Resistance bands are a great addition to your home gym. These elastic bands used for strength training are proof that you don’t need to make a heavy investment to get in shape! Resistance bands take up no storage space and are highly versatile in working multiple muscle groups. Plus, they are easy to use! They’re also incredibly portable and beginner friendly. You can use them in virtually any room in your home or even outside.
With all of these great benefits, it’s no wonder that we’re seeing so much interest in resistance band exercises.
If you’re looking for an easy way to add strength training to your routine, then you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up five easy resistance band exercises that will help you to get lean and toned.
1. Seated Back Row with Resistance Band
A seated row exercise is a form of strength training for the back and upper arms. It’s a lot like having a rowing machine but without needing the equipment.
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), you can perform this exercise in a chair or on the floor. Sit down with your legs straight out in front of you. The resistance band should go under both feet. With your elbows in and close to your body, pull the arms back towards your hips. Go back to start position and repeat the move.1
2. Lat Pull Down (Without a Machine)
Here’s an easy way to work your lateral muscles without a machine. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and grip each side of your resistance band. Hold your arms straight up, then pull one arm down with the elbow bent and to the side (keeping the other arm straight). Raise the bent arm back up to straight position and pull the alternate arm down. Repeat based on your planned number of reps.2
3. Lunges with Resistance Bands
Resistance bands can be part of a leg workout, too. In fact, you can really increase the impact of your stationary lunges by adding resistance band to this leg-toning workout.
According to ACE, you can start with one leg forward and one back in a split stance. Put the resistance band under the front foot. Holding a side of the band in each hand, bring your hands to shoulder height, lower into a lunge, and press back up to the start. Do all reps on the same leg before you move to the other one. By working the arms and the legs together, this move is now doing double duty.1
4. High-Low Partner See-Saw
Resistance bands can also be a great tool for working out with a friend or significant other. (On the Nutrisystem Partner Plan? This one is for you!) In this exercise, you should stand facing your partner, each holding one end of the band in both of their hands.
According to ACE, one partner should get into a squat position and bring their arms toward the ground while the other partner stands with arms raised over their head. You should both keep the band pulled tight, then switch positions at the same time so that one is always pushing down while the other is pulling up. This is another effective way to work both the arms and the legs in a single workout move.3
5. Crunching or Planking with Resistance Bands
Alt text: a woman using resistance bands as she does crunches
Finally, you might also consider adding resistance bands to one or more of your core workouts. For instance, you can loop resistance bands around your feet for an intensified bicycle crunch. As you move your legs in that “pedaling” motion, you’ll add strength training for your leg muscles.4
You can also add resistance to your plank workouts. Of course, planks aren’t easy to begin with, so adding resistance training on top of it is more of an intermediate to advanced move as opposed to a beginner one. One way to add resistance is to loop a band around your ankles and jump feet out and back in. Or, you could loop a resistance band around the ankles and slowly raise one leg at a time to work your gluteus maximus muscles.5
As with any exercise, just be sure that you’re easing in. Since there are different levels of resistance, you might want to start with “light,” if you’re truly brand new. Buying a set will allow you to work your way up or vary the intensity of your different exercises. Soon, you’ll be on your way to being even stronger.
*Always speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine.