Resistance bands exercises to do at home

If you like working out at home, you should consider getting few resistance bands. Resistance bands are easy to use as you can easily incorporate them into any exercise regimen. Apart from helping you in your physical fitness goal, it can also help in alleviating unwanted pain. Your Physical/Occupational therapist may also suggest few exercises using resistance bands. Whether you want to strengthen your muscles or increase the intensity of the short workout session, resistance bands are very handy. 

You can use resistance bands to build muscles without having to lift any heavy or dangerous weights. The resistance bands are economical, handy, require next to nothing in terms of storage space, light to use and do not offer any pressure on the joints. If you are thinking of starting your exercises with resistance bands, here is everything that you should know.


What are the benefits of using resistance bands?

Resistance bands can be used to strengthen your core, arms, back, gluteus and other muscles of the body. These bands not only strengthen the muscles but also to increase the flexibility and stability of the small muscles. Studies show that resistance band exercises provide similar strength when compared to other conventional devices like free weights (Lopes, J et al.,2019). However, you should pay attention to how your body is moving during the exercises; otherwise, it may also cause unnecessary pain, discomfort and sometimes injuries. 


Different types of resistance bands:

There are different types of resistance bands available in the market. Some come with handles on both ends, while others have no handles. Apart from the shape, resistance bands also come in different thicknesses .Thicker the band, more resistance it will have and more strength will be required for workout. For heavy exercises, you can use the resistance band, which is thicker. If you like variety in your exercises, think of getting the resistance bands with different thicknesses. 

Resistance bands are color-coded based on the resistance levels. Most of the companies follow the standards while some might vary. 


Here is a example from one of the company called Thera band

1. Yellow Resistance Band – Least Resistance

2. Red Resistance Band – Light Resistance

3. Green Resistance Band – Light Medium

4. Blue Resistance Band – Medium

5. Black Resistance Band – Heavy 

6. Silver/Gold – Heaviest 


How to use resistance bands?

Resistance bands are quite simple to use, and can be used irrespective of age and physical shape. There are many exercises that can be modified accordingly. If you are new to resistance bands, do not over exhaust yourself by increasing the repetitions or sets or starting with higher resistance band in the initial stage itself. It’s always a good idea to stick to your physiotherapist recommendations to get the best results.


Best resistance band exercises:

Mostly the resistance bands available in the market are made up of 100% latex which gives them a long life. These bands can be stretched for 2.5 times their length without any breakage. Here are the few exercises that you can do with resistance bands at home:


1. Squats – Stand on the resistance band, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab both the edges of the band, one at each hand and keep your hands at neck level. Now come down without moving your arms until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then again come up to take the starting position. Don’t forget to keep your back a little arched throughout the movement.

 


2. Bent over row– Stand on the center of the band and grab the ends of the resistance band, one on each side. Lean forward by bending your knees and hips. By keeping your back straight, pull the band upwards while giving your shoulder blade a little squeeze. 

 

3. Deadlift – The starting position will be to stand on the band with feet hip-width apart, keeping the toes slightly everted. Bend from the waist and knees to grab the ends of the band. Now again stand up, by pulling the band tight and keeping your head forward. 

 


4. Push up – Loop your resistance band behind your back and get the push-up position. By holding the band beneath your palms, perform the push-up motion. The resistance band will offer you extra resistance, which will increase the difficulty of the push-ups.


 

5. Seated row – To do the seated row, sit on the floor, keeping the legs straight in front of you. Loop your resistance band around the toes of both feet and hold the ends with one end in each hand. Now pull the band towards your chest while keeping your back straight and squeezing the shoulder blades. 

 

6. Bridging – Lie down on the mat keeping your hands under the body, holding both the ends of the band in each hand in such a way that the band loops around your waist. Lift your hip as high as possible and, at the same time, pull the resistance band tightly with your hands. Please note not to lift your hands from the floor.

7. Donkey kicks – Start from the kneeling position. Look your resistance band around your foot and hold its ends from the hands. Now kick your leg backwards one by one towards the ceiling. Throughout the movement, squeeze your glutes and hold the movement for a while. 


 


8. Shoulder rotation – Hold the band with both your hands keeping your forearm in a mid-prone position and elbows to your sides. Now stretch the band while rotating your shoulders externally. Ensure that your shoulders are not rounded and are kept in a natural position.

 


9. Lunges – Place one foot in front of the other, keeping the band under the front foot and holding the ends by both hands. Now lower down in a deep lunge position and bring yourself up to the starting position by pulling the band tightly. 

 

10. Lateral raise – Stand on the band and hold its ends from both hands. Now stretch them out to your sides by pulling the band until your hands come in line with the head. 

 

While performing any exercises from resistance band, pay attention to how your body is feeling. To feel a slight burn is completely normal; however, if you feel any discomfort or pain, talking to your therapist may be a good idea. Resistance bands exercises may look easy, but without proper guidance, you can injure yourself. Take physiotherapists’ suggestions before starting any resistance band exercises at home. 


Reference:

Lopes, J., Machado, A. F., Micheletti, J. K., de Almeida, A. C., Cavina, A. P., & Pastre, C. M. (2019). Effects of training with elastic resistance versus conventional resistance on muscular strength: A systematic review and meta-analysis. SAGE open medicine, 7, 2050312119831116.

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