Building Strength Using Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are an awesome way to build strength.  They are cheap, take up little space and can be used in a number of ways.  Is it any wonder I use them in almost every program I write?

First of all, where to get them?  You can buy resistance bands quite cheaply at Kmart and other stores.  However, they do not always have all sizes and of course there is a difference in quality.  That is not to say that they are not useful and they are definitely a great option for short workouts or uses.

If you want to get more serious and you want a variety of sizes you can look in fitness stores or gym equipment stores or you can get them on ebay.  Again there will be a difference in quality but it is probably not enough that it will be very noticeable.

Now just to be clear, I am talking about longer resistance bands here (see image).  Not the ‘booty’ bands that are a bit of a craze at the moment.  Although these of course have great uses too!

Resistance bands can be used to create an entire workout if you like.  You can loop them from a higher point and use them for face pulls or lat pull downs.  You can use them looped across your waist for a resisted hip thruster or cross them over and use them to add resistance to a crab walk.  If this doesn’t sound like a language you understand then don’t stress.  Bands are probably better suited to you for a recovery session.  Below are some great uses with bands for stretching out and strengthening after a long day in front on the laptop or carrying the kids around all day.

Posture Correction

Chest opener: Band thickness: Medium

Hold the band at both ends with long straight arms.  Reach up and over your head pulling the band apart and opening up the chest.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat x3

Band pull apart: Band thickness: Light

Hold the band at both ends with long straight arms.  Keep the band in front of your chest and pull the band apart drawing your shoulder blades together.  Repeat x12 do 3 sets.

W Band pull apart: Band thickness: extra light

Hold the band in an underhand grip.  Tuck your elbows into your sides and keep your hands and the band shoulder width apart.  Keeping your elbows tucked in pull your forearms apart in the shape of a W.  This should work the back of the shoulders and middle back.

Hip and Glute Stretch

Hamstring stretch: Band thickness – Medium to heavy

Lay on the floor on your back.  Loop the band around one foot and lift your leg straight up in the air.  Use the band to pull your foot towards your head stretching down the back of the leg.  Hold for 30-40 seconds.

Glute stretch: Band thickness – medium to heavy

In the same position as above, draw your leg across your body to feel the stretch down the side of the glute and the leg.  Hold 30-40 seconds.

Hip flexor stretch: Band thickness – medium to heavy

In the same position as above, draw your leg out to the side to feel the stretch in your groin and the inside of your leg.  Hold 30-40 seconds.

If you want more then check out my video on IGTV with resistance bands, click here.