Resistance Band Workout

By: Samantha Bland MS, ACSM-CPT 

Do you travel or have a hard time getting away from your desk each day? Try using resistance bands to improve your fitness and stay active with your busy schedule. Resistance bands add increased tension during strength training exercises, are super portable and can be used anywhere, and are great for rehabbing injuries as they add less pressure on your joints than weights. You can add resistance by choosing a different color band or by adding two feet into the band or widening your stance. The possibilities for exercises are endless. See below for a few ideas.

Some brands of resistance bands may differ, but typically most of them follow the same color scheme of lowest resistance to highest resistance: Yellow < Green < Red < Blue < Black. Make sure to check which kind yours are!

Complete each exercise for 8-12 reps and repeat 2-3 times.

  1. Lateral Raises: Step one or two feet on the center of the band. Keeping your arms straight and your palms facing down, raise the bands out to the side until they reach parallel to the ground.

  2. Front Raises: Step one or two feet on the center of the band. Keeping your arms straight and your palms facing down, raise the bands until they reach parallel to the ground.

  3. Upright Row: Step both feet right on the center of the band. Keeping your palms facing in towards your body, raise your arms bending at the elbows to reach just in front of your chest.

  4. Bicep Curls: Step one or two feet under the center of the band. With your palms facing away from you, bend at the elbows, reaching your hands up to your shoulders.

  5. Tricep Extension: Keeping the band behind your back, grasp one handle with one arm. Stepping on the opposite side of the band, hinge at your elbow and extend your arm overhead.

  6. Lawn Mower: Similar to the upright row, step on one side of the resistance band. Using the opposite arm, bending at the elbow, draw your arm across your body.

  7. Squats: Stepping on the band with both feet, keep your feet around shoulder width apart. Grasping the handles with your hands, keep them right next to your shoulders. Perform a normal squat, sitting back into your heels and squeezing the glutes at the top.

  8. Hip Abduction: Looping the band around one ankle, step on the center of the band with the opposite foot. Keeping the leg in the looped side of the band, draw it out horizontally away from your body. Do the same on the other side!

  9. Donkey Kicks: Similarly to the hip abductions, loop the band around one ankle. Stepping on the center of the band with the opposite foot, keep the leg straight as you kick it back behind you.