How to use bands for exercise

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Using resistance bands for resistance band exercises to help build strength and endurance

Resisting. It’s usually a word grounded in deviance or counter-conformity, but in the world of fitness, resistance isn’t just miles from the above, it’s also exactly what you should be engaging with.

But what do I mean by resistance exactly?

Let’s say you’re wanting to up your running distance and running times. You need to dial into what areas need improving, and what’s holding you back considerably and devise a plan to overcome those hurdles. Well, resistance plans are one solution to your problems, and resistance bands are a great step to starting.

Fatigue, endurance, stamina – these are all well-known aspects of running, so they should be equally known in order of improvement priority. Using a resistance band to build strength will reduce fatigue, lower the number of oxygenated blood cells required for endurance and stamina, and aid you in reaching a new milage at a PB time.

This post will help you learn the power of resistance bands and how to best use them. But forwarding, we’ll be using written instructions like, ‘Keep your left foot forward and your right foot neutral.’ ‘Make sure your upper body is engaged, shoulder blades back and your feet flat‘ and ‘make sure your starting position is sound, feet hip-width apart, before keeping your knees slightly bent.’

If a video tutorial is preferable… then bear that in mind.

The lateral band walk

This classic movement will challenge your patience and resistance. It’s pretty simple, in essence, you attach a resistance band around your ankles and strafe (or steps) sideways whilst being slightly bent at the hips.

Let’s run through Greatist’s movement now –

  1. Step into a loop band or tie a therapy band around your lower legs, just above your ankles.
  2. Place your feet shoulder-width apart to create tension on the band.
  3. Start in a half-squat position.
  4. Shift your weight to your left, stepping sideways with your right leg. Move your standing leg slightly in, but keep the band taut.
  5. Take 8–10 steps before heading back the other way.

Chest fly

Another classic engagement, chest flys, are a brilliant builder of the wider chest muscle. While they’re more famously performed with weights, if you’re looking to build muscle quickly and at home to a level you’re happy with then follow Self’s routine below –

  • Loop a resistance band with handles onto something secure behind you. Grab onto each handle and hold your arms straight out in a T, palms facing forward.
  • Stand with one foot about a foot in front of the other so your stance is staggered. Stand far enough forward that there’s tension in the band. This is the starting position.
  • Slowly pull the band to bring the handles to meet in front of your body, keeping your arms straight, with a slight bend in the elbows.
  • Then, slowly extend your arms back out to the starting position. Be careful to not let the band spring back quickly. This is 1 rep.


You don’t need a certified personal trainer to grow, you need a bit of patience, some discipline and the right resistance band workout for your needs. Simple. From loop bands to adjustable ones, you have choices here too. And because of the dexterity native to resistance bands, you could target problem areas: left leg, left hand, lower body… you name it.


Can you perform chest presses with bands?

Absolutely. Just be mindful of the correct technique.

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