Exercises with Elastic Bands

Exercises with Elastic Bands

Elastic bands, also known as resistance bands or rubber bands, were initially used by physical therapists as a form of joint or muscle rehabilitation.

Thanks to the fact that they’re a very practical tool for toning muscles due to their lightness, price and ease of handling, they’ve quickly been accepted in the world of sport.

What are elastic bands?

Rubber bands that have been adapted for powertraining.

They were original used for rehabilitation with patients who wished to return to exercise after an injury.

What are elastic bands?

However, given their characteristics, they’ve also been used to promote muscle contraction.

When you train, oxygen and other nutrients that keep them active are transported to our muscles through blood circulation, so it’s essential that the muscle system doesn’t atrophy – training and an elastic band routine is the first step.

Types

It’s good to know the characteristics of each type because using one or the other will depend on the zone you want to strengthen and your level.

According to colours

The first thing you should know when starting exercises with elastic bands is that the level of resistance varies according to the colour of the tape.

The colour yellow usually indicates that the band will have soft resistances of about 6kg, if we compare them with dumbbells.

The colour red has an average of about 8kg, green gives more resistance, so you need to make more effort with a weight of 10kg, and finally the colour blue is for exercises of greater resistance, it’s classified as extra strong and carries 12kg.

Elastic bands according to colour

But this always depends on the make and model of the bands.

Whichever is chosen, remember that if you’re a beginner you generally need to decide between bands with less resistance, such as yellow or even red.

According to shape

In the market you can get flat and tube bands, but their variety is more extensive.

A shorter band, which didn’t exist a few years ago, are the circular ones that let you exercise the upper and lower limbs.

Circular elastic bands

They are excellent choice for the legs and ankles because the resistance of the circle firmly exercises the muscle.

There are also elastic bands on the market with handles at the ends.

Flat bands

These strips are perfect for Pilates routines or any training aimed at the buttocks, legs and arms.

The fitness elastic bands can – according to their manufacturer – be tubular or flat (open or closed), the former are reputed to offer more resistance, but in reality it’s a matter of taste and what you want to achieve with exercise.

Benefits of this training

They adapt easily to multiple levels of physical condition

Toning the muscles and keeping them in shape will undoubtedly result in a better state of health of the circulatory and venous system, but it will also give us a better figure with the increase of muscle mass, especially for the elderly or those with muscle injuries.

This would be just one of the benefits of the routine with elastic bands that fall into the category of progressive endurance muscle work and help strengthen not only muscles but joints.

Training at home

At this time of little mobility, isolation and quarantine, it’s almost a blessing to have a set of elastic resistance bands at home so that you don’t lose muscle mass, flexibility and why not, so that you feel healthy physically and mentally.

They take up little space and are versatile

Bands can substitute dumbbells and weights, which perhaps take up a lot of space at home.

You can roll them up and put them anywhere so they don’t need much logistics, even if you’re out jogging, because they fit in any small space.

Fully body training

The elastic bands adapt to any type of exercise, for specific areas: the glutes, legs, arms, back, abdomen…

Exercises with bands

This is due to the quality of horizontal or diagonal functioning exerting its effect on the group of muscles you’re wanting to strengthen.

They work basic physical qualities

Rubber bands are an excellent alternative to use in resistance, speed and strength exercises, for both the upper and lower body.

They’re great for working flexibility are very useful for working by allowing it to be incorporated into a stretching session.

Elastic band usages

The best exercises with elastic bands are those that involve several muscle groups and work with the body weight itself as well as the resistance of the elastic band.

In addition, using a band requires coordination and balance, so they end up utilising more muscle groups to stabilise the body.

Ideal as training for certain sports

By providing a greater range of motion, they can simulate the movements of certain sports, such as tennis, golf and baseball.

They add variety to workouts

Exercises can be performed with elastic bands for repetitions, although they can also be used for doing as many repetitions as possible in a given time interval, thus introducing a less conventional type of training, and one that’s much more fun and varied.

Complement to weights

Exercising with bands doesn’t have to replace your routine with weights, it can simply be a complement to it.

