The Benefits of Training With Resistance Bands

The Benefits of Training With Resistance Bands

With all the different equipment that’s available to us … It can be hard to know exactly what to use in the gym. The good news is, you can see great results as long as you are consistent.

That means, whether you use dumbbells, barbells, or machines, you can see results. The same can be said about resistance bands as well.

In fact, if you’re looking to switch up your routine and exercises, adding resistance bands can be a great way to do it. There are also a ton of potential benefits that come with resistance band workouts.

Resistance bands can be helpful for building strength, rehabilitation, and even improving stability.

On top of that, there’s also a wide variety of resistance bands that are available to use.

Let’s talk about resistance bands, the different types, and how you can add them to your workouts for better results.

What Are Resistance Bands?

I like to think of resistance bands as large rubber bands. They are typically elastic bands that create resistance as you stretch them apart.

Plus, most commercial gyms have resistance bands. I’d actually be surprised if they didn’t! What makes resistance bands so great is how portable they are.

You can throw a resistance band in your backpack and do a workout just about anywhere!

Not only that, but resistance bands also come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Because of this, some resistance bands are designed for specific types of exercises and movements.

Here are 5 of the most common types of resistance bands you’ll find…

1. Resistance Bands with Handles

These are tube-shaped resistance bands that have a handle attached at either end. These can be used a lot like you would use cable machines in a gym. Because of this, a lot of people like anchoring them to doors, around a pole, or even around a bar.

These resistance bands are best used for exercises like chest presses, curls, rows, squats, and so much more. You can exercise almost every muscle group in your body with them as well, which is a unique advantage.

These bands will typically give you anywhere between 10-50 lbs of resistance as well. This makes them a great option for nearly anyone from a beginner to an advanced weight lifter.

2. Mini Therapy Bands

Mini therapy bands are normally a lot smaller and wider of a band. The reason for this is so they can easily wrap around your ankles or knees for many different exercises. They are great for building strength and stability in your lower body and core.

Their most popular use is for warming up and training your glutes and hips. I’ve seen these kinds of bands ranging from 5-50 lbs in resistance.

3. Therapy Bands

This is the kind of resistance band most typically used in a physical therapy setting. They tend to have less resistance than most other bands for this reason. They are normally a lot bigger and longer, but also not as wide or thick as a mini therapy band or exercise-type band.

I’ve seen some of these bands as long as 7 feet for plenty of room to adjust the resistance! For the most part, these bands create between 3-10 lbs of resistance.

While these bands are great for rehabilitation purposes, they can also be great for warming up and priming your body for intense workouts.

4. Figure 8 Bands With Cuffs

These resistance bands can be used in a wide variety of ways. They are somewhat of a hybrid between resistance bands with handles and mini bands. They can be used as handles to perform movements, but they can also be wrapped around your ankles, knees, or wrists like mini bands.

Based on what I have seen, these resistance bands typically range between 8-20 lbs. Figure 8 bands can be very versatile and easy to use in just about any setting.

5. Power & Mobility Bands

These resistance bands are essentially big versions of rubber bands. At least … that’s what they look like. They can be useful for a number of different things. For one, they are often used for assisted movements like pull-ups or dips. On top of that, you can use them for full-body workouts, corrective exercises, and even stretching.

Of the bands that I have seen, these range in width from 0.5 in up to 2.5 in. As they increase in size, they have more resistance. In terms of weight, they can create as low as 5 lbs of resistance and go up to as much as 170 lbs of resistance!

Benefits of Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are a great tool to use in your workouts for a number of reasons. This is especially true when it comes to price, convenience, and versatility.

As far as how they can help, there are three main areas I’d like to highlight:

1. They can help improve your mobility
2. They can help increase your strength
3. They can help improve your stability

Let’s take a deeper look at how resistance bands can help with each of these things.

Resistance Bands Can Improve Mobility

You can use resistance bands to improve your mobility by using them for either static or dynamic stretching exercises. This can help keep your joints mobile and flexible.

Here are some examples of how you can use resistance bands for your mobility training…

Banded Hamstring Stretch

This is an amazing stretch for your hamstrings that wouldn’t be possible without a resistance band!

Start by laying flat on your back. Keep one leg on the ground as you loop the band around the sole of your foot on the opposite leg.

Using the band, pull your leg up while keeping your knee straight. Keep pulling your leg back until you feel a deep stretch in your hamstring.

Once you’re fully stretched, hold this position for 45-60 seconds before switching to your other leg to repeat.

Banded Quad Stretch

This exercise is basically the opposite of a banded hamstring stretch. Instead of stretching your hamstrings, you’ll be stretching your quads.

You’ll begin by laying flat on your stomach with your legs on the ground behind you. Loop the band around the top of one of your feet and pull the band over your shoulder.

