Low-Impact Fat-Burning Routines With Resistance Bands

by Todd Maternowski, Demand Media
    Using resistance bands are an effective, low-impact way to lose weight.

    Using resistance bands are an effective, low-impact way to lose weight.

    The formula for burning fat isn't a secret: Burn more calories than you take in, and you will gradually lose weight. A healthy, low-calorie diet with smaller portions is part of that equation, while regular exercise will burn some of the calories you take in. A regular routine of low-impact exercises using a resistance band can help you burn calories and lose weight as a result.

    Burning Fat

    When you exercise, your body can burn fat to produce the energy it needs. Adding resistance in the form of weights or resistance bands will force you to burn more calories as more muscle fibers are utilized for contraction. Also, by using resistance bands to build up muscle mass, your body burns additional calories even at rest; a pound of muscle burns several times more calories than a pound of fat.
    Though low-impact exercises require less energy than high-impact ones, their advantage is that you can perform more repetitions and work out for a much longer time period, resulting in a larger cumulative amount of calories burned.

    Lower Body Exercises

    The best low-impact exercises for burning fat will target your larger muscle groups such as your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Focusing on these muscle groups will force your body to burn more calories. Some examples of effective fat-burning resistance band exercises for your lower body include squats, leg lifts, leg extensions and hamstring curls. One full-body compound exercise that works several major muscle groups simultaneously is the lunge.
    Begin by standing upright with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Step back with your left leg about two feet behind you and stand on the ball of your left foot. Wrap the resistance band under your front right foot and hold the two ends in your hands. Keep your back straight, your head facing forward and your elbows tucked in close to your body for the duration of the exercise. Lower yourself by bending at your right hip and knee, until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Also bend your left knee to get lower, but make sure your left knee does not come in contact with the ground. Once you have lowered yourself, hold the position briefly before pushing up with your legs. As you rise, the bands will stretch against your arms, creating extra resistance. Return to your starting position and then do an equal number of reps with your left leg in front and your right leg in back.

    Upper Body Exercises

    Resistance bands are excellent for working out your arms, shoulders and lats. Unlike dumbbells or barbells, bands provide a steady resistance with no dead spots, and you can increase the resistance by stretching the bands further. Try bent over rows, alternate lying chest presses, shoulder presses, kneeling crunches, triceps extensions and biceps curls. Upper body exercises that use the steady resistance of the bands to work your latissimus dorsi include lateral rows.
    Begin by standing on the band with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Grab one end of the band in each hand, with your arms hanging at your sides and your palms facing in. Keep your elbows slightly bent for the duration of the exercise. Lift both your arms to shoulder height, pulling the ends of the bands up. Hold this position briefly and then return your arms to their starting position and repeat.

    Workout Routine

    Combine resistance band muscle-building exercises with regular cardio work for best results, spending a minimum of two to three days a week working out. Start off by doing just one or two sets of 8 to 10 repetitions for each exercise and then gradually work your way up to 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 20 repetitions. By staying disciplined in your workout routine and watching your diet, you should start to see results within a few weeks.

    About the Author

    Todd Maternowski began writing in 1996 as one of the co-founders of "The Chicago Criterion." He joined the local online news revolutionaries at Pegasus News in 2006, where he continues to work to this day. He studied religion at the University of Chicago.

    Photo Credits

    • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images