When investing in workout equipment like resistance bands, it is very important to know what to do with the product once you get it. What types of exercises should you use with different types of resistance bands? Here are the best ways to use different types of resistance bands!
Resistance bands with handles should be used when you want to build your muscle strength in a wide range of exercises. Therapy bands should be used in pilates programs and for general strength training. Loop bands should be used in leg and buttock workouts.
What makes each type of resistance band different from the other? What are the appropriate types of workouts to pair with them? Let’s go over the nuances of various resistance bands and their corresponding exercises!
What Are Resistance Bands?
First off, what are fitness resistance bands? They are pieces of extremely useful workout gear. They are lightweight, elastic bands of varying lengths, resistance levels, and colors that are used to induce muscular contractions while working out at home or at the gym. Each time you stretch with resistance bands, the contracting motion builds strength in your muscles as you pull against the band.
All resistance bands vary greatly in size, color, handles, and shape, and they may have loops or be non-looped. Thankfully, since they are often so affordable, entire packs and sets of resistance bands can be purchased for around $30 or less online.
Resistance Bands with Handles
These bands have tubes that are primarily used for building up your muscle strength and size as you work out. This is because the handles offer a sturdy grip and let you attempt a wide variety of exercises. This means you can execute exercises you might do at the gym by using free weights or machines.
Bear in mind, stackable resistance bands often use carabineers to let the user combine bands so that you can increase or decrease the resistance level as desired.
Therapy Flat Resistance Bands
Most physical therapists, sports therapists, and physical rehabilitation offices and centers will use flat therapy bands. This is because they are wide, flat, and made to easily wrap around your hand and be adjusted so the length fits your needs. They can even be cut into smaller pieces or just used while you stretch out.
Flat therapy bands are also often used in pilates programs and circles for additional resistance and in general strength training, so pick them up for easy and intense exercise!
Loop bands are bands that are a lot like therapy bands. They’re just smaller and make a closed loop. Most people use them for strengthening the legs and buttocks. Most gyms and physical therapy offices will carry them.
Leg and Arm Tube Resistance Bands
These bands are often closed-loop tube bands. They come in multiple variations, like leg bands with ankle cuffs or figure-8 shapes with handles for upper-body workouts. These bands are used for muscle-specific exercises and will limit the variety of exercises that can be performed with them.
Therapy Resistance Band Exercises
There are several types of resistance bands that you can buy and use. One of the bands that you can put to use is the therapy band. These bands are nearly always used for rehabilitation purposes, as the name implies. These bands do not have handles and are very gentle on the body.
Therapy bands have a flat surface instead of a tubular structure. Some people work with therapy bands to progress their mental rehabilitation in addition to their physical rehabilitation.
Remember that these bands are best for rehabilitating your body, they are often around 4 feet long, and they have a flat surface. Each therapy band may come in a variety of colors depending on what company and brand is selling it. Since these bands often offer less resistance, you will get a deeper stretch out of them and thus should use them for mobility training.
If you have injured your shoulder or just want to build up shoulder strength, try out resistance band exercises like the reverse fly, the front raise, the lateral raise, the standing row, band pull-aparts, shoulder abductions, external rotations, internal rotations, wall crawls with external rotation, shoulder extensions, shoulder flexions, overhead band pull-aparts, and other related exercises.
Usually, most therapy resistance bands will reach long enough to conform to these above routines.
Compact Resistance Band / Tube Resistance Band Exercises
Compact resistance bands are made of a tube that is longer than average, about 4 feet long. They will also have two plastic handles on each end. Some people call compact resistance bands “fit tube” resistance bands.
Compact resistance bands can be varied in their use and are great to use to train your upper body, lower body, and arms. Use them for any exercises that you would use a dumbbell for, such as bicep curls, shoulder presses, and bicep curls!
Fit Loop Resistance Band / Mini Resistance Band Exercises
Similar to the therapy band, the fit loop band has a tubular, flat surface. These bands make a continuous loop, just as its name implies. They can be as short as 4 inches or as long as 2 feet. These bands are ideal for strengthening your hips, legs, lower body, and buttocks. Use these bands if you want to tone your lower body.
If you decide to buy yourself some fit loop resistance bands or mini resistance bands, try the following exercises with them. You can perform any combination you want of glute bridges with abduction, side-lying abductions, squats, clock taps, glute kickbacks, lat pulldowns, plank jacks, overhead presses, single-arm rows, and shoulder external rotations!
Many blogs, websites, and videos highlight the versatility of fit loop and mini fitness bands. You can try out hip internal rotations, hip external rotations, monster walks, frog hip thrusts, hip flexor isometric holds, mini band back squats, half-kneeling archer rows, overhead reaches, bent-over overhead presses, wall slides, and mini band push-ups. Just be certain to never push yourself to the point of pain while exercising with the help of fit loop resistance bands.
