If you spend any time scrolling on Instagram or Tik Tok, chances are you’ve been exposed to some kind of resistance band workouts. You hear the fitness influencers swear by their powers, giving you that unforgettable sting, helping you target all those little muscles you never knew you had. But maybe you’re not quite convinced. How could one skimpy band of elastic really kick your butt in the same way as your usual weighted routine at the gym?
While I encourage you to challenge what you see and believe from the internet, I’m here to share 3 reasons why you should be adding resistance into your fitness regimen. Whether you’re sticking to the home workouts, virtually training, or easing your way back into the gym – Resistance bands will become an asset to your performance, increase your workout intensity, and prevent injury so that you can look and feel your most vibrant self!
Movement Preparation & Activation:
In order to reap maximum benefit from a workout, a warm-up or movement preparation routine is non-negotiable. Properly warming up your body temperature, softening your muscle fascia, and pumping up your circulation set you up for an epic workout and prevents your body from injury. You can use any level resistance band to ease this process by practicing unloaded (or unweighted) versions of the movements you plan to perform in your workout. The resistance creates just enough challenge to wake your muscles up, refine your mind-body focus, and elevate your heart rate to prepare you to train.
- Try looping a low level resistance band between your hands, Gently pull in and out to prep for horizontal rows; pull overhead and down to prep for vertical pull-ups.
- Slide a higher level resistance band above both knees. Sit back in a hinge and march in place, working on keeping your hips from shifting from side to side. This is an excellent prep before squats, deadlifts, and lunges.
Strengthen & Tone:
When you’re traveling or without your usual selection of weighted equipment, resistance bands provide an alternative way to intensify a variety of exercises for the upper body, lower body, and core. When placed above or below major joints such as the ankles, hips, and wrists, your body has the opportunity to get full muscle fiber recruitment. This helps you contract your muscles more completely, enhancing strength for both the muscles and bones.
Resistance bands can be useful for toning as they help target specific muscle groups. Unlike traditional static weights, when you use resistance bands you can play with dynamic variations of movement patterns while increasingly adding challenge.
- Try super-setting a loaded deadlift with a mini band hinge. The added resistance helps you kick up your glute engagement and strengthen your deadlift technique.
- Slip a low resistance level mini band around your wrists, get into plank position on the floor, and travel laterally taking small steps out to the side. Shoulder will be burning in no time!
Ain’t nobody got time for pain and discomfort! As humans, it’s totally normal to have a more dominant or stronger side on the upper body, lower body, or both. While it isn’t realistic to be perfectly balanced, it’s certainly worth the effort of working towards symmetry. Resistance bands give your body feedback to help you correct your natural movement tendencies to favor one side. When used consistently as part of a structured routine, using mini bands help strengthen your body more evenly across both sides. That means you’ll be less likely to overcompensate on one side, which can lead to complications such as low back pain, unstable ankles, and shoulder impingement.
- Slide a band above both knees and practice split squats on both sides before training loaded lunges. This will fire up both glutes to perform at their ultimate capacity.
- If you struggle to keep your knees moving out during squats, use a mini band around the knees to remind yourself to push outward and fight the pull of the band.