Join the Resistance
May 09, 2018 09:00AM ● Published by Brian Saucedo
When you’re on the road, a good workout can be hard to squeeze in. While bodyweight exercises, such as the pushup and the squat, certainly work wonders, sometimes you want to add a little bit of resistance to your moves. Enter the resistance band, one of the most versatile, portable pieces of workout gear that you’ll ever encounter. These thin, flexible pieces of rubber can be tossed in a carry-on or suitcase for travel, tucked under a couch for simple storage, and used practically anywhere for a strength-training session.
Picking the Right Band
Resistance bands are oh-so-simple to use, but choosing the right band—or set of bands—takes a bit of thought. They come in a variety of levels of resistance, but the bands are typically color-coded according to the amount of tension they hold. As a beginner, start with the light- or medium-tension resistance band. When your strength increases or you want a bit of variety, you can go to heavy and very heavy resistance.
5 Resistance Band Exercises1. Side Plank Leg Lifts
Lie on your side with your elbow under supporting your upper body. Secure the band around your knees and push your hip ups so your body makes a straight, diagonal line from shoulders to toes. Lift the top leg until you feel the resistance in both the band and your thigh and glute muscles.
2. Chest Fly
While standing, get into a similar position with the resistance band around your back and the ends in either hand. Each hand should be on the same level as your shoulders, about 1 foot out. Push your hands forward, feeling the burn in your upper back muscles.
3. Glute Kickback
Get on your hands and knees with the band secure around the middle of your feet. Lift one leg and straighten it until it makes one long line from head to toe—or as far as the resistance band will allow. You should feel the movement in your glute muscles.
4. Resistance Squats
Step on the middle of your resistance band and hold either end in each hand. Bend your elbows and bring your hands up to your chest so the resistance band is tense. Squat down like you’re sitting in a chair, pushing your glutes back. There should be constant tension on the band, from start to finish. Straighten back up, using your glutes to push you up.
5. Resistance Push-Ups
Get into a plank position and secure the resistance band under your flat hands with the band around your bank. Make sure the band is flat, so it doesn’t roll up and down your back and neck as you do standard push-ups.