When it comes to resistance training, bands offer a unique alternative to traditional weights. They’re compact, portable and much more versatile than you might think. Even though they’re small in size, mini bands have a big impact on your training. They challenge the entire body with dynamic movements that can’t be replicated with regular weights.
Check out these six ingenious ways to use the band for an amazing resistance workout.
If you’re looking for an effective but less conventional push-up variation, try rotating your trunk while keeping your arms straight. Start in a push-up position and rotate your trunk to one side, then the other, keeping your hips still as you lower yourself to the ground.
This exercise challenges your core while also working your shoulders, triceps and chest. If you feel like your core is not strong enough to keep your spine still while rotating, you can use a yoga mat or a towel between your knees.
Slamming squat jumps
This is a very powerful exercise that involves a series of bounding jumps up and down the floor. To start, stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and hold a mini band in each hand, with your arms extended in front of you, palms towards each other. Step into a deep squat, as if you were about to sit down on a chair. Then, jump up and quickly pull the bands towards your chest so that your hands meet above your head. Jump back down and repeat.
This exercise is particularly effective because of all the force that’s put on your knees during each jump. Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes as you jump down and keep your back straight as you bend down into a squat.
Triceps dips with a twist
This triceps-focused exercise is performed on a bench or chair. Place your hands behind you, palms facing down, and rest your feet on a mini band that’s anchored behind you. Bend your knees, bring your hips towards your heels, and slowly lower yourself toward the ground. Push back up, keeping your elbows close to your body. Perform one set on each side for 10 to 12 reps.
This is an effective variation because it targets the long, outer portion of your triceps. If you’re targeting your inner triceps as well, you can cross your non-working leg over your working leg to change the angle of your knee bend.
Squat and punch
Squat jumps are great, but they can be a bit monotonous after a while. Give your lower body a new challenge with squats and punches. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and hold a mini band in each hand, palms down. Squat down and then jump back up, bringing your knees towards your chest. Then, extend your legs and punch your arms forward, as if you were punching a wall above you. Squat back down and repeat.
This exercise is great because it incorporates lower body and upper-body movements. It’s a full-body exercise that will give you great cardio and calorie-burning workout. Squat jumps are a great way to build strength, but squatting and punching will help you gain power, which is great for sports like basketball, soccer, or any other sport that requires quick movements and a lot of power.
Sumo walk-out mitt exercise
Performing a sumo walk-out mitt exercise with a mini band is a great way to target your glutes and thighs. Stand with your feet together and a mini band wrapped around your ankles. Take a large step out with one foot and bend your knees until your knee is at the same level as your ankle, staying as close to the ground as possible. Step back to the starting position with both feet and do the same with the other leg. Repeat for 30 seconds on each side.
This exercise is particularly effective because it targets all three portions of the glute, making it a great overall workout for your booty. Squat jumps are a great way to build strength, but squatting and punching will help you gain power, which is great for sports like basketball, soccer, or any other sport that requires quick movements and a lot of power.
Rotational lunge jumps
Did you know that you can do a lunge with a band around your legs to make it even more challenging? Stand with your feet wider than your hips and a mini band wrapped around each leg. Step forward into a lunge and rotate your trunk to the side, as if you were about to do a side bend. Jump up and switch directions, rotating your trunk to the other side. Do not raise your knee higher than your hip on the jumping leg. Perform one set on each side for 10 to 12 reps.
This is a full-body exercise that challenges your lower body and core. If you feel your knee is too close to the ground, you can elevate the heel of your back foot to make the exercise easier. It’s also a great exercise to do if you’re recovering from an ankle or knee injury.
The band is an underappreciated training tool with a variety of benefits. With these six creative exercises, you can train your entire body while also increasing your strength and agility. Plus, you can take them anywhere because they require almost no setup or equipment.
If you want to take your training to the next level, incorporating mini bands into your routine is a great way to get there.