This will bend your leg at your knee and bring your heel toward your butt, creating a big stretch in your quad. Hold this position for 45-60 seconds before switching to your opposite leg and repeating.

Banded Shoulder Stretch

This is one of my favorite shoulder stretches out there!

Stand up tall and grab a resistance band slightly outside of shoulder-width apart. Pull at each end of the band slightly to create a little bit of tension before you get started.

Next, raise the band all the way over your head and behind your back as far as you comfortably can. Now, slowly reverse the movement to bring the band back in front of your body.

Make sure to keep your core tight throughout the movement to prevent your back from arching.

Resistance Bands Can Help Build Strength

If you’re looking for a new way to challenge yourself … resistance bands are a great way to do it! They can be added to virtually any bodyweight or weighted resistance exercise to build strength.

I know this may be hard to picture, so let me run you through a few more exercises to show you how…

Banded Squats

Adding resistance bands to your squat is a great way to make progress. Plus, you can use them with or without weight. If you have the equipment available, you can add a power band to either end of a weighted barbell. Just make sure you anchor them to the ground with heavy dumbbells or a piece of equipment.

On top of the weight already on the barbell, this can add some extra resistance for a real challenge.

Without a barbell or extra weight, all you need is a single power band. Just step on the band with both feet around shoulder-width apart. Wrap the band around your shoulders and squat as if you have weight on your back.

It’s simple, but very effective!

Banded Chest Press

Similar to the banded squat, you can do a banded chest press with or without extra weight. For this exercise, you can use a band with handles or a power band.

Just wrap the band around your back with one end in each hand. Next, lay your back flat on a bench. From here, press the handles/the ends of the band up and over your chest. Then, slowly return your arms back to either side of your body.

With weights, you can also grab a pair of dumbbells, or loop a band on either end of a barbell. Anchor the opposite ends of the bands to the ground with heavy dumbbells and you're good to go.

Banded Rows

Arguably one of the best exercises you can use bands for is rows. I say this because you can perform them in a wide variety of ways! My personal favorite way to do them is by attaching the band to a fixed post.

By doing this, you can grab the other end of the band, face the post, and pull the band to your side to mimic a single-arm row.

Another great way to do a row with bands is by stepping on a band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, take each end of the band, hinge forward at your hips, and row the band with your arms to either side of your body.

Resistance Bands Can Help Improve Stability

One final way in which resistance bands can be beneficial is by training and improving stability. This can help high-level athletes, beginners, and even elderly people.

Movement is medicine, and if bands can help keep you mobile, then you should use them! Here are some resistance band exercises you can do to help improve your stability…

Anti-Rotation Band Step-Outs

For this movement, you'll attach a band to a pole at roughly chest height. Grab hold of the band with both hands and face with one side of your body to the pole. Push the band out in front of your chest, keeping your core tight and arms fully extended outward.

Without allowing your body to rotate, take a step out to the side away from the band. You will feel the tension in your upper body and core as you keep your body square. Now, take a step back toward the band to complete one rep. Repeat this as many times as you'd like on each side of your body.

This exercise can be great for training the stabilization strength of your core and upper body.

Banded Adduction

Once again, you'll want to find a fixed object like a pole or cable to loop a band. This time, place the band at roughly ankle height. From here, position your body to one side of the band, slipping your closest leg into the loop of the band.

Take a step out to the side, creating some distance between your legs. Keeping the banded leg straight, slowly pull it toward, and out in front of, your other leg as far as you can comfortably go. Slowly release the banded leg back to its starting position and repeat this for reps before switching to your other leg.

Banded Glute Bridges

To begin, lay on your back with your knees in the air and heels planted on the floor. Next, wrap a band around your knees and keep tension on it by creating some space between your legs.

Press through your heels and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips off the ground, forming a bridge with your lower body. Hold for a second at the top before returning your hips back to the ground. Repeat this movement for reps.

One Last Tip For Resistance Band Workouts

As you can see, there are a ton of different ways you can use resistance bands and incorporate them in your workouts! Whether you plan to use them for weight lifting, or mobility and stability training is up to you.

If you're interested in knowing how you can add them to your routine, or you're looking for other band exercises ... Just download the 1st Phorm App. Inside the app, you'll get access to full workout programs, exercise videos, and even 1-on-1 assistance from a certified advisor!

Not only that, but the app also gives you the ability to track and log your nutrition so you can earn the best results possible. The 1st Phorm App really is the all-in-one tool to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

If there's ever anything we can do to help out in the meantime, that's what we're here for. Reach out to our team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Certified Nutrition Coaches. They are available to talk to you and help you reach your goals for free! Just shoot us an email at or give us a call at 1-800-409-9732 anytime.

Download the 1st Phorm App and get started earning some real and long-lasting results today!

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