Resistance bands are probably one of the simplest, most convenient pieces of workout equipment you can own! Not only are they inexpensive, they’re easy to store and there are so many variations that you can buy online! Just like free weights, they come in a range of resistance levels from light to heavy duty.
At The FFA, we like to use the non-looped version as they provide so much more versatility when training and are also great to use when rehabbing an injury. However, there are some great looped version out there at the moment from brands such as B_ND and CFX and I would definitely suggest investing in both a looped and non-looped band.
Ok……so you may be thinking, ‘surely I can’t get the same workout from a flimsy piece of elastic as I would in the gym lifting weights?’
But YES you can and there is research to show that the muscle activation during upper body strength training with resistance bands and free weights are pretty much the same* – who would have thought?
Without going into all of the science, resistance band training frees you from the limitations of gravity and so allows you to isolate muscles and perform the same movements as machines in a totally different way. They also encourage more functionality in your movement patterns as well.
Depending on what your training goals are will dictate the best exercises for you. However, here is a little booty workout that we come up with that you can try at home to get used to training with elastics.
Complete each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest between each one – repeat circuit 3 times.
Holding the ends of the resistance band, step on to the middle. Place your feet at shoulder-width with toes pointing forward. Tighten your core and keep your chest up.
Bend your knees slightly and drive your hips back but NOT lower than your knees. Again, keep the chest up. This is the starting position.
Forcefully contract your glutes, driving them forward. Do not just lean back. Your glutes should be fully contracted. Pause then return to the starting position.
Wrap an exercises band just above your knees or around your ankles with your feet wide enough to create tension
Step sideways into a squat, then repeat to the front and back in a quarter squat position
Loop a mini band around the bottom of your left foot and right ankle. Start in an all-fours position with your knees under your hips, wrists under your shoulders, and your core engaged.
Keeping your knee bent and left foot flexed, kick your left leg up toward the ceiling. Hold for 2 seconds at the top.
Return your left knee to floor for 1 rep.
Do all your reps on one side, the switch to the other.
Place the band above your knees.
Lie on your back, with your feet flat on the floor, hip width apart.
Engage your abs and squeeze your glutes as you press down through your heels to lift your pelvis off the floor, until your knees reach a 90-degree bend.
Slowly reverse the movement for one repetition.
Push your knees out against the band to keep them in line with your shoulders and feet throughout the movement.
If you head over to our online Members Club we have a range of online workout videos using Resistance Bands.
*Bergquist, R., Iversen, V. M., Mork, P. J., & Fimland, M. S. (2018). Muscle Activity in Upper-Body Single-Joint Resistance Exercises with Elastic Resistance Bands vs. Free Weights. Journal of human kinetics, 61, 5–13.