I love resistance bands. They’re easy to travel with and make for such effective strength-building workouts. Large loop resistance bands like the ones I am featuring here today are even better because they offer so much more resistance than short resistance bands. I wanted to share five ways I’ve been using these large loop resistance bands recently in the hopes that it’ll help jumpstart some inspiration in you!
Band Pull-Apart Exercise - This is a great exercise for building the upper back muscles, which is key when you’re getting ready to add inversions like headstand and handstand into your yoga practice. Start with the resistance band out in front of you with arms extended and band pulled taught. Then as you exhale, pull the band apart as far as you comfortably can. Repeat 6-12 times for 3-4 sets.
Banded Lateral Steps - Great for building glutes and leg strength, banded lateral steps are an easy exercise to incorporate into your yoga practice for added strength building work. Begin by stepping onto the resistance band, positioning it under your arches. Then twist the upper part of the loop once and pull up about halfway. Find a slight hip hinge and bend the knees a bit. Then, laterally step for a few steps and go back in the opposite direction for the other side. Repeat 4 steps on your mat side to side for 3-4 sets.
Seated Banded Row - Another good exercise for the upper back, the banded row feels really good with a band with more resistance like the 50-120lb one I’m using in the video. Begin with your legs extended and remove the flesh from under your sitting bones. Position the resistance band around the center of your feet and reach down to extend your arms as far as you comfortable can without compromising the position of your legs. As you exhale, use your back strength to pull the band back as you squeeze the upper back. Repeat 6 -12 times for 3-4 sets.
Banded Loop Squat - These are fantastic for glute strength. Step into the resistance band, positioning the center of your feet over the band. Take your feet about hip distance, with toes slightly pointing out away from you. Squat down and loop the band over your shoulders, bringing your arms through the band and then hold on with your hands. You should feel resistance immediately. As you exhale, press into your feet to activate the glutes and hamstrings and stand up. Go up and down in the squatting position 6-12 times for 3-5 sets.
Stretching - Use the large loop resistance band the same way you would use a yoga strap. In the video here, I’m using it for leg extension in the supine position for a nice hamstring stretch, but you could truly use it any way you would normally use a yoga strap. It’s particularly helpful as you cool down from your workout.
Hope you enjoyed! Give these exercises a try and let me know how they go for you in the comments section below.