While resistance bands do a great job on their own, they can be combined with other equipment, for example, performing biceps push-ups with both a resistance band and with weights will give you the combined benefits of each type of equipment.

Weights complement

The advantage is that with elastic bands you can reconstruct a lot of exercises that are done with pulley machines.

Economical

What you could spend on a weights system would be exponentially greater than on a pack of elastic bands.

They’re cheap for the excellent results they provide.

Durable

Bands are generally made of latex, and this type of material is extra durable durable, meaning you won’t have to replace them for a long time, or in other words, you will save a lot of money.

Rehabilitation method

Rubber bands are often used during rehabilitation exercises and physical therapy after injuries or to rebuild muscles atrophied by inactivity.

Learning how to use them so rarely causes any joint or muscle injury, so they’re quite safe, both for beginners and experts.

How to exercise with elastic bands?

With the resistance bands you can replace, in addition to dumbbells, rowing machine, weights… to mention a few pieces of gym equipment.

Before you start, plan your routine. First choose up to about 5 exercises for each of the areas you are looking to tone and then distribute them throughout your sessions.

From each, do from 10 to 20 repetitions.

This means that when you start you might get to 5-8, even 10, but as your muscles get in shape you’ll be able to do about 15-20, or even some more, and in turn doing 2-5 sets.

Warm-up

It’s a gentle warm-up, or you can even skip, jump rope, etc.

It is relatively easy to use elastic bands, however, as with any workout, you need to warm up before starting the routine.

What exercises can be done with elastic bands?

You can really do practically all the exercises you normally practice in the gym: biceps, triceps, glutes, squats, rows, push-ups, presses with belts etc.

There are an infinity of routines that you can do with the bands.

Choose one that contains variety for the areas you want to tone orrelieve any injury or tension.

5 exercises with elastic bands for a perfect warm-up

We suggest these exercises to activate the whole body, which you can do before a gym training session or a routine with elastic bands:

Band Pull-Apart

Band Pull-Apart

Perform 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions, with a break of 45-60 seconds.

Banded Dead Bug

Banded Dead Bug

Perform 6 sets of 20″ active and 20″ rest.

Banded Side Walk

Banded Side Walk

Perform 3 sets of 10mts in one direction and 10mts in the other, with a break of 45 seconds.

Banded Air Squat

Banded Air Squat

Perform 3 sets from 12 to 15, with a break of 45-60 seconds.

Banded Pallof Press

Banded Pallof Press

Perform 6 sets of 20″ active and 20″ rest.

Upper Body Training with Elastic Bands

Pull-push strength exercises:

Banded Bent Over Row

Banded Bent Over Row

Perform 4 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions per side, with a break of 45-60 seconds.

Banded Push Ups

Banded Push Ups

Perform 4 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions, with a break of 45-60 seconds.

Banded Z Press

Band z press

Perform 4 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions, with a break of 45-60 seconds.

Banded Upright Row

Banded Upright Row

Perform 4 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions, with a break of 45-60 seconds.

Banded Triceps Overhead Extension

Banded Triceps Overhead Extension

Perform 3 sets of 15 to 18 repetitions, with a break of 45-60 seconds.

Banded Biceps Curl

Banded Biceps Curl

Perform 3 sets of 15 to 18 repetitions, with a break of 45-60 seconds.

Banded Lateral Shoulder Raises

Banded Lateral Shoulder Raises

Perform 2-3 sets of 18 to 25 repetitions per side, with a break of 60 seconds.

Lower Body training with Elastic Bands

Banded Reverse Lunge

Banded Reverse Lunge

Perform 5 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions per side, with a break of 60-75 seconds.

Banded Hip Thrust

Banded Hip Thrust

Perform 3 sets of 15 to 18 repetitions (hold for 1 second), with a break of 60-75 seconds.

Banded Front Squat

Banded Front Squat

Perform 4 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions, with a break of 60-75 seconds.

Banded Good Morning

Banded Good Morning

Perform 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions, with a break of 45-60 seconds.

Banded Deadlift

Banded Deadlift

Perform 4 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions, with a break of 60 seconds.

Banded Glute Bridge

Banded Glute Bridge

Perform 4 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions, with a break of 60 seconds.

