When you are trying to think of ways to exercise without the need for a huge amount of space for dumbbells, squat racks and power towers or other machines, a resistance bands workout will be more than adequate to give you what you need. The added bonus is that you can store them away when you are done, as they take no room what so ever.
As in a previous post about kettlebells, we will be looking at different forms of fitness equipment to see how they all work, so you can pick what equipment best suits your needs.
Don’t Resist The Band… Respect It!
Resistance bands have been around for a while, but it’s only over the last few years they have really made their way into peoples fitness regimes. As they are convenient to carry around and you can do pretty much the same exercises with them as you can with weights.
Some people think that you can’t get heavier resistance compared to weights, but some resistance bands today can go up to 150lb in weight/resistance. Meaning, you can get a great workout as if you were using heavier weights.
Resistance bands are great for beginner’s, they only take a bit of getting used to, not much though as it’s a different type of feeling compared to weights…there’s resistance obviously!
As with weights, make sure you respect the kit you are using, you don’t want to get a resistance band whip you in any part of the body because you aren’t taking it seriously. Your partner will be asking questions as to what the marks on your body are.
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Brief Background Check
Bands were originally used in the early 20th century, made from surgical tubing with exercises conducted for muscle rehabilitation after injury and surgery.
Typically the bands are colour coded to show different levels of resistance, however colours vary between brands so double check before use. Some types allow handles to be clipped on the band or loop, whereas other products are a solid rubber band with no loop attached (kind of like a big elastic band).
How To Work It?
The common practice with resistance bands is to use for strength training with a higher number of reps, compared to using heavier weights. You can of course increase the resistance by adding extra bands to give you the heavier weight desired.
Below is a resistance bands workout for you to follow. I will be adding more workouts in time for various levels of fitness. Today we will start with a beginner’s workout. This will be a full body routine, which will require high reps for a period. Slow and controlled movements is the key here. It’s not a race and as you know, quality over quantity always.
This is going to be around a 15-minute workout. We are going to do as many reps as possible within a period, but not rushed, very controlled with a good posture. The workout will require you to do each exercise for 30 seconds, with a 30-second break between sets, this includes getting ready for the next exercise. We will use a light resistance band as we don’t want to burn out too soon. I use a 35lb band which is around 16kg of resistance.
Best thing to do here is put your phone on the stop watch to help with the time splits. The workout is detailed below. You can also do the workout in real time by clicking on the thumbnail or follow the workout as its written below. You will need to attach the anchor behind a door for some exercises. Always spend time to warm up before you exercise to elevate your heart rate, get that blood pumping, loosen those joints and muscles.
Exercise 1: Squat to Shoulder press – this works the quads, hamstrings, bottom and shoulders – 30 seconds
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and stand on the bands, hold the handles at shoulder height with you palms facing forward. Then squat keeping your back straight till your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then push up and as you stand up push your arms over head to do a shoulder press. Lower the band back to shoulder height and repeat for 30 seconds.
Rest for 30 seconds.
Exercise 2: Lat Pulldown – this works the whole back, middle and lower traps – 30 seconds
For this exercise have the anchor at the top of a door and close it. Make sure the anchor is secure and then loop the band through. Lower yourself to the ground with your feet against the door. Then pull the bands down towards your shoulders while maintaining control and form, then slowly let the bands pull back away from you. Repeat.
Rest for 30 seconds.
Exercise 3: Bench Press – this works your pecs, shoulders and triceps – 30 seconds
Place the anchor at the bottom of the door now, loop the band through, stand up, walk forward and hold handles at chest height with knuckles facing out. Simply push your arms forward and touch handles as you extend your arms, then slowly bring hands back to chest height. Repeat exercise.
Rest for 30 seconds.
Exercise 4: Bicep Curl – this works the…biceps – 30 seconds
Stand up straight, stand on band, hold handle with forearm parallel to floor with palms facing up. Pull the band towards your shoulder and then lower back to starting point.
Rest for 30 seconds.
Exercise 5: Over Head Tricep Curl – this works the triceps – 30 seconds
Take the anchor and fix it to the top of the door. Pull band through the loop again. Turn to face away from the door with your hands behind your head while holding band handles. Step forward till the band has tension and then pull the bands from behind your head forward, till your arms are straight. Then bring hands back to starting position and repeat.
Once you have completed these exercises take a 1-minute rest, some liquid and prepare to go through the exercises again, the same as you did before. This will need repeating once again after you complete round 2 with round 3 (only continue with round 3 if you can).
After you have finished 3 rounds, you will have burned around 200 calories, to burn more increase resistance and or length of time doing exercises.
Always take time after a workout to stretch and warm down to prevent injury.
This is a great introduction for anyone who is looking to start exercising with resistance bands, whether you are looking to lose weight or increase strength. It’s a win.
Always be aware of your surroundings and take your time with any bands you use. If you enjoyed the workout and it was helpful to you, please comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts.
To get your own resistance band set click on image below.