Exercise bands, also known as resistance bands, are a powerhouse piece of at-home exercise kit that help strengthen your muscles without taking too much space.
Exercise bands make simple, repetitive workouts more challenging. Rows, curls, pushups, and squats become even more effective when using an exercise band to add resistance.
This article will explain how exercise bands work and how to use them and share resistance band exercises to try at home.
How exercise bands work
If your bodyweight exercises are no longer a challenge, it’s likely worth adding an exercise band to your training.
Exercise bands make repetitive motions harder. The more you stretch them, the more they want to contract, which increases the strength and stamina required to lift a weight or enter a pose.
Usually, when you lift a dumbbell, the movement feels more comfortable when you reach the top. However, when you reach the top with a resistance band, the muscles don’t feel relieved at all. Think of resistance bands as a great way to add an extra layer to your favourite workouts.
Why workout with exercise bands?
Working out with exercise bands helps increase strength throughout the body. Because they exert a constant force on your muscles, you can develop resilience and improve your sports performance.
Not only do they enhance strength, but exercise bands build flexibility, too. When you use exercise bands with weights or whilst doing squats, for example, they stretch the muscles while you’re going through the motions, and so enhance muscle flexibility.
Types of resistance band exercises
Popular resistance band exercises include:
Use bands as part of a full-body, circuit routine. You may need to go easy on the weights during some exercises since resistance bands will make each movement more challenging. Do three sets, with a pull (aka row, curl, or pulldown), a push (a pushup, overhead press, or triceps press), and a leg (squat, deadlift, or lunge) in each set.
Finish on a high by incorporating exercise bands into the latter stages of your workout routine. Exercise bands can help develop the upper abs, biceps, and lats by adding additional chest resistance.
If you prefer to start with intensity, use resistance bands at the beginning of your workout. Perform your regular sets with the addition of exercise bands for the first three sets, then ditch them for the last three to let your muscles to cool down gradually.
Want to know more about resistance bands? Check out our article on the different types of exercise bands and how to use them.
Last updated: 23 February 2021