Resistance band exercises

Almost anyone and everyone can benefit from resistance band exercises. 

No matter what fitness level you are at, the resistance band can add an extra challenge to your workout. 

It does this without putting your joints gravity-based pressure weights give. 

It's a tremendous benefit especially for those with weak joints, back, and knees. It allows strengthening of those body parts using resistance in a non-harming way. 

Resistance bands are also great for targeting smaller stabilizing muscles. Since they tend to be under-utilized and worked on, extending the reach with a band has huge merit.  

This is why you see many personal trainers use bands to target smaller and weaker muscles. 

Gluteus medius is a great example. It's a smaller butt muscle compared to gluteus maximus but enormous in its functions. It plays the role of stabilization of the quads when walking and running. 

Surprisingly, it doesn't get as much workout as it should. Band exercises can change that by furthering the reach and deepening its engagement. 

Needless to say, runners and athletes alike have long used this little rubber band in their routines. All for the reason of working secondary and smaller muscles and making them stronger. 

Besides the functionality and benefits, it's an excellent tool for on-the-go workouts. It's super lightweight, foldable, and small in size. It's a perfect travel companion that fits right in your suitcase. 

Whether you are just starting out or looking to level up to more weighted exercises, bands are the right fit.

While the nature of resistance is different, bands are not anyway a compromise to weights. In a way, it's a perfect step-up to weights and a gentler alternative. It's also far greater in its therapeutic benefits than weights. 

Regardless of your goals in fitness, bands offer versatile and instant resistance. One that weighs far more in benefits than its investment. 

If you are ready to get one, here are some Amazon choices you can't go wrong with. Check out these packs of looped and non-looped bands with and without handles on Amazon here. 

Ok, now you know how you can benefit incorporating exercise bands to your workout. 

Here are 7 best resistance band exercises you can do to exercise your whole body.

7 Best Resistance Band Exercises

1. Mini-Band Lateral Steps

Mini-band lateral steps

This exercise particularly works the gluteus medius and hip abductors. Use of the mini resistance band allows you to really engage those smaller muscles. 

How to: Place the mini-band around your calves. Stand in a quarter squat position, shoulder-width apart.

Hands at the waist, step your right foot to the right, then follow it with your left. As you step out, you should feel resistance from the band. Complete 8-10 steps to the right and then 8-10 to the left.

2. Mini-Band Glute Bridge

Mini-band glute bridge

This resistance band exercise works the glutes, hamstrings, hips, and lower back. It's a great exercise for isolating the buttock muscles. It's a beginner-friendly exercise that can also be a warm-up for workout warriors. 

Feeling lazy? Do this on the bed before you even get out of it! 

How to: Lie on your back flat and bend your knees to 90° close to your glutes. Squeeze your butt muscles to lift your hips off the floor. Pause at the top where your hips, knees, shoulders are in a straight line.

Pause for 1-2 seconds then slowly lower your hips to the starting position. Continue for 12-15 repetitions. 

Form tip: Be sure not to use your lower back at the top. Overextending can hurt your lower back. Keep the focus on hips and glutes. 

3. Mini-Band Squat

Mini-band squat

If you're new to squatting, using a mini-band around your legs will make you squat better.  The band also forces all the muscles to stabilize your hips and get a greater engagement. 

You can also do them as a warm-up exercise. 

How-to: place the band above or below your knees and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Begin by moving hips back and lowering into a squat position. Keep chest and shoulders upright. Go as deep as you feel comfortable doing. Hold for a few seconds, then return to start. Do 12-15 reps for 2-3 sets. 

4. Mini-Band Clamshell

Mini-band clamshell

This is another one of my favorite leg and butt exercises you can do without getting out of bed. The clamshell exercise targets and helps strengthen the gluteus medius.

It also helps balance the muscle work between your inner and outer thighs.  

How-to: Place a mini-band around the thighs. Lie on your side with your knees bent 90°. Place one leg on top of the other and balance your body and maintain the position. 

Keeping your feet together, lift the top knee. You should be feeling the muscle and resistance mostly in your upper thighs. Pause at the top for 1-2 seconds, then return to the starting position. Rest and repeat 12-15 times on one side. Switch sides and complete the same set on the other side.

5. Standing Chest Press

Standing chest press

This is similar to the standing cable chest press. It's a great exercise for working the chest and triceps muscles. By keeping your upper body stable throughout the movements, you get to also work the core. 

How-to: Secure the band to a sturdy door at your chest height. Grab a handle in each hand with your back to the door. Step forward until there's no slack in the band. Position your hands at chest height and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. 

Keep your knees slightly bent and make sure your upper body is upright. 

Keep your elbows up at the chest level and face your palms down. With the stance, press the handles forward. Keep pressing until your arms are fully extended right in front of you. 

Squeeze your chest muscles and pause for 1-2 secs. Slowly return to starting position and continue for the prescribed number of repetitions.

6. Bent-Over Row

Bent-over row

This simple, classic exercise often gets mistaken for an arm exercise. While the movements come from the arms, it's, in fact, an effective back exercise. From your lats to lower back, this back row exercise engages all muscles in the back, which is a hard-to-reach area for many. 

How-to: Grab a handle in each hand and step on the band with your feet. Slide your feet out to about shoulder-width apart. Make sure you are holding the band at the arm's length. Bend at your hips and lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor. 

If you are over extending the back, relax the back muscles. Your lower back should be naturally arched.

Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the band up to your upper abs. Pause for 1-2 seconds and return. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.  

7. Biceps Curls

Bicep curls

I do any arm exercise that can help tone the biceps muscles. And I'm happy to say that this band exercise definitely helps with toning the biceps. 

Biceps may be a smaller muscle group compared to many other dominant ones in the body. But that's not to say you can neglect to work them. Strengthening your arms can improve your daily functions such as pulling and lifting.  

How-to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your feet over the mid part of the band. Grab a handle in each hand with palms facing up. 

Pull your arms toward your shoulders by bending at the elbow. 

At the top, pause for 1-2 seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times. 

Final Note

Resistance band exercises are beginner friendly and a great way to add challenges to work out. With band exercises, you can work your muscles in a way you normally can't with weights. 

Adding the resistance band exercises mentioned above will not only make you stronger but also help you become more balanced. 


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