A FULL BODY WORKOUT USING RESISTANCE BANDS FOR STRENGTH TRAINING
People that workout can plateau in their fitness regimens. Resistance bands are a great way to offer variety to workouts, increase challenge to specific exercises and improve gains in rehabilitation. The advantages for working out with resistance bands are numerous and include:
- Multi-tasking: Resistance bands are a great multi-tasking tool that can work every muscle group through various exercises.
- Portable: Resistance bands are light weight and can be packed, stored and used anywhere: from home to gym to hotel.
- Accessible: One of the great benefits about resistance bands is they can be used by every fitness level, even those recovering from an injury.
There are also some great fitness benefits to working with resistance bands.
The Fitness Benefits of Resistance Bands
Strength training: What makes resistance bands so special is they offer numerous fitness benefits too that set them apart from classic weight machine or free weight equipment Resistance bands can be used in place of weight machines or free weights for strength training. Strength training is important because it helps preserve muscle mass and bone mass, regardless of age, which helps with:
- Reducing fractures
- Lowering the risk of Osteoporosis
- Improving resting metabolic rate
Speed: Resistance band exercises are great for increasing speed. While using resistance bands, the leg muscles have to work against the resistance provided by the bands. These types of exercises use what are called the fast-twitch muscle fibers found in the larger muscles of the hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes and core. This activation helps to not only increase power and balance but can greatly increase a person’s speed.
Weight Loss and Fat Reduction: In order to lose weight and reduce fat, it’s important to strengthen the muscles to create lean muscle mass. Resistance training helps improve lean muscle mass which aids in both weight loss and fat reduction.
Body Toning: Toning is a popular term in fitness that means using muscle as a means to make areas around certain body parts: under the arms, around the belly and/or legs for example, to give the appearance they are tighter with less sagging. The easiest way to do this is to increase muscle mass and reduce the amount of fat in an area. With the weight loss and fat reduction benefits of resistance band a byproduct of these benefits would be full body toning.
Sports Conditioning: Athletic conditioning looks to improve function in specific movements related to sports activities rather than individual muscle exercises. Resistance band are a great way to give to mimic these movement patterns with varying degrees of resistance, thus increasing challenge and gains. This type of training is important not only in improving conditioning, but also helps prevent injury or rehab injured areas.
Resistance Bands Workout
Resistance bands are able to work out the entire body with one convenient resistance band. However, with the varying strengths available with resistance bands, it’s easy to vary workouts for skill-level and fitness goals as needed. To show you the versatility of using resistance bands in workouts, below is a full-body workout that can be done entirely with one resistance band.
Full Body Resistance Bands Workout
Workout Instructions: Do 1 set of each exercise for the number of recommended repetitions with little to no rest between each rep. After each circuit, rest 1-2 minutes, and then repeat 2 more times for 3 whole circuits total.
Workout Tools: A resistance band, an exercise mat (optional)
Training tip: Resistance bands vary in resistance. Depending on skill level and goals, it may be beneficial to use bands of varying resistance depending on the exercise and/or body part worked.
Front Squat: Stand on band with both feet. The should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Holding a side of the band in each hand, bring the top of the band over each shoulder, loop band over hands if necessary. To perform squat, bend the knees, sitting down with chest up, abs firm while pressing knees out over the toes. Straighten back up to starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps.
Bent-Over Row: Use the same stance as the front squat with both feet on band, feet slightly wider than hips distance apart. Bend slightly at the knees and hinge forward from the waste with the hips back. Grab a side in each hand (with hands facing knees). Keep the elbows bent and pull the band up toward the hips, while squeezing the shoulder blades together trying to form a 90-degree angle with the elbows. Lower and repeat for 10 to 12 reps.
Push-Up: Get into a top of a push-up position, with the resistance band draped across the shoulders and upper back. The band ends will be looped around each hand. From the top, start by contracting the glutes and abs while pushing straight up until your arms fully extend. Lower back towards the floor aiming to get the chest to the floor. Repeat for 5 to 20 reps (depending on your strength).
Forward Raise: Begin with the wide stance with each foot on the band. Grip each end of the band at the sides with palms of the hands facing in. Lift the right arm straight out in front to shoulder height. Slowly lower back down and repeat for 8 to 12 reps before switching arms or alternate arms as needed.
Standing Biceps Curl: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart in the middle of the resistance band. With a resistance band end in each hand, starting position is with both arms down at the sides. With palms facing forward, bend the elbows and lift the arms toward the shoulders. Slowly lower down and repeat for 12 to 15 curls.
Reverse Crunch: For a reverse crunch, it’s necessary to anchor the band on a low support on either a door or wall. Start by lying on the back with knees bent at 90 degrees. Loop the band over the tops of both feet creating some tension. With abdominals engaged and the back flat, begin to pull knees toward the shoulders, without rocking the hips. With control return to starting position and repeat for 12 to 15 reps.
This workout is just a snapshot of all the great exercises that can be done with resistance bands. Stay tuned for more great tips and exercises to help up-level your fitness routines with resistance bands.