Resistance bands are one of the most popular and portable workout tools for firming and toning the entire body. Free weights and kettlebells are effective, but they are also bulky and not the most convenient when you’re in a time crunch. Using resistance bands allows you to modify resistance according to your personal preference and strength level. Don’t be fooled by the lightweight and flexible look of these bands, they are incredibly durable, and are made to withstand an intense toning routine. Consider resistance bands as an essential piece of workout equipment that you can use at home, at the gym, or on the go! Getting a full body workout with resistance bands is easy and super effective. Here are the top 10 exercises that can be performed using resistance bands, for a full body toning and tightening routine:
1. Upright Row
This move is done standing up on the band, hip width apart, and with knees slightly bent. You will hold the ends of the band on each side, and pull your elbows up towards the sky. Then hold the tension for a 60 seconds before gently releasing. This is great for your arms and chest.
2. Pull Downs
Here you will hold the band over your head stretching tightly, before pulling it down (arms stiff) straight out in front of your chest. You’ll hold it there for a quick pause, and then go back to the starting position for the next rep. It’s important to squeeze your outer back muscles (laterals) and keep your shoulders down while performing this move. This move targets the arms, chest and back.
3. Push Up
For this move, you will assume push-up position, while keeping the band across your upper back, and each of your palms holding one side of the band flat on your mat. Push up into the tension of the band, for a more intense push-up that works the chest, arms, and core muscles.
4. Seated Row
For the seated row, you will sit on a mat, with your back straight and legs out in front of you. You will hold each side of the resistance band, and place the band in the center of your feet. Keeping your arms tight to your side, you will pull your elbows back behind you, and hold for a few seconds before you release and repeat. The seated row works the arms, back, and chest muscles.
To perform a lunge with resistance bands, you will keep the band centered under the leading foot out in front of you, while you assume lunge position. The upper part of the band will be placed across your upper back and stabilized at your sides with each hand. You will lunge and lift up slowly into the tension of the band. Hold it in that position for a moment before performing additional reps. These are super effective for the legs and glutes.
6. Standing Press
For the standing press, you will stand on the bands, hip width apart. Holding each side of the bands next to your shoulders, you will press straight up over your head. Hold for a few seconds, before you release and repeat the move. The standing press is fantastic for the shoulders, upper arms, and back.
7. Vertical Extension
Vertical extensions using resistance bands, involve standing on the band hip width apart, and holding the band behind you, just above the shoulders. Then you will bend your elbows and press up towards the sky, keeping a gentle bend in the elbows. This activates the back of arm and forearm muscles.
8. Upper Back Toners
For this move that firms and tightens the upper back, you will hold the band with both hands out in front of your chest. Keeping the band tight, you will stretch the band in equal sections apart, by pulling your hands out to your side. Pause for a minute in this position, gently release and repeat. This move is fantastic for the upper back, as well as the chest, and arms.
9. Side Bends
Side bends are essential for losing those muffin tops and love handles! Hold the band overhead, with your feet positioned hip-width apart. You will begin by stretching your hip outwards to your side, until you feel a noticeable stretch in your oblique muscles. Visualize holding your belly button in towards your spine, while activating small pulses on each side. This works the inner and outer ab muscles.
10. Side Squats
The side squat is performed by wrapping the resistance band around your ankles, while keeping feet hip width apart to start. You will then step out to the side with one foot, feeling the tension in the band, and perform a deep squat. After a quick pause, gently move the squat over to the opposite leg and repeat. This move is a saddlebag scorcher!
These kick-ass moves will prove that resistance bands are just as effective, if not more so, than free weights, kettlebells, or gym machines. They target multiple muscle groups with adjustable resistance, to get your body toned and firm in very little time. Increasing your muscle mass using resistance bands also helps to boost your metabolism for all-day fat burning. Resistance bands have countless benefits, so you can say bye to flab, and enjoy a more toned and sculpted body fast!