I came to resistance bands late. Sometime around the middle of last year, when I was getting increasingly bored with my weights and was looking for a way to freshen up my workouts. As luck would have it, I came across an excellent video on YouTube on using a resistance band for a full body workout. After watching it through, and then exploring some more, I was sold.
In case you don’t know, resistance bands are basically, well, bands that are flat or tubular in shape. Think of them as giant, elastic rubber bands. Usually, they come in colour-coded levels of thickness, with the thicker ones providing greater resistance during your workout. The most common ones are the flat bands, but you can also get them in the form of a tube attached to two handles on either end, or as loop bands (tighter, and used for leg and glute exercises). While resistance bands started out life as tools to aid in physical therapy, or for stretching (I love stretching!), they are now pretty much compete with free weights as effective exercise gear.
In some areas, resistance bands certainly have an edge over free weights. This includes moves that improve your range of motion (ROM), corrective exercises, and the fact that they’re extremely portable. If you’re travelling, for example, and don’t want to pause your exercise routine, just throw a couple of bands of different weights into your bag! Resistance bands are also easy on your joints, since they put less stress on the surface of your joints while exercising. I’ve found that incorporating a couple of days of resistance band workouts is very useful. While I get the same feedback from my exercises, as well as a good burn, they also wear me out less. In fact, apart from your main workout, you can use resistance bands for your warm up and cool down routines as well.
Here are a couple of excellent full body resistance band workouts which I guarantee you’ll love.
30-minute full body workout
This is the video from GymRa that got me started with resistance bands. Seriously, you’ll be hard pressed to come across a better, no-nonsense instructor on YouTube than Christine Curry, who leads you through a tough-as-hell workout (with plenty of burn). What’s great about this video is that you’ll learn the correct form to do these exercises as well. Have fun!
10-minute full body workout
Bully Juice is the exact opposite of Christine Curry. While the latter talks you through the workout, the former just nods nonchalantly and goes through the moves. But what great moves they are! Although the full workout lasts just ten minutes, you can repeat the whole set twice or thrice to get the maximum out of it.