By Karin Krisher
Resistance bands can give you a whole new type of workout. They’re perfect if you want to shake things up at the gym or if you have a small budget, small space, and small amount of time. For women, they can provide strength training while creating tone, instead of bulk.
Things to Keep in Mind
Resistance training isn’t quite the same as weight training. Instead of feeling that one portion of the full movement is easier (due to gravity), you’ll feel like the band holds tension throughout the movement.
Think about how you would complete the movement with dumbbells or a machine. Then try to use similar form, but keep in mind that the difference lies in where the band is placed. For example, when you do bicep curls, you can do them the same way you would with weights, but you’ll have to create the tension by standing on the middle of the band.
You can always change your position or the band’s position to change the way the exercise works your muscles or the difficulty level.
4 Best Resistance Band Exercises
The Tricep Blaster
While standing and holding the band by its ends, one in each hand, stretch it across the front of your chest. Bend one elbow so that your fist hits just in front of your chest, then reverse the motion, all the while focusing on your tricep and keeping the motion in your elbow, instead of your full arm. Do 15-20 reps. Repeat with the other arm.
Standing and holding one handle in each hand, step on the middle of the resistance band with one foot. Lift the other foot up and back, engaging your glutes. You’ll need to engage your core, as well, for balance. With your palms facing toward each other and your arms at your sides, pull up on the band, bending your elbow to curl the handles as if they are dumbbells. Repeat for ten; then switch feet and repeat for ten.
Half Boat + Wings
Sit with your feet together on a mat. Wrap your band around your thighs, over your quads and under your hamstrings so it forms an X. Lift your feet and lean back to balance on your butt. Engage your abs and press outward against the band with your legs, then bring them back to center. Do three sets of 12 reps.
Standing Chest Fly
Stand with your back to a pole or other surface around which you can easily wrap a band at waist level. Hold the resistance band with your palms facing forward, one end in each hand. (Bands with handles work well.) Lift your arms to form a T with your body, and use your chest to bring the handles together in front of you so that your palms face inward and nearly meet each other in the middle of your chest. Reverse the motion. Complete 3 sets of 15 reps.
Most importantly, have fun! Have you tried any of these resistance band exercises? Tell us about it on our Facebook page!