure the ends of the band to the floor beside your hips with your hands.
- Lift your hips up until your shoulders, hips and knees align.
- Slowly lower and repeat 15 to 20 times.
- Loop and tie a band around your legs, just above your knees.
- Lie on your back and flex your hips and knees to 90 degrees.
- Create tension by pulling apart your knees.
- Slowly return to the starting position and then repeat 10 to 15 times.
- While standing, hold the opposite ends of a resistance band.
- Create tension by pulling the band apart at shoulder-width as far as possible. If you find the exercise to easy, move your hands closer together at the starting position.
- Bring your hands back oward each other until minimal resistance in the bands and then repeat 10 to 15 times.
Lateral Band Walk
- Loop and tie a band around your legs, at the ankles. (Note that wrapping the resistance band around your legs higher will make the exercise easier).
- To create tension, spread feet apart to shoulder-width.
- Form a half-squat and step sideways to the right with your right foot and then bring the left foot to a position so that your feet are shoulder-width again.
- Take 8 to 10 steps in each direction, i.e. to the right and left.