If you’re looking for resistance band workouts, it might be because at the point in the coronavirus crisis you’ve probably tried a lot of ways to work out at home. Dance cardio on Instagram Live? Check. A HIIT workout over Zoom? Sure thing. Cranking out as many pull-ups and push-ups as possible, done and done. Maybe you’ve even started running. But even as gyms have begun to reopen in many places around around the country, in many ways there’s no end to the home-workout moment in sight: Only 14 percent of epidemiologists recently surveyed by the New York Times expected to return to the gym this summer; 40% thought it wouldn’t be for another year.
Since resistance bands take up basically no space, they make perfect sense for home workouts, even if you live in a tiny apartment. When business trips start becoming something we do again, they’re a great thing to stash in your roll-aboard. But they’re also not a kind-of-meh compromise when there’s no better equipment available—LeBron James presumably has access to whatever weights he desires, but he’s been crushing band workouts to get into playoff shape.
“Resistance bands are one of the most functional and effective pieces of equipment for multiple reasons. You can use them for strength training, mobility and rehabilitation exercises, the list goes on,” says Justin Norris, co-founder of LIT Method, a group fitness studio in Los Angeles. To get the most bang for your muscular buck, Norris suggests resistance band workouts of mostly compound movements—those that work out multiple muscle groups at the same time. “You’ll be surprised just how good of a workout you can get with such a simple tool.”
Ready to join the resistance? Norris put together a starter program for us. This workout uses bands with handles, rather than the type that’s a flat rubber band. We recommend getting a set of varied weights—you’ll want the right band for both isolation exercises and full body movements.
OlarHike Resistance Bands Set
Just like with any workout, make sure you take the time for a proper warm-up first (Norris recommends some leg swings and large arm circles, band-free) to get the blood flowing and stave off injury.
Justin Norris’s full-body resistance band workout
Do each move for as many reps as possible for one minute before moving onto the next. Rest one minute in between each set. Each motion should burn but not be impossible to complete with consistent form—dial in the power of the band you choose accordingly.
Squat to row
Loop the band through a sturdy object at chest height. Grab a handle with each hand and back away from the object until there’s no slack in the band. Hold the handles with your arms extended in front of you as you sit back into a squat position. As you stand up, pull the handles back to your chest as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Return to the starting position for one rep.
Start in a split squat…