Resistance band workouts are ideal for on-the-go or at-home workouts, if you’re short on time but still want to get a great sweat on! They are a great piece of equipment to start incorporating into your workout routine, whether it is to fit in a quick at-home workout, or to get the glutes firing up before a weight-training session.
Why should you workout with resistance bands?
Resistance bands are super affordable and come in different resistances to ensure you’re constantly challenged and can use them to target different muscle groups. They add an added intensity and resistance to every exercises, making them more effective.
Resistance bands are so effective because they ensure the recruitment of all the muscle fibres when performing an exercise, which will help to increase both muscular and bone density. As the band is stretched, the resistance increases, which doesn’t happen when purely weight-training, as the weight stays the same throughout the entire movement. As a result, incorporating resistance bands into your routine will give your workouts variety and keep the body guessing and working hard.
While they are most effective when combined with a strength training routine, there is no doubt that their portability makes them an incredibly effective and efficient piece of equipment to own. A further benefit is that they come in different strengths, so you can employ progressive overload when switching from a light resistance to a medium resistance band.
What kind of workout can I do with resistance bands?
It is useful to know that using resistance bands during certain weight-training exercises can intensify them even more: for example, using a resistance band when performing a hip thrust and performing a hip abduction at the top of the thrust (pushing your knees out) can really tire the glutes, isolating them make them burn.
There are lots of different resistance band workouts available online, as well as different types of resistance band training depending on your goals. Normal resistance band loops are perfect for exercises such as crab walks and squats. Pilates stretch bands are longer and are not loops, and are perfect for increasing flexibility and intensifying or facilitating your stretches. Thirdly, resistance tubes come with handles which allow for lots of upper body exercises such as rows and shoulder presses. These can also be tied around poles or trees, such as when performing a lat pulldown with the tubes.
Resistance bands are particularly handy when it comes to lower body glute isolation – they fire up the glutes, getting them prepared for compound exercises such as squats and lunges. In activating them in this way, you will ensure that these movements do not solely target the quads.
Resistance bands can be used to target both the lower and upper body.
Upper body exercises
- Bent over row: Using a long resistance band with handles, stand on the band and hold each handle. With your elbows bent, pull the handles up in a rowing movement for 10-12 reps and repeat 3-4 times.
- Lat pulldown: You’ll need to tie the band onto a sturdy bar or tree and pull the ends of the band down towards you. Repeat this for 10-12 reps 3-4 times
- Lateral raise: Standing on the band, raise your arms straight out sideways and repeat 8-10 times for 3-4 sets.
- Standing bicep curl: Standing on the band again, hold the handles in your hands and pull up towards your shoulders, with your palms facing outwards. Repeat 8-10 times for 3-4 sets
Lower body exercises
- Squat: Standing on a long resistance band, hold the top of the band over each shoulder and squat down with your chest up. Repeat for 10-12 reps and 3-4 sets.
- Crab walks: Place the resistance band either around your ankles or just above your knee and step from left to right, maintaining a squat position and keeping your glutes low. Take 10 steps each way and repeat 3 times.
- Glute bridge:
- Using a resistance band above your knees, lie on your back on the ground with your knees bent. Raise your hips up to the sky using your glutes, keeping your heels pressed firmly into the ground, and squeeze at the top, holding for 3-5 seconds. Repeat this for 12-15 reps and 3-4 sets.
- For added intensity, perform an abduction at the top of the movement: open up your knees and hold for around 5 seconds. You will really feel the burn!
- Clam: Place a resistance band just above your knees and lie on your side with your knees bent and your legs on top of each other. Slowly raise the upper leg and hold at the top for 3-5 seconds. Repeat 10-12 times on each leg, for 3-4 sets.