15 exercises you've never considered doing with resistance bands
Don’t underestimate the usefulness of the humble resistance band! Here’s how to use resistance bands for warm ups, prep work, strength, core training, mobility, and injury rehab.
What are resistance bands used for?
What’s that hanging on a hook in the corner of the gym? Oh, just a load of resistance bands. Boring.
If you tend to walk right past your gym’s resistance bands (or leave your own bands languishing at the bottom of your gym bag), we’re here to change your mind.
Resistance bands aren’t just for beginners (although they’re definitely beginner-friendly) nor are they only something you’d use if you’re injured. They are a legit training tool much loved by athletes and coaches the world over.
List of 15 best exercises to do with resistance bands
The humble (and cheap) resistance band is a reliable tool for joint mobility, movement prep, resistance work, assistance work, and of course for rehab and injury prevention. Here are some of the best ways to use a resistance band before, after or during your sessions.
7 strength exercises using just a resistance band
Resistance bands don’t rely on gravity, so you can use them at different heights and angles to work on strength. And whilst you can use resistance bands to actually add weight (resistance) to strength kit like barbells and fixed weighs machines, we really like using them to train the smaller, harder-to-activate muscle groups like the rear delts.
Resistance band push up
This version of a push up will recruit the stabiliser muscles as well as the major chest and shoulder muscles typically used in a push up. Create a horizonal resistance band “bar” by looping a thick/heavy band across the rig or around the spotter arms of a squat rack. Perform push ups on the band (the lower the band, the harder this will be).
Banded face pulls
This classic resistance band exercise is easy to set up and great to do as a superset for rear delt machine or dumbbell work. By keeping the tension on the rear delts you can really play with tempo.
Attach the band to the rig and step into it, looping it around the back of your knees. Squat back and down, facing the attachment point of the band. This is a great squat variation that allows you to work on functional patterns and knee drive.
Banded hamstring curl
Anchor the band around a solid point, lie on your front (away from the anchor point) and secure one heel/foot into the band. Brace your core and press your hips into the group as you perform a curl with the banded leg. Work on tempo (and don’t forget to swap sides).
Resistance band thrusters
All the benefits of thrusters without a barbell. Step onto the band with both feet and hold the other end with both hands. Perform a thruster (squat into overhead press).
Great as a warm up, accessory, or superset for pull day. Attach the band to a sturdy anchor point and pull it towards your torso. Change the height of the band and the angle of your body to target different muscles.
These are never going to be as heavy as barbell deadlifts, but they’re a great way to work RDLs into your session.
Best resistance band core exercises
Banded Russian twists
Sit with the band around your feet and hold the other end of the band in both hands towards your chest.
Put the band across your upper back and hold the ends in each hand, creating extra tension as you hold a plank.
Mobility and warm up exercises with resistance bands
Band pull aparts
Hold a resistance band in a wide grip and raise it to chest height. Pull your arms out to the side, reducing the length of the band as your shoulders warm up.
Put a band around your legs just above your knees. Lie on your side and open/close your knees whilst keeping your feet together and hips steady.
With a band around your legs just above or below your knees, walk sideways in a semi-squat stance. Take small steps and think about keeping your foot under your knee rather than leading with your foot.
Banded pull downs
Attach a band to the rig or a pull up bar and hold the other end in both hands. Pull your hands down to your hips, keeping your arms straight, to warm up your lats.
Banded shoulder rotations
Look after your rotator cuff by using a band before training. Attach it to an anchor point just lower than your shoulder. Pull the band back so your elbow is in line with your shoulder, then rotate at the shoulder to move your hand back and forward.
Banded glute activation
Loop the band around the rig at ankle height and step into it, facing the rig (you might want to hold on to the rig for stability). Slowly kick/press your foot behind you with a slight bend in the knee. This is a small movement to get into the glutes.
Where to buy best resistance bands online
Hopefully we’ve convinced you to stop ignoring resistance bands – they have so much to offer whether you’re a beginner, advanced or a pro athlete. And the great thing about them is they are pretty cheap and basically never wear out. Resistance bands are so cost-effective.
We stock a range of resistance bands strengths and thicknesses, all with the Gravity Fitness quality you’ve come to expect. Check out our range of great resistance bands for the gym or for home workouts here.
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