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resistance bands exercises

Updated on December 21, 2014

Should I use resistance bands exercises?

Resistance bands exercises are an excellent way to build muscular strength and joint stability. However, to get the most out of your resistance bands exercises there are some simple but important things you must know. Once you understand these overarching principles you will be able to achieve great results from resistance bands exercises.

Benefits of exercise bands exercises

There are a number of benefits of resistance band exercises. First of all, is the convenience. Resistance bands can be easily packed up and stored (or taken with you), they are very cheap in comparison to expensive gym equipment, and the exercises you can do and muscle groups you can target are only limited by your imagination. Using resistance bands exercises, it is easy to adjust the resistance level, range of motion and speed of movement. They can be great for focusing on joint stability and rehabilitation (particularly for the shoulder). Additionally, resistance bands are not limited by gravity, this means you can have many options for how to target each specific muscle group.

Selecting bands with the right resistance for your exercise

First, the level of resistance bands you select for each exercise is critical. Many brands of resistance band manufacturers use a color coded system where black is the heaviest resistance, followed by blue, green, red and yellow (or even white). While the level of resistance in the bands you select is important, it is only half the story. The length of resistance band that is being used to apply the resistance is equally as important. It is easier to complete an exercise with a longer length of resistance band, then with a shorter length.

Remember, you will most likely need different levels of resistance depending on the exercise that you are undertaking. This does not mean you will always need to have each color (resistance level) band, as you will be able to adjust the length of the band being stretched (by adjusting your grip).

Bulk up versus toned

Do you do resistance training to bulk up and get huge muscles, or are you going for the toned lean look?

See results

The overload principle

When choosing the amount of resistance that will be applied to the exercise you are completing, it is important that by the end of each set of exercises that the target muscles have become overloaded. This is the fundamental rule of strength training. The resistance bands exercises are intended to cause small amounts of micro-damage to your muscle fibres. As your body then repairs that micro-damage, it makes the muscle slightly bigger and stronger than it was previously (hypertrophy). Therefore it is important that you challenge your target muscles with the level of resistance you select with your bands and the repetitions you complete.

Shoulder flexion

Here we have another simple resistance band exercise. This exercise works your shoulder flexors. If you are completing this exercise with your palms down, do not raise your arms above 90 degrees (shoulder height). If this exercise causes pain in your shoulders, cease it immediately and have your shoulder investigated by a suitably qualified health professional. The same rule applies for all resistance band exercises. If you experience pain (other than the feeling of your muscles being tired / working hard), you should cease the exercise and be examined by an appropriate professional to get to the route of the problem before further damage is caused.

Squat exercise with resistance band

Here is a simple squat exercise with resistance bands. By holding the resistance bands up near your shoulders you will add additional resistance and make your leg extensors work harder to complete the squat.

Resistance band exercises for abs

Here we have a few resistance band exercises for abdominals. This video shows a couple of example and moves from one exercise to another quite quickly. If you do not find these exercises challenging remember you can always:

1. Shorten the length of the resistance band so that you have to stretch it more to complete the movement

2. Select a resistance band that is harder to stretch (higher resistance level)

Resistance bands exercises for abs

A great, free resistance band workout

If you want you can bookmark this page and come back and workout from this video more than once.

Tell us your thoughts on resistance bands exercises

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    • DrMikeM profile image
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      DrMikeM 4 years ago

      @Lynda Makara: Hi Lynda, You are right! No extra special space required!

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 4 years ago from California

      Resistance bands are great because they don't take up a lot of space and you can travel with them. No excuse not to do your exercise!

    • DrMikeM profile image
      Author

      DrMikeM 4 years ago

      @flinnie lm: Hi Flinnie,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story.

      Good luck with your neck pain!

    • DrMikeM profile image
      Author

      DrMikeM 4 years ago

      @myspace9: Thanks for stopping by!

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      I have bone spurs on my neck and I am using resistance bands for that, after my P.T.

    • profile image

      myspace9 4 years ago

      Very informative and thanks for the information.

    • DrMikeM profile image
      Author

      DrMikeM 5 years ago

      @JenwithMisty: Hi Jen, Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. You are right, resistance bands are a great way to build up strength in the shoulder following frozen shoulder (and a range of other conditions).

    • DrMikeM profile image
      Author

      DrMikeM 5 years ago

      @homebaseincome: I agree. Thanks for stopping by. Sorry, for the delay in response! For some reason the comments on this lens were not showing up at my end!

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 5 years ago

      Very nice lens! I use resistance bands for my frozen shoulder.

    • homebaseincome profile image

      homebaseincome 6 years ago

      Exercise equipment is so expensive and take up a lot of space. The resistance bands do help tone the body while not needing a spare room to exercise in. Good read.

    • DrMikeM profile image
      Author

      DrMikeM 6 years ago

      Hi CreativeArtist, thanks for stopping by and for you kind words!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 6 years ago from West Virginia

      Nice lens, and helpful videos.

    • DrMikeM profile image
      Author

      DrMikeM 6 years ago

      Hi Elizabeth, thanks for checking out this lens! I agree finding something that works and fits in our busy schedules is tricky!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 6 years ago

      Awesome! I try to exercise every day, but its not easy to find something that works.

    • DrMikeM profile image
      Author

      DrMikeM 6 years ago

      Thanks for dropping by and voting for my lens KM9999999. I really appreciate it! Yes, you'd be surprised how difficult it is to get good resistance bands videos! Thanks again :)

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      mockingbird999 6 years ago

      Some great exercises here. I like the videos.