In all my years playing various sports, doing Crossfit, and working out in the gym, I had never touched a resistance band. It wasn’t until I went to a pelvic floor physical therapist for my diastasis recti, an abdominal separation that leaves you with the obnoxiously coined “mommy tummy,” that I was acquainted with this awesome tool. Now, I literally use them every day. Every. Single. Day.
Every person, old or young, male or female, can benefit from this inexpensive piece of gym equipment. Resistance bands can be used to increase strength, for rehabilitation exercise, for mobility improvement, for core building, and even to help improve form and stabilizer muscles to aid in heavier weight lifting.
So let me get down to it. Here are my top 5 reasons why resistance bands are the best piece of equipment.
Resistance bands are so stinking affordable. You can’t afford NOT to own a set, really. Here are my two favorites.
You can take them literally anywhere. Bring them to the park to workout with the kids. Perfect for a hotel room workout or workout on the beach. Anywhere! The take up virtually no room, but provide an epic workout. Perfect piece of equipment for moms looking to squeeze in a quick home workout or a workout your kids’ sporting practice.
3) Increase or decrease intensity.
The bands come in a variety of resistances. You choose the amount of resistance based on the thickness of the band. You can even change the resistance based on where you place the bands. For example, if you place the band above your knees on side-to-side hop, it is easier than placing it at your ankles. And, you can adjust intensity based on where you hold the band. On the band pull-apart, for example…closer grip=more resistance. Wider grip=less resistance.
You can add resistance bands to your free weights to increase the intensity of the exercise. Hello hip thrusters! Conversely, you can use a resistance band alone to provide a lighter variation of your exercise. For example, how about following up those hip thrusters with banded glute bridges with hip abductions.
See the variety? There are so many options.
4) Versitility for real life.
Perhaps what I love most about resistance bands is their ability to mimic real life, functional movements. The training options are endless–from glute strengthening moves like this and this, to core exercise like this and this.
5) Works entire body system, challenging stabilizing muscles.
Because resistance bands hold tension throughout the entire movement of an exercise, more stabilization and balance is required. Both the concentric (the contracting part of an exercise) and eccentric part (the negative part of an exercise) of the exercise has resistance, resulting in better range of motion and more complete muscle stimulation. For this reason, resistance bands are ideal for targeting the transverse abdominis, your inner most abs, and teaching strength and stability throughout all movements.
Here are a few resistance band exercises for you to enjoy.