resistance bands

Think outside the dumbbells: how resistance bands can be used as a substitute

by Sports Therapy And Rehabilitation, February 24, 2017

Performing exercises that involve weight is essential for maintaining good overall health because it helps to develop muscles and bones. Free weights aren’t the only way to accomplish this, though. You can also use resistance bands, which are perfect for at-home strengthening exercises.

Resistance bands are essentially large, reinforced rubber bands that are made of strong, thin rubber strips. Some have handles and some do not. They come in a variety of types, lengths and tensions, which range from as little as 15 lbs. to over 200 lbs. They are also color-coded by most manufacturers to help distinguish one from another.

When using a resistance band, you can do just about any type of strength training exercise—like chest presses, rows, shoulder presses and even squats—without the need for heavy weights. In addition, individuals of just about any age or fitness level can use resistance bands, and they can be adjusted further to different lengths to suit whatever exercise or intensity you’re looking for.

Here are a few resistance band exercises to get you started:

  • Front squat: stand on band with feet slightly wider than shoulder width; holding a handle in each hand, bring the top of the band over each shoulder; sit straight down, chest up, abs firm, pressing knees out over your toes; rise back up to start position and repeat for 8-12 reps
  • Glute bridge: tie a band around your legs right above your knees; lie on your back with your feet on the floor, bending your knees to 90 degrees; rise up with your hips until your shoulders, hips and knees align, contracting your glutes through the entire movement; do 15-20 reps
  • Overhead press: stand over center of a tube band with feet shoulder-width apart; grip each handle, positioning hands at shoulder level with palms facing each other and thumbs touching shoulders; press straight up, rotating your palms forward as you fully extend your arms; lower back down slowly and repeat for 8-10 reps

If you’re looking to get a great workout in at home but don’t want to buy a whole weight set, resistance bands are a smart choice. At Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation in Washington, DC, we can provide you with additional exercises and further guidance on how to best use your new resistance band. Contact us at 202-223-1737 or e-mail to schedule an appointment, or click here for more information.

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