While almost any exercise has a resistance band version, there are only a few exercises where the band is one of the best ways to do it. Here are some of my favourites, with a focus on upper body moves. Join our resistance band challenge and give them a try!
For this month’s fitness challenge, we’re going to take on a staple of travel and at-home workouts: the versatile resistance band.
The Pallof press
This is a great “anti-rotation” core move, meaning that the band is trying to twist your body and you have to use the muscles at the sides of your torso to stay strong.
To set this up, anchor a band to something that won’t move, such as a doorknob or a squat rack. Stand sideways and pull it so you’re holding it steady, with both hands, right in front of your belly button.
Then straighten your arms out in front of you. The motion looks a little bit like a bench press, but you’re not actually pressing any weight. Instead, you’re keeping up tension in the band as your arms change position and the pull gets harder to resist.
This isn’t one I’ve seen around very much, but I think it’s genius. Loop a small resistance band around your arms — either upper arms or elbows. Then do pushups as normal. When you’re at the bottom of the movement, the band will help push you back up.
This “cheats” the bottom of the pushup motion, so don’t rely on it as your only exercise, but it can be one of many tools you can use to work on pushups.
This one is a little better known, but definitely worth mentioning! Loop a long resistance band around the pull-up bar, and then step into it with your foot or knee. The band will give you some assistance at the bottom of the motion, but less at the top. Here’s a video showing how it looks: