Well all the gyms are closed and it’s lasting longer than any of us thought it would. What do you do now to stay active and fit? Let’s say you don’t have the space in your house or apartment to have one dedicated room for working out then you will need to find something compact, that’s easy to use and can be put away in the closet. In case, you haven’t figured it out yet I am talking about getting a set of resistance bands. The next step will be how to use resistance bands at home? Well I’ve got you covered.
I’m not talking about the Kathy Smith rubber band workout from the 80s either. Resistance bands have come a long way and so have resistance band workouts. Check out these Ripcords Resistance Bands, I got a set of these a while ago and these things are awesome, you can get them in a number of resistance levels with different types of anchor options.
Pick Your “Gym” Location
Okay you’ve got a set of bands and you’re ready to get working out. But I think the thing people struggle with the most about how to use resistance bands at home is where do you anchor it to. Well if you got one of the door anchors when you purchased your resistance bands all you have to do is pick a door and close the anchor in it. This style of anchor makes it pretty easy to do resistance band workouts cause you can move the anchor higher or lower depending on where you close it in the door.
So you chose to not get a door anchor or you’re like me and you don’t trust that your door isn’t going to pop open under the 92 lbs of tension from the Platinum Ripcords and snap you in the face like a sling shot then you need to find another anchor point. I’ll skip the obvious things like floor joists in an unfinished basement or a tree branch in the back yard or park and give you a few ideas if those aren’t options.
You could loop it around the leg of your bed frame or couch, you can screw an anchor to a wall stud in a discreet location, or get creative and hide the anchor behind a picture that you then take down to workout. If you happen to have a workout partner you could even have them act as your anchor and then you return the favor.
Well now, you have the basic idea of how to use resistance bands at home but you need some resistance band workouts to get you started. I’m not going to run you through a specific workout of sets and reps because as you use them more and more you will find what works best for you. Rather, I’m going to describe some examples to target different muscle groups.
Start with the ever important squat, you can’t do any lower body workout routine without talking about squats and that goes for resistance band workouts as well. You’ll start by holding a handle in either hand and stand on the band with both feet so you have an even length of band on either side, now bring your arms up to your shoulders like you were going to do an overhead press and while holding the handles there do a squat. Remember to keep your back straight throughout the movement. If you want to increase the difficulty you can press the handles above your head to mimic an overhead squat. In a similar manner you can do lunges but only stand on the band with one foot and step back and down with the other foot.
If you have an anchor point you can hook one end of the band to your ankle and the other to the anchor to do adduction, abduction and extension movements. You can also hold it between your legs with the anchor point behind you and do a pull through where you squat down and back up with a slight lean away from the anchor, this is great for targeting the gluts and hamstrings. Another great one for the glutes is going on your hands and knees, hooking the strap to one foot and while holding the other hand on the ground with your hands push your foot back and up.
You can also get creative and look up different lower body exercises and see if you can emulate them with the resistance bands. Things like Romanian dead lifts, calf raises, hamstring curls or lateral lunges to name a few.
Upper Body Training
There are so many ways to do resistance band workouts for upper body. While standing on the band you can do bicep curls, tricep overhead extension or kickbacks, shoulder presses or bent over rows for your back. I really like doing side lateral raises and front raises to target my shoulders. Another great exercise is to get in the push-up position with the strap across your back and holding it in your hands, now when you press-up the band adds additional resistance.
By attaching your band to an anchor point you gain access to even more exercises. While facing the anchor you can do face pulls for your upper back, just remember to let your hand lead your elbow so you don’t cause shoulder pain, this means squeeze your back, pull your hands to your face and don’t pull your elbows back until your hands have passed them. You can also do tricep push downs, rows, high rows, or curls.
While keeping the band attached to an anchor and turning to face away from it you can do chest presses or flyes, both of which can be performed single arm or both at the same time. Once again you can also do bicep curls in this position, I know it’s starting to seem like I just want to do bicep curls all the time but I can assure you I like to stay balanced on anterior muscle exercises and posterior muscle exercises.
Just about any core training you do can be made a little more difficult by adding resistance bands. Kneeling crunch while holding the band attached to anchor overhead, crunches with the band attached behind you, reverse crunch or bicycle with the band attached to your feet and the anchor point beyond your feet. Get creative with this one too, you can do wood chops or reverse wood chops with the anchor point lower and you twist away to a higher position.
Resist the Urge To Get Lazy
See what I did there?!
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of how to use resistance bands at home. So stop making excuses for not being able to exercise with the gyms closed, pick yourself up a set of resistance bands and find the better you!
Feel free to leave a comment below and let others know what types of resistance band workouts you’re doing while stuck at home, or please, ask any questions for more tips and workouts and I would be more than happy to help.