The great thing about working out is that you have many options for getting in a good workout anywhere. If you want to build muscles by the beach, you can! Want to sweat in the parking lot next to your office? Go for it! Whether you have a gym membership or you are a “location independent” traveler, you can build a routine that helps you build your dream body.
Of course, there is one advantage of hitting the gym: all the equipment! Weights, exercise balls, and other tools can help you lift more, sweat more, and shed more fat.
But you can find a balance between getting a heart-pumping workout and being able to exercise anywhere. Heavy equipment like weights or kettlebells are not the only tools that you can use to enhance your workout. If you want to get more out of your exercises, but still have the freedom to get going anywhere, consider adding a resistance band to your workout routine.
What Are Resistance Bands?
Resistance bands are long, elastic bands that are designed to be used for strength training. The resistance requires more strength in order to stretch the band and complete a full rep of your exercise. Professionals from fitness bloggers to physical therapists recommend resistance bands for a safe, effective workout for all types of practitioners.
How to Use A Resistance Band
The flexibility of resistance bands can give you many options for positions and exercises. You may have to wrap part of the resistance band around an arm or a foot and pull with another part of the body. Where you place the resistance band will depend on the exercise you are doing.
One popular resistance band exercise is bicep curls. Bicep curls usually require weights; if you are completing the motion without any resistance or weights, you won’t find yourself doing much work at all. Adding the resistance band will give you some work to do.
How to Complete a Bicep Curl with a Resistance Band: Stand up straight with your arms by your side and one end of the resistance band in each hand. Place your feet on the middle of the band with your legs hip-width distance apart. (You may have to only use one foot if your resistance band is not long enough.) Bend your elbows until your fists reach shoulder height. Straighten your arms and repeat!
Resistance Bands Can Be Used to Assist Stretches
Don’t forget to stretch after your workout! If you are working on your flexibility, your resistance band can also come in handy.
How to Stretch Out Your Hamstrings With a Resistance Band: Lie on your back and wrap your resistance band around the soles of your feet. Start to straighten your legs and lift your heels toward the ceiling as your arms hold onto each side of the resistance band. Gently pull the resistance band toward you as you stretch. Resistance bands often make this stretch more accessible and comfortable for people whose hamstrings are not very flexible.
Benefits of Resistance Bands
They Are Safe To Use Alone.
Even if you have been using weights for years, experts recommend that you have someone spot you at the gym while lifting. Resistance bands, however, can be used without a spotter. Feel free to use them as you exercise solo at home or on the road!
They Hit the Whole Body.
If you want to target specific muscles, your resistance band will be ready to help. As your workout changes and evolves, your resistance band can still help you get the most out of each exercise. When you search for “resistance band exercises” online, you can find hundreds of options, including whole workouts dedicated to building one group of muscles.
Resistance bands can be used in any type of workout. Whether you want to slowly build muscle strength or pump out some faster reps in a HIIT routine, resistance bands can give you an extra challenge.
You can purchase a resistance band at any store that sells fitness equipment for less than $20! For the price of a meal out, you can burn more calories and build more strength for the next year. Resistance bands will be effective for up to two years if you use it multiple times a week.
What To Know Before Purchasing a Resistance Band
Not all resistance bands are the same. The length and resistance of your band can greatly affect the strength or flexibility required to complete certain exercises. Even though a resistance band is not the biggest investment that you will make, it’s still important to take the time and buy the right band(s) for your workout. Consider these factors before you purchase a resistance band:
Types of Exercises You Will Do With Your Resistance Band
First and foremost, think about what parts of the body you will be working out. If you want to do bicep curls, you will need a band that can wrap around your foot and allow you to still stand up straight.
Not sure what type of band you will need for your routine? Do a test run at your local gym. Grab a resistance band and go through a list of exercises for different parts of your body. If the resistance band you use is a good fit and allows you to maintain good form throughout your workout, look for a similar one when you go shopping.
If you are taller, you will most likely need a taller resistance band. In general, you won’t go wrong with a longer resistance band. When you get to exercises that don’t require length, you can always wrap the band around your hands a few times or grab a shorter part of the band.
If your resistance band has too much resistance, you may be discouraged and not want to use it. If the resistance band has too little resistance, it may not be as effective. Resistance bands come in high-, medium-, and low-resistance varieties. Read some reviews or do a test run before you buy to make sure the band will fit your fitness needs.
Ready, Set, Grab Your Resistance Band!
Once you start to get the hang of using your resistance band, you won’t want to workout without it! Add different types of exercises to your routine and see the results on your body in just a few weeks. If you have any questions about how to use your resistance band or how you can use it along your workout journey, be sure to consult an expert personal trainer for tips.