Resistance bands are an inexpensive and convenient option for people of any age or fitness level. They’re safe, easy to use and suitable for a wide range of capability – but don’t let that fool you! Though they may not look all that intimidating, these tiny bands can wreak absolute havoc.
Technically speaking, resistance bands can be categorised as a form of weight training. Each band holds a different level of resistance that mimics varying weight and requires your muscles to work against the restriction. However, they tend to be regarded as a ‘safer’ alternative as they make it easier to maintain form and put less stress on the joints. John Hopkins Medicine recommends the use of resistance bands as one of the safest methods to increase bone strength and help prevent osteoporosis.
Resistance bands are one of my absolute favourite pieces of equipment and host a variety of benefits. Here are my top four!
One piece of equipment = full body workout. You can train multiple muscles simultaneously without having to waste time changing over equipment.
Anyone and everyone can use them. Bands come in varying resistance levels ranging from light to extremely heavy. By adjusting the amount of slack on the band, you can adjust the resistance. Alternatively, you can combine 2x bands together to make it more challenging.
Adds variety. The bands can provide great variety to your everyday workouts. Once your muscles become accustomed to an exercise, you’re likely to see less gains. However, if you combine your regular workout with the resistance bands, you force your muscles to adjust and overcome difficulty. You can do this by performing a superset with the bands and other pieces of equipment.
They’re portable, lightweight and convenient. The bands are lightweight which makes them a great travel companion. You can pack them up and take them on your holiday! If you’ve got a band, you’ve got a gym!
If you’ve got the resistance bands but aren’t sure where to start, try out the below workout. Each exercise targets a different part of the body so you can be sure to feel that full-body burn.
Full body resistance band workout
Resistance Band Good Morning (hamstring and core)
• Stand with both feet on the band, hip-width apart. Hold one end in each hand by your sides, palms facing in towards each other.
• Keeping soft knees bend forward from the hips and push your backside back as you fold your torso forward. Stop when your torso is just parallel to the floor (depending on hamstring flexibility).
• Drive hips forward as you lift your torso back up and return to starting position. Make sure you squeeze your glutes at the top.
• Complete 15-20 repetitions by 2-3 sets.
Resistance Band Glute Kickback (glutes)
• Start on your hands and knees with the band looped around your left ankle and the arch of your right foot
• Lift your right leg and extend it straight behind you, pushing against the band. Straighten your leg as much as you can.
• Slowly bring your leg back to the starting position.
• Complete 15-20 repetitions each leg by 2-3 sets.
Resistance Band Thruster (full body)
• Stand with both feet on the band, shoulder-width apart. Grab onto each end of the band and bring hands to shoulder height. Make sure the band comes over the back of your shoulders.
• Break from the hips and sit into a squat. Bend your knees as deep as possible.
• Drive weight through your heels to straighten up. As you stand, press your arms overhead until they extend fully. Keep your core tight and squeeze your backside at the top.
• Slowly lower hands back to your shoulders and repeat.
• Complete 12-15 repetitions by 2-3 sets.
Resistance Band Pull Apart (shoulders and upper back)
• Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding the band with both hands in front of your body at shoulder height. The closer your hands are on the band, the more challenging.
• Slowly pull the band apart so that your hands move sideways at shoulder height.
• Slowly bring hands back in a controlled motion and then repeat.
• Complete 15-20 repetitions by 2 sets.
By Adriana Kalidis, National Fitness Coordinator, Anytime Fitness
Adriana brings over 15 years of experience to the fitness industry gained as both a personal trainer and manager specialising in rehabilitation, functional training and Olympic lifting. She is passionate about moving with purpose and has a background in martial arts and adventure sports such as snowboarding, rock climbing and trekking. Adriana is always looking for the next thrill to satisfy her hunger for adventure!