Why choose resistance bands?
When it comes to working out, it can be difficult to know which equipment to buy to make your exercises more challenging – do you go for dumbbells, ankle weights, a weight ball, maybe even a pull-up bar? I say ditch all these and opt for resistance bands!
Resistance bands are a great all-round piece of equipment – they are usually cheap, easy to find and can be incorporated into a range of different exercises to tone a variety of muscles. You can often buy multipacks with a mixture of resistance bands with different tensions.
But what do you do with them once you’ve bought them?
The tricep extension uses a resistance band to tone the muscles in the backs of your arms – your triceps. It can also help to strengthen the muscles in the back.
Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Take the elastic in both hands. Hold one arm behind your lower back and the other up and over your head so that the band runs up the back of your spine. Straighten your top arm, tightening the band. Relax.
Do this 12 times and then swap arms.
Donkey kicks are famously used to tone the glutes, but they can also work the legs, back and core. They can be done without a resistance band, but the band helps to make this exercise a little more effective.
Hook the elasticated band over your heel and secure the two ends under your hands. On all fours, straighten your leg upwards and backwards, stretching the elasticated band. Keep your back straight and avoid tilting your pelvis.
After 12 repetitions, swap the band to the other foot and repeat.
Seated Russian Twist
When done properly, the seated Russian twist helps to tone the oblique muscles – the muscles that run down your sides. Avoid over-twisting or doing the exercise too fast, as this can damage your back.
Sit up straight on your mat with your legs stretched out in front of you. Put the rubber band around your feet, cross them over and hold onto the ends. Twist your upper body, stretching the elastic. Then twist the opposite way. Keep your chest up and your back straight.
Standing Leg Raise
The standing leg raise helps to tone the muscles on the outside of your leg, also known as the abductor muscles.
Tie the resistance band around your legs just above the ankles. Stand upright with your feet hip width apart. Shift your bodyweight onto one leg, making sure your knee is soft and not locked. Raise the other leg out to the side, keeping your toes pointed forwards. Repeat 12 times and then swap legs.
After your workout
Since resistance bands help to tone and strengthen your muscles, you may notice some stiffness and soreness in your muscles the day after your workout. To help ease this, apply some arnica gel to the affected area. Our own arnica gel, Atrogel, is made from freshly harvested, organic Arnica Montana flowers, and is indicated for the relief of muscle and joint pain.
Read more about easing muscle pain after your workout here.