A resistance band is one of the most inexpensive exercise tools you can use for your workouts.
Whether you're an advanced exerciser or beginner, resistance band exercises can work for every muscle group in your body without putting extra tension on your joints and bones.They're made up of rubber or latex, and are available in different thicknesses, colours and sizes, and also differ in the level of resistance they offer.
Types of Resistance Band
Looped bands: Also called mini bands or therabands, these can be thinner or shorter in size.
Non-looped bands: These are available with or without handles.
Most resistance bands are colour-coded depending on how much tension they provide. The easiest way to differentiate between them is to look at their thickness. The thicker the band is, the more resistance it offers and the more challenging it is to stretch.
Benefits of Resistance Band
Resistance bands offer the following benefits over free weight:
- Less challenging on the joints and body.
- Versatile, meaning you can target different muscle groups and also achieve different fitness skills at once, such as balance, flexibility, muscle strength, endurance, etc.
- Light weight and portable, which makes them perfect for home workouts and travelling.
- Easier and more convenient for beginners, as resistance band exercises are easy to learn and come with no risk of injuries.
Resistance Band Exercises for Each Muscle Group
Here’s a look at five of the best exercises you can do using resistance bands:
1) Triceps Extension
The triceps extension targets your triceps muscle located at the back of your upper arm. You can also work to improve your stability and core strength.
- Hold the band in your hands, and keep your elbows bent.
- Put your left elbow overhead, with your left forearm parallel to the ground.
- Your right hand should be in front of your right shoulder.
- Extend your left arm while keeping it near to your head. As your left arm straightens, you’ll feel the band stretch and triceps working.
- Return to the initial position, and repeat the exercise on the other hand.
2) Horizontal Woodchop
The horizontal woodchop is a great core exercise that works on your obliques and abs as you rotate through each repetition. When doing this exercise, remember to return to the starting position at a controlled pace rather than jolting the motion.
- Anchor a resistance band, and face sideways.
- Hold the end of the band with both your hands, and with your arms extended, pull the band slowly across your body while twisting your torso at the same time.
- Return to the initial position, and repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions.
3) Band Thruster
Band thrusters target your glutes, hamstrings, quads, triceps, shoulders and core muscles. This exercise is a combination of an overhead press and squat and offers many benefits.
- Stand tall on a resistance band, and maintain a shoulder-width distance between your feet.
- Hold each end of the band with your hands, and bring your hands toward your shoulders. The band should run down behind your shoulders properly.
- Engage your core, and keep your chest lifted as you lower your body into a squat position.
- Push the band overhead before lowering your arms.
4) Reverse Crunch
The reverse crunch is one of the most challenging core exercises that target your rectus abdominis – your six packs.
- Anchor the band on support, and lie down face up bending both your knees at a 90-degree angle.
- Loop the band on the top of your feet, and slightly shift back to create tension.
- With your back flat and abs tight, engage your abdominal muscles, and curl your lower body up towards your shoulders.
- Raise your hips off the floor, and simultaneously pull both your knees towards your chest.
- Return to the start, and repeat.
5) Band Bulgarian Split Squat
Isolateral exercises like the Bulgarian split squat are great for the entire leg muscle. This exercise targets your hamstrings, quads, calves and glutes, and your core muscles are also forced to work during this exercise to maintain proper balance.
- Loop the band beneath your right leg and behind your shoulders and neck.
- Place your left leg on a bench or any elevated surface behind you. Squat down with your right leg till the knee of your left leg almost touches the ground.
- Press your foot hard into the floor, and return to the start.
- Switch legs, and continue the exercise.
You can incorporate the aforementioned resistance band exercises into your everyday workout routine to work every muscle group in your body. If you're a beginner, start with fewer reps, and focus more on your form. Over time, as you start to gain strength, increase your reps, and intensify the exercise.