Are you getting your sweat on with our resistance band challenge? Good, because it’s time to take a break and cool down with some stretches.
For this month’s fitness challenge, we’re going to take on a staple of travel and at-home workouts: the versatile resistance band.Read more
Most resistance band stretches are variations on things you can do without a resistance band, so you can follow along even if all you have is a yoga strap or a towel.
What the resistance band adds is adjustable tension, so you can judge in the moment whether you’d like to stretch a little deeper or ease up and be more gentle. Remember, you don’t need to be in pain to benefit from a stretch.
Here are a few basic stretches you can do with any resistance band that’s long enough. I’m using the kind that’s like a tube with handles, but these work just as well with the loop type.
The shoulder warm-up
This is a great stretching/strengthening combo move to get you ready for any kind of shoulder exercise, or you can use it to work on shoulder flexibility at the end of a workout.
Just stretch the band in front of you, and pass it over your head and back down to waist level while your arms are straight. Adjust your tension to get more or less of a stretch.
The hamstring stretch
Loop the band over your foot, and gently pull your leg skyward. You can hold the stretch here, or move into and out of position.
Adductor and abductor stretches
Gif: Beth Skwarecki
Gif: Beth Skwarecki
With your band still on your foot, extend your straight leg out to the side to stretch your inner thigh muscles. Then take your leg to the other side of your body to stretch the muscles on the outside of your hip.
There are a ton of resistance band stretches — these are just my personal favourites. (For something totally different, check out these stretches for dancers, which I am in no way qualified to demonstrate.) What stretches have you been doing?