by Katie Hoehn September 09, 2022 5 min read
Resistance bands aren’t just for rehabbing an old injury. Sure, they can help improve mobility … but with the right tension, you can also get a killer workout!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an athlete, resistance bands offer a unique way to challenge your muscles.
In this blog, I’ll dive into what resistance bands are, how they work, and how you can add them into your workouts!
Resistance bands are essentially a large rubber band that creates tension on your muscles.
The concept is simple: You pull on the bands, and they pull back.
How much they pull back depends on how far you stretch them and how “heavy” the band is.
Because the bands feel heavier as the tension increases, this challenges the muscles differently than traditional weights. You have to work to maintain speed and power when performing the full range of motion.
They also come in a wide variety of thicknesses, which offer different levels of resistance. The thicker the rubber, the more tension they create. That tension can range anywhere between 5 pounds to over 200 pounds!
Got bad knees or shoulders? This is where resistance bands really shine. They provide the same strain on your muscles as lifting traditional weights ... but with less direct force on your joints.
Simply put, resistance band workouts can equal the same gains with less risk for injury. That's a huge reason why I am such a big advocate for them myself.
They are also portable and easy to store … which make them great for traveling or small workout spaces. Not to mention, they cost way less than traditional exercise equipment.
Basically, all the exercises you know and love that you use traditional weights with, you can do with a set of bands.
Absolutely! The same principles apply for building muscle whether you're using bands or free weights. In order to build muscle, you need:
• Tension (or resistance)
• Progressive overload
• Enough calories and protein
Bands provide tension or resistance, and you can use bands to help you overload the muscle. Progressive overload can be best described as putting more stress on the muscle over time.
Let me explain. Take bicep curls for example ... After weeks of using the same weight for 10 repetitions and 3 sets … your biceps will get stronger. But over time they adapt.
Progressive overload would be adding more reps, sets, or weight to the muscle. Really, you're just giving it a new challenge ... one that it will have to adapt to.
So in order to continue to progress, you will need to use heavier bands or do more reps or sets. Hence, overload the muscle.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering what are some good exercises you can do with bands. Let me run through some of my personal favorites...
Before you get started with your workout, warm up with a few dynamic stretches and movements. This will prepare your joints for the workout and increase blood flow and oxygen to your muscles. Walking, body weight squats, push ups, and runners lunges are all part of my warm up routine.
In each of these exercises, you can increase or decrease the resistance by using bands of different tension levels ... so make sure that you have the right resistance bands on hand to help you get the workout!
Ready to get started? Here are 9 resistance band exercises you need to try:
• Sit or stand with one end of the resistance band in each of your hands and the band behind your back across your shoulders.
• Stretch your arms, pushing them out in front of your chest.
• Slowly return your arms to their starting position.
• Stand on the band and place your feet approximately hip-width apart.
• Slowly lower your body into a squat, keeping your feet flat and your chest up.
• Slowly rise back up into your starting position.
• Stand with your back against a wall.
• Place the resistance band around your wrists so that it is stretched between your arms.
• Stretch your arms over your head, keeping them even with the wall.
• Pull your arms down and your elbow to the side until they are bent at right angles. Point your hands upward, and bring your shoulders together.
• Slowly raise your arms back to the starting position.
• Stand or sit on the resistance band.
• Hold one end of the band in each of your hands with your arms straight and extended in front of you.
• Slowly raise your hands, curling them inward toward your chest.
• Slowly return them to the starting position.
• Stand on the resistance band with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent.
• Hold one end of the band in each of your hands.
• Pull your arms straight back and bend your elbows while pulling your shoulder blades together.
• Slowly straighten your arms out behind you until your palms are facing upwards.
• Slowly return your arms to starting position.
• Wrap the resistance band around your legs directly below your knees with your feet under your hips and your hands clasped in front of you on your chest.
• Step one foot to one side, spreading your legs and then bending your legs and lowering your body into a squat.
• Stand back up and bring your leg back into the starting position.
• Repeat with the other leg on the other side.
• Stand with your feet hip-width apart, standing on the resistance band with it wrapped around the arches of your feet.
• Hold the top of the band with both hands, arms straight, with your hips pressed back.
• Stand up straight by contracting your glutes and driving them forward while holding onto the band.
• Slowly return to the starting position.
• With the resistance band across your upper back, get into the standard plank push-up starting position.
• Loop the ends of the band around your palms with your hands flat on the floor.
• Push straight up, keeping your core and legs straight, until your arms are fully extended.
• Slowly lower yourself back down into the starting position.
• Loop the resistance band on the underside of the bench.
• Lie face-up on the bench, holding one end of the band in each of your hands.
• Position your hands at shoulder height with your thumbs touching the front of your shoulders.
• Lift your arms upward straight over your chest until they are fully extended.
• Slowly lower your arms back to the starting position.
Whether you’re looking for a way to add variety to your workouts or protect your joints ... resistance band workouts may be the answer.
But the right exercises are only the beginning. For fast recovery and even faster gains, you need the right nutrition. We're happy to help you do that.
At 1st Phorm, we only provide top-quality, research-backed fitness supplements to provide the essential nutrients you need to reach your goals!
I know reaching your fitness goals can be extremely difficult. If you're looking for extra assistance, download the 1st Phorm App. Inside the app, you'll get access to workout programs, macro tracking, goal support, and 1:1 coaching with a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach.
So grab your resistance bands, pull up the 1st Phorm app, and get ready to start earning your goals.
Because after all, when it comes to fitness, the road to success is never the path of least resistance.