How to Use: Resistance Bands

They're lightweight, portable, and provide a challenging workout.

Resistance Bands

Sure, you know how to use treadmills and hand weights. But what about all the other equipment in your gym? In this series, we’ll cut the intimidation factor and give you new tools for getting your best workout.

Resistance Bands

Any workout can benefit from added resistance, but when you’re on the go, lugging around a set of dumbbells isn’t the most appealing option. That’s why resistance bands are such a game changer.

Resistance bands can be used in place of weights, and adapted to nearly any exercise. They increase the intensity of each move, and improve your flexibility and range of motion. Perhaps best of all, resistance bands are an easy, portable option you can throw in your purse, suitcase, or gym bag and take anywhere.

The bands come in a variety of resistances. When selecting yours, be sure it’s tight enough to be challenging, but not so tight your form is compromised.

Here are four resistance band moves you can do anywhere:

Hip Abduction

Lie on your right side, with the resistance band around your ankles. Lift your left leg up to about a 45-degree angle, keeping hips stacked, then lower back down.

Do three sets of 10 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.

Lateral Squat

Place the resistance band slightly above your knees. Lower down into a squat and step to the right, sinking further into your squat position. Keep your back straight and core tight, being careful not to hunch over. Step back to the middle and repeat.

Do three sets of 12 reps, then repeat with the opposite leg.

Bicep Curl

Get down on one knee. Thread the band around your thigh, just above the knee. Grab the band with one hand and perform a curl, keeping your arm tight.

Do four sets of 12 reps, alternating arms.

Tricep Side Extension

Put your hands behind your back, and place your wrists against either side of the band. Pull the band taut, then extend your arms out to the sides, keeping them straight. Return arms to center and repeat.

Do three sets of 12 reps.