Resistance band and thera band exercises may look like easy beginner stuff but there are actually dozens of dynamic exercises that you can do with them that really challenge your body and turn up the fat burn.
In addition to improving strength, mobility, stability and coordination, bands can improve posture, endurance, breathing efficiency and recovery which are factors that influence fat burning and toning.
Here are some of the best resistance and thera band moves plus tons of helpful band exercise tips.
1. Bands do not rely on gravity like weights to provide resistance so when you use them you are working against the resistance of the band provided by your own weight. This allows for a wider variety of movement in many planes of motion that allows you to train more dynamically and beat that adaptation response (the plateau).
2. Bands provide continuous tension so unlike weights that eliminate tension at the top and bottom of a movement, bands keeps your muscles working the entire time. This forces your stabilizers and postural muscles to work harder boosting both overall fitness level and fat burning.
3. Bands provide more resistance as range of motion increases so unlike a weight that provides max resistance at full contraction bands provide more as range of motion increases. If this sounds confusing just think of a db curl.
Once you curl the weight to the top the resistance stops but with a band the resistance gets harder. This recruits more muscle fibers forcing your body to work harder and burn more fat and calories. The resistance band exercises on this page are just a few examples of the dozens of ways you can use bands to get your best female figure.
There are so many types and brands of bands available that choosing bands can be confusing or overwhelming. Below are the best ones to use for your best female figure workouts. The best part is how inexpensive they are which means you can get various types for even more variety.
Flat thera bands are sold in rolls that you can cut to size but you can also find them in packages of three cut to a shorter length than longer Pilates bands. These are super versatile, cheap and durable if you take care of them and easy to find just about anywhere.
Mini bands also known as ankle bands, loops, and booty bands are small and designed to go around your ankles or knees. Of all the bands these are the trickiest to purchase. Some brands make them too tight so they break easily and others make them too loose so you don't get good resistance. Best brand hands down of all the ones I've owned is GoFit or TheraBand.
Pilates bands also called flex bands or body bands or Franklin method bands are similar to thera bands but cut to a specific length for Pilates and dance conditioning exercises. These are just as good as thera bands and very versatile, cheap and durable too. I own one and have access to the ones in our Pilates studio at our gym so use them with clients often. This is the type I use most for thera band exercises in my workout plans.
Tubular resistance bands with handles also called exercise tubing come in various colors that offer specific resistance from light to very heavy. Although popular among trainers these bands are not as versatile as flat bands but still do the job if that is the only option available to you. I own green, red, and blue and recommend you get a kit instead of buying just one that way you have various weight options and a door attachment.
Super bands also known as body bands, athletic bands or power lifting bands are long heavy duty loops that you can step into or place around your body for a variety of athletic type exercises. Unlike all the other bands these are expensive and not as practical for everyday women just looking to burn fat and lose weight. I own two sets (red and blue) and rarely use them. The attachments for these are also very pricey.
The thera band may seem like an innocent piece of latex that can't hurt you but I've seen people in the gym practically take an eye out, displace a shoulder or break a finger because of improper use, inadequate maintenance and over confidence. Here's how to stay safe and prolong the use your bands:
1. When stepping on a band make sure it's under the ball or arch of your foot so it doesn't slide out and snap you in the leg, hand or face. When doing thera bands exercises with bare feet make sure your toenails are trimmed so that you can dig your toes into the band.
2. When curling, pressing or pulling the band apart with your arms be sure to resist the full range of motion to prevent the band from pulling you around and to avoid wear and tear on your joints.
3. If you have long fingernails don't dig your nails into your thera bands to hold them instead scrunch up the ends into a ball and hold that ball like you would hold a weight.
4. When wrapping bands around your body make sure to keep them away from zippers, buttons, or other rough edges on your workout clothes that can tear them.
5. If you have long hair be sure to tie it back or keep it away from the bands so your hair doesn't get tangled in the band and so the band doesn't rip hair out when doing thera band exercises.
6. If your bands get dirty with sweat, dust, hair or fabrics from your clothes just hang them up to dry then shake them place them on a clean towel and sprinkle talcum powder on them then wipe away powder with dry towel.
7. When your bands start to feel loose or like they're not providing the same resistance check for over stretching or wear and tear like holes or nicks and if you see any throw them away and order new ones.
8. If attaching bands from doors or railing in your home make sure the attachment point is safe and that people know not to open the door you are using to train.
9. Do not attempt to make your own band attachments. My sister tried this and got whacked in the face with her band while doing thera band exercises. Just get the band attachments that are made of super heavy duty materials and designed to support your body's resistance.