Resistance bands, durable rubber bands with handles that come in a variety of strengths, make strength training simple. The convenience of being able to roll them up and stuff them in your bag makes them perfect for traveling or home gyms. The key to getting toned with a resistance band is to think of it simply as a substitute for dumbbell training. It is also key to pick a resistance level that is appropriate for you. A band that has too little resistance will not give you the work you'll need to tone your muscles; a band that's too heavy can cause injury due to improper form.
Lunge With Biceps Curl
Place the center of the resistance band under your left foot, holding the handles in each of your hands. Step your right foot back about 2 feet.
Bend your knees and lower your back knee to just above the floor. At the same time, curl the resistance band toward your shoulders, performing a biceps curl.
Bring your arms back to the starting position and stand up to come out of the lunge. Perform 20 repetitions, then repeat on the other leg.
Squat With Overhead Press
Stand in the middle of the resistance band with feet about shoulder-width apart. Hold the handles at shoulder height, with your palms facing outward your and elbows bent.
Push your hips back as you squat down. Next, press the resistance band overhead, straightening your arms.
Once your legs are parallel to the ground, stand up and bring your hands back to shoulder height. Perform 20 repetitions.
Get into the plank position with the resistance band wrapped around your upper back and the handles under your hands.
Get onto your toes in plank position if you are strong enough. If not, remain on your knees.
With hands directly under your shoulders, slowly lower yourself down. Once you are close enough to the floor, push yourself back up. Whether you are on your toes or your knees, keep your back straight and flat throughout the exercise. Perform 10 repetitions.
- Do not rush through the movements. The contraction will be felt more with resistance bands if you perform the exercises with slow and controlled movements.
- Although you may not be using a weighted piece of equipment to do exercises, proper form is still important to avoid injury and get the most out of your workout.
Kaitlin Condon is a holistic health coach and certified physical fitness/wellness specialist. She is a contributing health writer for the teen magazine "Miabella," as well as several online publications.