It’s no secret that I love resistance bands. I began toting a few around in my gym bag years ago when I went to commercial gyms. They are a good investment and far more reliable than what you may find hanging around your gym’s weight room.
Since building my home gym I am always thinking of new ways to add resistance bands to my workout routine. They can substitute for cable exercises, add some extra pump to your glutes routine, and help with your warm-up, mobility, and stretching exercises.
It’s easy to think of resistance bands are beginner or remedial exercise tools. Many view them as what you use in physical therapy to recovery from an injury. However, adding them to your routine may be the ticket to improve your overall strength because they allow you to tap into muscles in a whole different way.
If you aren’t quite sold on using resistance bands, here are 5 convincing reasons to love them.
1. Get primed during your warm-up. Adding band exercises into your warm-up routine after your mobility work can help prepare your body for the heavy lifting that’s about to ensue. I recommend choose a few exercises that direction relate to your workout routine for that day.
Here are is a favorite warm-up exercise for the shoulders:
2. Get an extra good stretch. Bands are the perfect substitute when you don’t have a workout partner to help you get into deep stretches after your workout. Wrap bands around your limbs when you stretch for an extra good pull.
This band hamstring stretch is the bee’s knees for post leg training:
3. Take them on the road. It’s easy to give up on strength training when you travel as not all hotel gyms offer nice equipment. Plus when you’re busy having fun, you may not want to suit up to head down to the gym. Pack some bands in your suitcase for a quick 10—minute routine in your hotel room next time you travel.
One of my favorite quickie band workouts for travel days:
4. For those missed gym days. Life is busy and you may not always be able to stick to your gym schedule. Keep a set of bands at home for rainy or busy days when heading out to your local box just isn’t in your stars. Check out this article I wrote for Greatist with 33 Resistance Bands Exercise.
5. Tap into dormant muscles. We often hear about the mind-muscle connection and resistance band training is a great way to connect with muscles you don’t think about too often. Because you are able to do higher volume with resistance bands, you can really get a good pump in a single quick workout.
This bridge with overhead reach exercise that challenges the core and glutes all at once:
If you're thinking about adding resistance bands to your home exercise equipment collection, I recommend starting with a 41" loop band, a set of bands with handles, and a set of mini bands. This will cover most aspects of training that you can do at home. If you don't have somewhere to fix a band for overhead work, you can also grab a door anchor.