Banded Thruster

Banded Thruster

Perform 5 sets of 30″ active, 30″ rest.

Rehabilitation exercises with elastic bands

An area that usually deteriorates quickly if we stop exercising it are the shoulder, which with the passage of time lose muscle mass, causing a hunched position.

In this area are the muscles called rotators, among others, that extend to the back; and there are also the deltoids that are associated with the joint.

To strengthen the rotators:

  • Standing, legs apart, hold the elastic band at bellybutton height with both hands well stretched.
  • Stretch the bands sideways, keep your elbows glued to your waist.
  • Repeat 8 times.

For the deltoids:

  • Standing with legs separated, grab the bands with your hands, right next to your hip and left in front of your bellybutton.
  • Without moving your right hand, pull the band with the left until you reach shoulder height.
  • Repeat 8 times and then do it with the other hand.

For the legs:

  • Lying on your back, bend your left leg and wrap the elastic band around your left foot.
  • Now, stretch it by exerting resistance with the belt around your left hand.
  • Mentally move the leg to the right shoulder while still exerting resistance.
  • Repeat with the other leg about 5 times.

How to work the glutes with bands

For this area, there is an infinity of exercises that you can incorporate into your routine, but we recommend a fairly effective one.

We recommend you warm up before starting, and you should also make slow movements, not forcing the stretches, start with 5 – 10 repetitions and leave a pause between each circuit of 60 seconds.

Let’s get started…

  • Put the circular band around your ankles with your whole body straight, bend your knees – legs apart – and step to the side until you feel the resistance of the band.
  • Hold for a few seconds and repeat this action with the other leg, without abandoning the flexion.
  • Now, on all fours on a mat, with your back straight, hold the band with the instep of your foot, extend one leg and hold the position for a few seconds, repeat with the other leg, as if kicking.

Another effective exercise for the glutes is standing, completely straight, stepping on the elastic band with your feet and holding the ends with your hands. It’s important that the band is intertwined on your feet.

  • Stretch out your leg as much as you can, until you feel the resistance of the belt and you notice your muscles tightening.
  • Hold the position for 15 seconds or do 15 repetitions and repeat with the other leg.

Here you have a training routine with elastic bands

Day A 

ExerciseSetsRepetitionsRest
Banded Side Walk310mts-10mts45″
Banded Press Pallof620″ on, 20″ off
Banded Front Squat512-1560-75″
Banded Good Morning315-2045-60″
Banded Bent Over Row312-1545-60″
Banded Z Press412-1545-60″
Banded Push Ups512-1560″

Day B 

ExerciseSetsRepetitionsRest
Banded Air Squat312-1545″
Banded Dead Bug620″ on, 20″ off
Banded Deadlift415-2060-75″
Banded Thruster520″ on, 20″ off
Banded Upright Row412-1545-60″
Banded Lateral Shoulder Raises218-25 (side)60″

Day C

ExerciseSetsRepetitionsRest
Banded Pull-Apart315-2045″
Banded Press Pallof620″ on, 20″ off
Banded Reverse Lunge512-15 (side)60-75″
Banded Glute Bridge415-2060″
Banded Biceps Curl415-1845-60″
Banded Triceps OH Ext.315-1845-60″

Recommendations and advice

For this training to have optimal results in your musculature and joints, you have to implement a daily routine.

Pick a suitable time and do it for 30-40′.

Don’t complicate things when you get your elastic bands: belts, tubes, circular, with handles, it’s all a matter of taste, all will have excellent results.

Warm up your muscles before starting any session. We hope this information has been helpful.

If you’d like to give it a try, I look forward to seeing you!

Bibliography

  1. “1000 ejercicios y juegos con material alternativo”. Carles Jardí Pinyol y Joan Rius Sant. 2004.
  2. “Libro de entrenamiento con el Thera-band”. Hans-dieter Kempf, Frank Schmelcher, Christian Ziegler
  3. Experience and personal contributions.

Related Entries

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Review of Elastic Bands

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About María José García
María José García
María José has been connected to sport throughout her whole life. She has competed in several sport disciplines such as skating, swimming or gymnastics since she was a little girl.
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