How to Use Resistance Bands for Strength Training

By Laurie Fanelli in Healthy Feeling

Resistance bands are a great alternative to weight lifting, especially for people who have joint issues or who simply don’t want to invest in expensive weight-training equipment. Below, we’ll discuss a few tips for how to use resistance bands to get effective results across your entire body.

Joint pain can often be a deterrent to strength training, but resistance bands allow ample flexibility, which helps you to stay on track with your workout schedule. And your workout goals no longer need to fly out the window when you’re on the mend. By adjusting the length of the band, you can change the resistance to accommodate a healing injury or stiff joints.

Along with being a great tool for engaging in low-impact/high-reward training sessions, resistance bands also give you the freedom to workout anytime, anywhere. They are light, compact, and fit into a purse or briefcase. Late nights at the office or a busy home life don’t mean you can’t maintain a healthy lifestyle. Try incorporating 10 minutes of resistance band training into each hour at work or throughout your day to keep up with your fitness goals and enhance your workday workout.


Before starting any new workout regimen—especially if you’re nursing an injury or joint pain—check with your doctor to make sure you take the proper steps while recovering. With that in mind, here are a few examples of how to use resistance bands to build strength and flexibility.

Arms: Bicep Curls

Bicep curls are one of the easiest exercises to do with resistance bands. Simply stand on the band with your feet hips’ width apart and hold the handles of the band in each of your hands. Stand up straight, with the palms of your hands facing up, and bend your arms to pull the handles up to chest height. Slowly return your hands to the starting position. Repeat 10 times for each set.

Hold your elbows level throughout each repetition, and don’t lock them when you return to the starting point. If the bicep curls are too easy, extend your legs wider across the band to create greater resistance. If the move is too difficult, adjust your legs inward to allow more slack to each side of the band.

Legs: Lateral Band Walks

Lateral band walks work your legs and glutes by using circular or looped resistance bands (no handles) to work your muscles. Start with the band just below your knees and assume a squat position with your feet hips’ width apart. Take a large step sideways, as far as the band will allow. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 15 to 20 times before switching legs.

Lateral Band Walks are a great way to work your legs

Remember to place most of your weight on your heels when doing each move. This will further engage your muscles and protect your knees from excess stress.

Full Body: Band Squats

Adding a resistance band to a squat workout can help your thighs, butt, and shoulders with each low-impact/high-reward move. Start by standing on the center of the band with your feet hips width apart. Hold a handle in each hand, and raise them up to shoulder height with your palms facing forward. Keep your back straight as you bend your legs and squat, like you’re about to sit in a chair. Be sure to prevent your knees from drifting over your toes and keep your weight on your heels. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

These easy resistance band exercises—along with a low-impact cardio routine—will keep you fit and active when dealing with joint pain, a busy schedule, or whatever else gets in the way. By adding repetitions, adjusting resistance, and working out on your own time, you can overcome obstacles to feel strong, healthy, and happy.

What are some of your favorite easy resistance band workout moves? Let us know with a #GoodMatters Tweet!

Image sources: Public Domain Pictures | Wikimedia Commons | Flickr

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Why It’s Good

Resistance bands give you flexibility in your workout routine. Whether you're coping with joint pain, accommodating a busy schedule, or attempting to build muscle strength on a budget, resistance bands offer fitness freedom for your modern life.