How do I use Resistance Bands?
HOW TO USE RESISTANCE BANDS
Not only are they great for a variety of parts in the body, but they can be used in many parts of the training process - you can use them to warm up or for activation, during a session to add resistance, or even after as stretch bands! Yep that’s right, they can help you all the way from beginning to the end of your workout + they integrate seamlessly into any session!
You might find some people like to refer to these as booty bands, cotton bands, fabric bands or stretch bands - they’re all the same, these terms just reference the different uses you can put resistance bands to!
So, how do you actually use resistance bands?
Here are our top ways to use resistance bands for warm up, working out and a cool down /stretch. You’ll want to save these for later.
PS if you love some of these exercises, you should check out our Instagram where we post weekly workouts, and often run Instagram Lives where you can BYO resistance bands and train with us live! These are always saved to IGTV for later so you can do your home workout whenever you like.
WARM UP/ACTIVATION WITH RESISTANCE BANDS
One of our favourite ways to warm up with resistance bands is to put the band just above our knees and warm up our lower body. We find our fabric resistance bands are super effective for leg sessions as the variety of resistance offered in our 5 pack (from extra light to extra heavy) means you have the right resistance for warm up, and then you can intensify and go heavier for the session.
Here are our three favourite warm up movements with our resistance bands ⬇️
OUR FAVOURITE WARM UP / ACTIVATION EXERCISES
- Start with some body weight squats (8-10 reps).
- Once you’re warm, place the resistance band above your knees and take feet shoulder width apart or wider - we recommend a medium fabric resistance band for warm up.
- Aim for 3 rounds of 8-10 banded squats.
- You can elevate the heels if you would like to get more into the quads.
- Place the resistance band above the knees.
- Start in a standing position.
- Raise one leg up and out to the side of your body and slowly lower it back in.
- You want to focus on really controlling the movement so that the resistance band isn’t quickly pulling the leg back down, rather a very controlled movement, working through the resistance.
- Aim for 3 rounds of 8-10 raises on each leg.
- Note you will only be able to lift your leg as high as the band allows you (this will depend on the strength of your resistance band). You can also do this lying down if you feel more comfortable.
- TIP: Stay strong through the core.
- Place the resistance band above the knees, or around the ankles if you’d like to get more into the glutes.
- Start in a squat position and slowly march the feet sideways so that you are moving sideways.
- KEY: We want to keep our feet at a constant distance apart so that there is consistent tension from the resistance band.
- Try not to walk the feet too close together so that the band loses tension.
- Want a live demo? Check out our video here for a high effective resistance band warm up for lower body (save me for your next banded leg day)!
WORK OUT ANYWHERE WITH RESISTANCE BANDS
There’s no surprise the best way to use resistance bands (well our favourite anyway) is in a workout. Since you can use resistance bands for your full body, we’ve shared our favourite exercise with a resistance band for each bod part and linked the full workout if you want to check out more!
RESISTANCE BAND EXERCISES (FULL BODY)
1. Upper Body - Shoulder Press
- Start by holding the resistance band in both hands, directly under your chin.
- Begin alternating one hand straight up in the sky at a time, while the other one remains under your chin. If you want to increase this intensity, the hand under your chin can pull down at the same time your other hand is pressing up, to create more tension.
- Click here for a video demo and to see a full upper body workout with resistance bands - we’ve included Beginner and Advanced options in this session + the incorporation of some wrist weights to really up the intensity.
- Start by looping the resistance bands above your knees.. Lay on your back and bring the legs into a tabletop position. Begin alternating the legs straight out in front, with alternating elbow crunching to the knee.
- This is a standard ab bike, just with the band around your knees - TRUST US, this is such a good burn, you’ll be coming back for round two!
- Click here for a video with more ideas on how to incorporate resistance bands in your next ab workout or core workout!
- If you’ve done pilates, you will know this dynamic combo!
- Place the resistance band around your ankles and stand with feet staggered as though you were doing a lunge (you will need a lighter resistance band for this move).
- Begin by tipping the body forward and squeeze glutes to come back up to starting position. Your feet do not move, this is purely an upper body-fold type of movement.
- Then for the scooter stay in starting position and bring the back foot forward to tap the front, and go backwards again.
- You can find the full combo here plus more ideas on how to use your resistance band for your next lower body burner.
COOL DOWN OR STRETCH WITH RESISTANCE BANDS (STRETCH BANDS)
Can’t touch your toes in a hamstring stretch? Find it hard to get your foot to your glute in a quad stretch?
Introducing your resistance bands into your stretching routine is a great way to slowly build that flexibility and get deeper in your stretch if you’ve struggling to push past a certain point. Visit our IGTV for workout videos that have stretch/cool downs at the end of every video.
WHERE TO GET THE BEST RESISTANCE BANDS?
Before buying your resistance bands, have a think about how you will use them - if you love the variety of warm up, in session and cool down, then we would absolutely recommend buying a bundle pack that offers a range of resistances.
The ES FIT 5 Pack Resistance Bands is the perfect bundle and Australia’s favourite fabric resistance bands - with 5 resistance bands, you have one for every activity, from warm up to cool down.
These are also available to purchase as singles if you need just one band to top up your gym set. If you’re wondering whether rubber or fabric resistance bands are better suited for your need, read our thoughts here: Are Rubber of Fabric Resistance Bands better to use?
Shop Australia’s best and favourite resistance bands now at ES FIT.