5 Ways to Use Top Resist Resistance Bands

1. Band squat

The band squat adds resistance to the squat in lieu of free weights. This exercise strengthens your butt, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Use caution if you’re prone to lower-back, hip, or knee pain.

Getting set: Hold the end of a band in each hand and stand on top of the center of the band so that your feet are hip-width apart and your hands are at your sides. Stand tall with your abdominals pulled in and shoulders square.

The exercise: Sit back and down, as if you’re sitting on a chair. Bend your knees and lower yourself as far as you can without leaning your upper body more than a few inches forward. Never go lower than the point at which your thighs are parallel to the floor, and don’t allow your knees to move out in front of your toes.

After you feel your upper body fold forward over your thighs, stand back up, pushing through your heels and taking care not to lock your knees. Throughout the exercise, keep your shoulders relaxed, head up, and your eyes focused directly in front of you.

 

2. Band squat

The band squat adds resistance to the squat in lieu of free weights. This exercise strengthens your butt, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Use caution if you’re prone to lower-back, hip, or knee pain.

Getting set: Hold the end of a band in each hand and stand on top of the center of the band so that your feet are hip-width apart and your hands are at your sides. Stand tall with your abdominals pulled in and shoulders square.

The exercise: Sit back and down, as if you’re sitting on a chair. Bend your knees and lower yourself as far as you can without leaning your upper body more than a few inches forward. Never go lower than the point at which your thighs are parallel to the floor, and don’t allow your knees to move out in front of your toes.

After you feel your upper body fold forward over your thighs, stand back up, pushing through your heels and taking care not to lock your knees. Throughout the exercise, keep your shoulders relaxed, head up, and your eyes focused directly in front of you.

 

3. Band outer-thigh lift

The band outer-thigh lift is a challenging exercise that specifically targets your outer-thigh muscles.

Getting set: Tie an exercise band (between 1 and 2 feet long) in a circle. Lie on the floor on your left side with your legs a few inches in front of you, knees slightly bent, and head resting on your outstretched arm. Place the band around your thighs, just above your knees.

Bend your right arm and place your palm on the floor in front of your chest for support. Align your right hip directly over your left hip and pull your abdominals in so your back isn’t arched.

The exercise: Keeping your knee slightly bent, raise your left leg until your foot reaches shoulder height. Hold the position for a moment, and then slowly lower your leg back down, keeping tension on the band the entire time. Repeat. Switch sides and do the same number of repetitions with both legs.

 

4. Band outer-thigh lift

The band outer-thigh lift is a challenging exercise that specifically targets your outer-thigh muscles.

Getting set: Tie an exercise band (between 1 and 2 feet long) in a circle. Lie on the floor on your left side with your legs a few inches in front of you, knees slightly bent, and head resting on your outstretched arm. Place the band around your thighs, just above your knees.

Bend your right arm and place your palm on the floor in front of your chest for support. Align your right hip directly over your left hip and pull your abdominals in so your back isn’t arched.

The exercise: Keeping your knee slightly bent, raise your left leg until your foot reaches shoulder height. Hold the position for a moment, and then slowly lower your leg back down, keeping tension on the band the entire time. Repeat. Switch sides and do the same number of repetitions with both legs.

 

5. Band hamstrings stretch

Tight hamstrings are often related to improper stretching or tight quadriceps (front of your thighs). This exercise helps you gain flexibility in the back of your legs and relieve tightness in the lower back.

Getting set: Lie down on the floor with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent, with your arms to your sides.

The exercise: Bring your right foot toward your chest and wrap an exercise band around the arch of your foot. Exhale as you extend your right leg toward the ceiling. Repeat on the other side.

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