How Effective Are Resistance Band Workouts
Exercise resistance bands have become a mainstay of workout regimens for both muscled-up gym veterans and fitness training newcomers. The reason? They're easy to use, extremely versatile and powerfully effective.
"No matter what your fitness level, resistance bands are a great piece of equipment to use," says exercise physiologist Christopher Travers, MS.
But don't let the simplicity of resistance bands fool you. There's a correct way to use the bands in order to gain their muscle-building benefit. Let's walk through some tips and exercises with Travers.
What is resistance band training?
Do resistance bands build muscle?
- Adaptability. You can vary workouts on the fly by changing movements to challenge your muscles in different ways, says Travers. And exercise bands allow you to increase or decrease resistance simply by shortening or lengthening the band.
- Portability. Resistance bands can easily fit in a travel carry bag to let you work out wherever you may roam. As for traditional weights … well, you're not getting that past a TSA checkpoint.
- Cost. A decent set of resistance bands costs about $25, far less than other strength-training equipment.
Are resistance bands good for weight loss?
How to start using resistance bands
Focus on technique
5 simple resistance band exercises
- Chest press. Wrap the resistance band behind your back, holding both ends with your hands. Starting with your arms at your side and elbows bent, push the band out in front of you as you straighten your elbows, and hold for one second.
- Squats. Stand on the resistance band and grab both ends with your hands. While standing in a squatted position and holding the band, extend your knees up to a standing position. Lower back down and repeat.
- Biceps curl. While standing, step on the resistance band. With your arms at your side holding the band, draw up your hand by bending at the elbow and hold for one second. Keep your palms facing upward the entire time.
- Elastic band rows. Attach the resistance band securely to a door. Holding the band with both hands, draw back the band as you bend your elbows. Keep your elbows near the side of your body.
- Clamshells. Lie on your side, one leg on top of the other with your knees slightly bent. Loop a resistance band around both thighs. Keeping your feet together, lift your top knee. (The motion should look like a clamshell opening.) Switch sides after each set.