If you’re looking for a great tone-up exercise that doesn’t require machines or gym equipment, look no further than the mighty resistance band. What makes them so great? Resistance bands are easy to use, you can take them anywhere, and they sculpt and lean out muscles. Plus, they add a greater challenge to any bodyweight moves, such as squats or glute bridges too.
Here are a few benefits to note and some ways to get a great burn at home.
What Makes Them So Beneficial?
Resistance bands are wonderful for improving stability. “Lifting a dumbbell requires a fixed movement of the muscle whereas bands add instability to the move,” says Caleb Backe, CPT and wellness expert at Maple Holistics. This forces additional muscles to be better engaged with each move, which ultimately creates an all-encompassing workout that hits all the necessary spots.
It’s also portable, so when the time comes when it’s safe for everyone to get on the move again, they’re easy to toss in a bag without taking up valuable real estate. But where most of us are, at home, it takes up little space – so if you don’t have room (or finances) for a home gym, invest in a couple bands.
And lastly, it’s great for modifying certain moves or creating a larger challenge. “Resistance bands are often easily incorporated into familiar strength-training exercises, where you can complete your usual workout with some added resistance by modifying a few common moves,” he says. With different weights available, you can create a truly versatile workout without much thought.
Want a great workout with your new favorite gym tool? Here’s a circuit from Backe highlighting a few moves you can always grab a band for.
Stand on the band ensuring that your feet are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. With a handle in each hand, raise the band over each shoulder and hold. Bring your legs down to a squat position with your chest up and back aligned. Return to starting position and repeat for 10 reps.
Another option? Wrap the mini resistance band around your legs, right above knees, and then perform front squats. You can even add in a pulse at the bottom before coming back up.
Lateral Band Walk
Side steps are a great way to get your heart rate up, but you can increase the intensity with a resistance band. With the band around your lower legs, just above your ankles, move your legs apart to create tension. In a half-squat, step slightly to the right and keep walking across to the right for 10 steps. Move in the other direction for 10 steps.
Standing Bicep Curl
With your feet shoulder-width apart, place your feet in the middle of the band. Take a handle in each hand with your arms at your sides. Face your palms towards you and bring your arms up to your shoulders, bending at the elbow for a bicep contraction that really gets your arms burning. Complete 15 curls.
To target your abs, sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Wrap the band around the bottom of your feet, holding the free ends in your hands. Bend your knees, keeping your feet grounded, and lean back to a 45-degree angle. Bring the band from your left side, across your hip, to the right side. Rotate back to the right side, and continue alternating for 15 reps.
Strengthen your back with bent-over rows. Stand over the center of the resistance band ensuring that your feet are shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and push your hips back slightly. Keeping your elbows bent, pull the band to your hips and bring your shoulder blades together so your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Bring your arms to center and repeat for 10 reps.
Want to do a whole workout? Repeat 3 to 5 times, without rest. And you’ve totally crushed it!