Resistance bands offer a portable exercise solution and also provide resistance to help strengthen your entire body. They’re perfect for at-home use and can easily transported to the park for a quick resistance session during a morning walk or run.
Read on to find out more about these power players as fitness expert, Natalie Carter shares the benefits of resistance bands and the exercises you should be doing.
Benefits of Resistance Bands:
Portable, can be shoved in your suitcase and used while on holiday, or used in your living room at home. I always pack mine and when the mood strikes me, I get a workout in.
Much to my disappointment, many women are still quivering in their boots at the sight of a dumbbell. For the millionth time, there’s nothing to be scared of! If you want to firm up the wobbly bits and feel empowered, lifting weights is a great place to go.
Resistance bands can be the perfect introduction into lifting. They still provide resistance, but they’re a little less intimidating for beginners, and if you’re practicing at home, they’re safer and more convenient.
Try out resistance bands for your first few weeks of resistance training then upgrade to the dumbbells when you feel ready.
You can perform a range of upper and lower body exercises without having to fork out hundreds (or thousands!) on equipment. A few different strength bands will do the trick.
Safe and easy to perform:
The great thing about a resistance bands is that they provide constant tension throughout the upward and downward phase (concentric and eccentric) of the movement. This means that you’ll get strength gains and maintain a safe range of motion throughout the exercise.
Whilst you will never be able to do any maximal type training (as you can do with a bar, you can keep increasing the resistance) you can vary the resistance by where you stand on the band and what colour you use.
Resistance Bands Exercises
So now you’re up to speed with the benefits of resistance bands what the heck do you do with them? Try these exercises in the gym, in a park, or at home.
Squat and Press (legs, butt, shoulders & core):
Stand on the band with both feet hip distance apart.
Take hold of handles and perform a squat (remember to stick your butt out and keep your chest lifted up) and as you are returning press both arms from the shoulders so the arms will straighten.
Always keep a soft bend in the elbows, don’t completely lock out.
Slowly return the arms down and repeat movement.
Try 15 reps or 3 sets minimizing rest in between sets.
Lunge and curl (legs, biceps & core):
Stand on the middle of the band with the right foot.
Have your legs parallel in a lunge position and maintain upright posture. You will have the handles in your palms and the elbows resting comfortably into your waist.
Bend your front and back leg down till that reach both 90 degrees and at the same time curl with the band. Because we are working the upper and lower body here you will need to adjust to the movement.
You may find your balance is a little off but keep your navel drawn into the spine and you will be competent in no time.
Again 15 reps, 3 sets and minimal rest.
Row (targets back &core):
Wrap your band through a door handle or around a pole. Make sure the bands are even. As you stand tall, take a few steps away from the door or pole till you feel tension in your arms.
Keep your elbows parallel to the ground and perform a slow rowing motion. Feel the squeeze between your shoulder blades and keep your shoulders down toward your feet at all times. Navel into the spine.
Return to start position and repeat this motion for 15 reps and try 3 sets. Keep rest to no more 45 seconds.
Chest press (chest & core):
Taking note of the position of the last exercise (the row) which was working the back, we are now turning around and facing away from the band to work our chest. Stand tall with the bands even and tension applied.
The further away from the band the harder this exercise will be. Hold the handles at chest height with e
Elbows bent, next press out from your chest till elbows are almost fully extended (remember not to lock) and return back to original start position. Again 15 reps, 3 sets and keep rest to under 45 seconds.
So there you have it! A full-body workout that you can perform at the gym or in the comfort of your lounge room. Remember to start off with a band that provides enough resistance then progress as the exercises become less challenging.