Being lightweight and portable, resistance bands allow you to do strength training and exercises just about anywhere. They can also add variety to your workouts and challenge your muscles in specific ways.
Here are five simple exercises you can do with a resistance band for a great workout.
Squat and press – to work on your quadriceps muscles
Step on the middle portion of the band and hold the handles with an overhand grip. Squat down until your quads are parallel to the floor. Stand up and straighten your arms, pulling the handles overhead.
Kickbacks – to work on your gluteus muscles
Get on all fours and hold the handles of the resistance band in your hands. Keep your hands under your chest, perpendicular to the ground.
Loop the band behind the arch of one foot. Squeeze your butt muscles as you extend your leg, kicking and straightening it out behind you. Repeat the set on both legs.
Standing chest press – to work on your chest muscles
Loop the middle section of a band to a door or something heavy and secure. It should be angled at about knee height.
Grip a handle in each hand, and stand with your back to the anchor. Position your arms such that they are parallel with the floor, with your palms facing downwards. Be sure to keep your back straight and look forward as you straighten your arms, pushing the handles forward until they are at eye level. Slowly, retract your arm to return to a neutral position.
Remember to do this exercise in a controlled manner. Repeat the movement, taking care not to let your elbows go past your shoulders as you release.
Band Biceps Curl – to work on your bicep muscles
Stand upright with one foot stepping on the mid-section of the band. Grip both handles with palms facing upwards.
Keeping your elbows close to your body, curl and pull one hand up at a time to your shoulders to engage your bicep muscles.
Leaning Twist – to work on your abs, arms, shoulders
Sit with the band looped around the bottom of both your feet, with your knees slightly bent and your arms holding the ends of the band.
Lean back and twist your upper body to the right as you fully extend your left arm above your head and straighten your right arm next to your waist.
Slowly, twist your body back to the front and do the same for the left side. Alternate with an even number of repetitions on both sides, taking care to keep your movements controlled.
While doing this move, be sure to keep your spine in a neutral position and lift your chest. Engage your core, so you do not overarch or collapse into your lower back.