You can also perform band pull-apart exercises, single-leg bridge lifts, banded squats, standing kickbacks, plank kickbacks, bicycle ab crunches, and banded push-ups. It is even helpful to do quad stretches, shoulder stretches, back stretches, and hamstring stretches with the aid of mini resistance bands. Follow the linked directions to get the most out of your guided exercise.
Figure 8 Resistance Band Exercises
Next up, figure 8 bands are unique from other types of resistance bands since they have two plastic handles that are connected by a tube in a figure 8 shape. Figure 8 bands are usually on the shorter end of the spectrum for resistance bands. The double handles and shorter length just mean that they are perfect for developing strength in your upper body, especially in the arms!
Try to use figure 8 bands, which are usually 20 inches in length, to train your upper body. Figure 8 bands can be used just like loop bands.
Sometimes they can come in packs of multiple figure 8 bands and will cost around $10 to $15. Check out this link to research and price compare different types of Figure 8 bands and other resistance bands!
Ring Resistance Band Exercises
If a resistance band has a small, single ring with two handles attached to either side of it, this means that it is a ring resistance band. Their handles are made to be soft as opposed to hard plastic handles on other fitness equipment. Ring resistance bands are fantastic for working out your lower body, however, they will need to be used with different exercises than the fit loop band or the compact resistance band.
Ring resistance bands are usually made to be 1 foot long and are tube-shaped.
Lateral Resistance Band Exercises
Instead of the usual handles, lateral resistance bands will have velcro cuffs on either end. Their cuffs are often meant to be wrapped around each of your ankles. Using lateral resistance bands can help to train the lower body, especially the thighs and hips. They’re usually 1 foot long and can come in an array of colors.
Most people will perform lateral band walks or lateral band raises to put this type of band to good use. Refer to this website to review how to execute the perfect lateral band walk. This other site can display how to do successful resistance band lateral and side raises.
If it sounds like lateral resistance band exercises will be your speed, consider buying a pack to get working on your muscle toning as soon as possible!
Pull-Up Resistance Band Exercises
Pull-up bands are sometimes called pull-up assist bands by various gym trainers and fitness enthusiasts. These are unique types of resistance bands that are made to help you execute successful pull-ups.
This is because it can be really difficult for people to do a successful pull-up. Even if you are a well-seasoned athlete, you can have a lot of trouble with performing pull-ups. This is because if your body does not have sufficient strength to do one pull-up, then it’s nearly impossible to build those involved muscle groups up and move on to doing consistent reps.
If you purchase and use a pull-up band, then you can practice the difficult motion of a pull-up without needing to strain your arms as much! This is an efficient and stellar way to jump into exercises that will be focused on working your upper body specifically. With the use of band-assisted pull-ups, you can strengthen your rhomboids, biceps, lats, and trapezius.
Impressive results like muscle definition and increased stamina will soon follow as you diligently use your pull-up band each day. Over time, you will be able to move to pull-ups without the aid of a pull-up band!
You can even use regular pull-up bars or dip bars with pull-up resistance bands to execute moves like assisted pull-ups, assisted dips, the human flag, muscle-ups, and one-arm pull-ups. Refer to this website to get helpful directions on how to execute successful exercises with pull-up bands.
Ankle Resistance Band Exercises
As the name suggests, ankle resistance bands are designed to be looped around each of your ankles. They add helpful resistance to fitness exercises like leg lifts and side steps. Ankle resistance bands are affordable and a great way to tone the muscles in your lower body, legs, and ankles.
If you buy or have ankle resistance bands to use, try out exercises like the ankle dorsiflexion, the ankle plantar flexion, the ankle inversion, the ankle eversion, the monster walk, side-lying leg lifts, runner’s extensions, standing glute kickbacks, single-leg stands, and one and one-quarter squats.
Power Resistance Band Exercises
These types of bands are oversized loops that are usually built to be over 40 inches in length. They are extremely versatile for bodyweight assistance, exercises, resistance, and any fitness activities that need an anchor point. Use power resistance bands for pull-ups, bear crawls, rows, and box jumps.
It can be very helpful to review online blogs that review resistance band types to figure out the ideal type of bands that you want to purchase.
If you end up buying power resistance bands, try using whole-body exercises with it. Make sure to perform hip lifts, front squats, hip side lying moves, lateral walks, splitter exercises, push-ups, overhead presses, fly exercises, and one-arm bicep curls. These varied exercises and workouts will help strengthen varied parts of your body.
At the end of the day, there is no shortage of different exercises and maneuvers you can accomplish as long as you have the right type of resistance band! Since the bands are so lightweight, affordable, and versatile, it is nearly always worth it to splurge and buy a pack or set of resistance bands for yourself. Using them daily means a stronger, more toned body and money saved on avoiding expensive gym equipment or memberships!
The sky is truly the limit as you discover more and more varied exercises and workout routines that you can jump into at the drop of a hat thanks to nifty resistance bands.