Four Resistance Band Exercises Not to Underestimate

Bet you didn't think they could be that hard.

band resistance exercises

Photo by Amanda Lucidi

When it comes to health and fitness we have a strong tendency to overcomplicate things, often becoming distracted by the new and flashy without stopping to think about the tried and true. Forget about fancy machines or equipment, and don’t even worry about stepping foot into a gym, because resistance bands are about to become your new best friend. They’re small, portable, lightweight, and can open up a whole array of exercises for you if you’re short on time and space.

Below, I’ll show you how to do four beginner resistance band exercises and ways to make them harder. You can use them for an at-home workout, take them outside, or incorporate them into your gym routine. I, personally, like to use them as warm-up exercises or for burnout sets at the end of a workout.

You can find resistance bands easily online with a quick Google search from a variety of different companies. In the video I am using a medium resistance band (the longer ones, not the small looped ones) which can be pretty versatile depending on where you place your hands and/or anchor it. If you want more variety, having a light, medium, and heavy resistance band helps.

Here are the exercises: 

Band row: For this one sit on your butt with your legs straight out in front of you and loop the band around your feet. With a tall chest and your shoulders down and back, grip the band on either side and pull straight back retracting your shoulders. Make this harder by going faster or holding onto the band closer to your feet.
Band tricep extension: This one is kind of difficult to get into so listen closely. Standing upright step on one looped side of the band holding either side of the other end in both hands. Step your other foot forward (in a stagger stance), twist your hands holding onto the band over each other and bring the band up and behind you so your hands are right behind the back of your neck. From there, flex at the elbows and press straight up squeezing your triceps. Make this harder by placing your hands closer to your feet when you set up (depending on how tall you are) or go faster.
Squat: Standing shoulder width apart on one end of the band, bring the other end up to your neck and flip your palms up to the sky. The band should rest right in the middle of your palm and your elbows should be up. This will load the resistance of the band like a front squat. Keep your core tight, squat, and stand up, keeping tension on the band the whole time.
Overhead Press: You will maintain the same position as the squat position for this one and instead of squatting your hands will come straight up overhead so your elbows are by your ears. Make sure to keep your knees slightly bent. Think about pressing the band out in all directions, kind of like a square. To make this and the squat harder, do them together in rapid succession.

Video by Amanda Lucidi