For anybody looking to carry out effective and convenient exercise in their home, then I would always suggest starting out with resistance bands as due to their flexibility you are able to maintain a high level of variety in your workouts and also target a number of areas. With resistance bands you can focus on strength training, improving balance & core, implement them within yoga routines or use them to help with physical therapy which really does make them suitable for a wide range of people.
Some of the best fitness equipment for home use such as resistance bands, core sliders, aerobic step platforms, ab wheels are not always widely known for their effectiveness and benefits, particularly for those whose previous experience of exercising has been limited in general or mainly carried out at a gym where bigger machines are usually at the forefront.
Benefits from use of Resistance Bands
– Variety of Exercises:
With resistance bands you can do a number of strength training exercises but also whole-body exercises that target many muscles groups of you body at once.
– Convenient and Cost-Effective:
The fact they are practical means that you can easily storage them and take them with you to use anywhere you wish. On top of this they are affordable and long-lasting.
– Adaptable to the user:
Resistance bands can be used by all, from beginners to experts. They come in a few different resistance levels including light, medium and heavy and by giving the band more or less slack, the intensity can be adjusted.
– Flexibility on offer:
As well as being able to carry out a number of different exercises, the resistance band can also be used alongside other pieces of equipment to enhance the performance of that particular workout. For example with a body balance ball or weights.
– Familiarity of Exercises:
Whilst there are a load of exercises that can be done with resistance bands that will be new to people, because of their flexibility people can also do more familiar exercises with them, more on the different exercises possible later.
Types of Resistance Bands
There are two different types of resistance bands depending on what your focus is. There are resistance loop bands and there are also elastic resistance bands with handles on.
Resistance Loop Bands:
They tend to be more suitable for yoga, physical therapy and lower body workouts such as legs and glutes although can be used for upper body workouts as well.
These are the Resistance Bands I recommend given their price but also knowing the quality and durability they offer from personal experience.
Resistance Bands with Handles:
They tend to be more suitable for resistance training and whole body workouts, particularly effective for upper body workouts including areas such as biceps, shoulders, back and triceps.
This is the Resistance Band Set I recommend as they come complete with different intensity levels, therefore are suitable for both beginners and experts.
Areas of the Body you can Target
In essence you can pretty much target any area of the body you want with resistance bands, this is due to the flexibility of them and the sheer number of different exercises you can do as a result. Quite often the exercises are familiar ones but the intensity of them is increased with the use of a resistance band.
Now, depending on how new you are to using resistance bands, then some exercises may be more familiar at first and can be good for getting used to working with resistance bands. The picture to the right shows possible exercises you can do specifically using resistance bands with handles.
Below are some more example exercises and areas you can target with resistance bands with handles, although it is worth noting that some of the exercises mentioned below can also be completed using resistance loop bands.
Chest – Resistance band push-ups (Can be completed effectively using both resistance band with handles and resistance loop bands)
Triceps– Resistance band tricep extensions (Most effective when completed using resistance band with handles)
Hamstrings – Resistance band hamstring curls (Can be completed effectively using both resistance band with handles and resistance loop bands)
Biceps – Resistance band hammer curls (Most effective when completed using resistance band with handles)
Shoulders – Resistance band shoulder press (Most effective when completed using resistance band with handles)
Quads, Glutes & Lower Body – Resistance band front squat (Can be completed effectively using both resistance band with handles and resistance loop bands)
Possible Exercises with Resistance Loop Bands
Above, we have discussed exercises that are best done using resistance bands with handles and exercises that can be just as effective using both types of resistance bands. Below are provided exercises that are best performed when using resistance loop bands and are ideal for both beginners and more advanced users.
Bicycle Crunch – By using your core to rotate at the waist and by bringing your right elbow to your left knee and then twisting and doing the same with your left elbow to your right knee it is an ideal exercise that is intensified with the use of a resistance band.
Standing Knee Tuck – With the resistance band around the middle of feet at hip width apart, lift the left knee towards the chest and crunch the right elbow towards left knee before repeating on the other side.
Side Plank – Starting a high plank position with the resistance band looped around the ankles, lift the opposite foot to which your weight is on and hold for 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.
Unilateral Squat – Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart and the resistance band looped around left foot and left wrist before extending the arms out in front of you and lower into a squat. Then repeat this on the opposite side.
T-Rotation Lunge – Hold the resistance band shoulder-width apart with your arms extended in front of you. Step one foot back into a lunge whilst pulling the resistance band as wide as possible before repeating on the opposite leg.
Resistance bands are an ideal option when looking to workout anywhere, but particularly at home given how many exercises are possible with them but also the convenience they provide. They can be used alongside other pieces of equipment to intensify existing workouts or in replace of whilst still providing the same outcome.