The National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) recommends resistance training be performed 2-3 days per week for beginners, and as many as 4-7 days per week for the more advanced exerciser. If you don’t have access to a health club, free weights or other exercise equipment…don’t fret; grab a resistance band to get a quick and effective workout.
The benefits of resistance training include maintaining and increasing lean muscle mass, which provides greater support for joints, and an increase of strength for daily living. An increase in lean muscle mass also allows the metabolism to burn more calories, resulting in an increase in your muscle-to-fat ratio, which aids in the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and obesity. Resistance training also improves self-esteem, helping control depression and anxiety.
Resistance bands are a relatively small, portable and a convenient tool you can use for resistance training or just to improve your general conditioning.
Below are 3 lower body exercises you can perform with the resistance band. Always consult your physician or physical therapist before beginning a new exercise program or trying new forms of exercise equipment.
Resistance Band Front Squats
- Feet shoulder width apart with toes slightly pointed outward.
- Hold band across your shoulders with elbow pointed straight ahead.
- Keeping pressure through your feet, engage your core, and squat down until thighs are parallel to the floor then return to standing position.
Resistance Band Side Steps
- Get into and athletic position with your core tight, knees slightly bent, feet hip width apart and toes facing forward.
- Grab and crisscross the band to create the desired resistance holding it firmly on your hips.
- Step laterally with right foot keeping toe forward.
- Pick up left foot and return to athletic position.
- Repeat in opposite direction.
Resistance Band Romanian Deadlifts (RDLs)
- Get into an athletic position with your core tight, knees slightly bent, feet hip width apart and toes facing forward.
- Grab band to create the desired resistance.
- Keeping your bent knees stiff, hinge forward at your hips until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings then return to starting position.
Jeffrey Angotti is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and athletic trainer at HSS Spine & Sport in Jupiter, Florida. Jeffrey has a Bachelor of Science in Health degree with a focus in Sports Medicine Athletic Training from the University of North Florida.