Training with resistance bands is a convenient and inexpensive way to get a great workout from the comfort of your home. Resistance bands look like giant rubber bands or stretchy tubes with handles that replicate bodybuilding movements. These movements are usually performed using machines or free weights. The thicker the band, the more pressure it provides, and the more challenging your workout.
Bands provide an extra challenge and develop long, lean muscles. When training with bands, they provide a challenge throughout the entire range of motion. You cannot get this range of movement when training with free weights. This added resistance provides muscle toning advantages.
An added bonus of using resistance bands is that they are much safer than using free weights.
Your risk of injury increases as you increase the weight on the bar. You can get the same hardcore workout using heavy exercise bands. Follow these muscle-building examples:
SQUATS – Use a pair of resistance bands to add powerful challenge to your squats.
Place the loop or handle of a resistance band under each foot and then stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the exercise bands in each hand at shoulder height. Squat while continuing to hold the bands at shoulder height. Slowly rise to a standing position. Repeat the squat 10 to 15 times. Resistance band squats work all the muscles of your arms, shoulders, chest, and abs. A regular squat only works your core, glutes, hamstrings, and thighs. A pair of heavy bands provide a full-body workout just by doing squats!
BENCH PRESSES – Chest presses with resistance bands are safer than free weights and don’t require a spotter.
Choose the strongest band that you can handle, then lie on your back with the resistance band under your back, at chest level, and below your shoulders. Hold each end of the resistance band in your hands with your palms pointed toward each other and over your chest. Press one arm toward the ceiling, pulling the band toward the ceiling. Lower your arm and then push the resistance band toward the ceiling with your other arm. Repeat 10 to 15 times for each arm. You can also push both hands simultaneously to more closely simulate the bench press.
TRICEPS – You can work your triceps by holding one resistance band in your left hand and placing it behind your back.
Grasp the other end of the band with your right hand behind your head. Extend your arm behind your head toward the ceiling until your arm fully extends without locking your elbow. Slowly lower your arm back behind your head. Do 10 repetitions and then switch sides. If your band is long enough, place one end under your heels, grab the other end with both hands behind your head and perform triceps-extensions.
ROWS – Perform lateral rows by placing a resistance band under each foot with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Grasp the other end of the bands with your hands and pull your arms upward from your body’s side until your arms are parallel with the floor. As an alternate rowing movement, hold each end of the resistance band with it beneath your feet or a sturdy fixed object and pull your hands to your chest.
CURLS – For biceps curls, stand on the center of the band and hold each end in your hands with your palms facing upward.
Curl your arms from the elbow, moving your hands to your chest or shoulder level and then back to your waist.