Most fitness enthusiasts are used to using barbells, dumbbells, and objects to help build strength, but how many times have you used a resistance band to workout and not warm up? Truthfully, resistance bands are easy to travel with and can be added any bodyweight movement to add a challenge, even if you are already proficient! They also come in a variety of sizes and strengths to best meet your needs. There are a number of different ways to incorporate resistance band work into your training, whether at the box as accessory work or on the road as a travel workout. Here are a few movements that can be done banded with no other equipment needed:
^^ Change it up & use a band, or a pup, to get your pump on!
- Squats. Loop yourself through the band, standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Then, squat as normal but be sure to drive out of the bottom hard and fully extend at the top. You can also try an overhead squat by pressing your hands overhead and locking your elbows out at the top with a wide grip. Stand on the band with feet slightly wider than shoulder width and squat with control. Keep tension in your shoulders and arms as you drive out of the bottom of the squat!
- Push-ups. Get in a plank position, place the band across your upper back. Loop the ends of the band through each hand and place your hands on the ground with body facedown. Squeeze your glutes and abs, and push straight up until your arms are fully extended. You can make this more advanced by trying a banded strict handstand push up on the wall. You will need a partner to help you get the band wrapped across the top of your feet after kicking up to the wall!
- Rows. The bent over row can be performed by bending slightly at the knees and hinging at the hips. Grab each side of the band with hands facing the outside of your knees. With elbows bent, pull the band up toward your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together and slightly tapping your chest. An upright row can be performed by standing tall with feet positioned over the center of the band. Crisscross the band, grip each “corner” with palms facing down just in front of your thighs. Pull the band straight up the front of your body to shoulder-level while making sure to keep your elbows high and knuckles down!
- Bicep curls & tricep extensions. Bands are perfect for accessory movements! For the bicep curl, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart on top of the band and grab the other side with your palms facing up. Keep your elbows in tight to your sides and pull your palms up towards your shoulders. For the tricep extension, stand on the band and press your arms overhead. Bend your elbows so that your hands are positioned behind your head. With your palms up toward the ceiling, press your arms straight up until they fully extend. Go from bent elbows with hands behind head to arms extended overhead to complete each rep!