Using nothing but your own bodyweight can be extremely effective and make you insanely strong. Plus, it’s super accessible—equipment-free bodyweight workouts can be done almost anywhere and require no expensive gear or gym membership.
However, using resistance bands in your bodyweight training is good for you as well. They can help to make some moves more accessible (a.k.a. easier) and others more challenging, depending on your needs and where you are in your fitness journey. Plus, you may be surprised how much variety working out with resistance bands can add to your training.
Resistance Bands Make Workouts Super Versatile
There are so many ways to use resistance bands. You’ll seriously never get bored once you start playing around with them. There are some fairly well known ways to use resistance bands of course, for example, making pull ups a bit easier for those who can’t do them yet.
You can also use resistance bands in squats by stepping on the band and holding the band with each hand, then squatting and adding a press at the top. That way, you turn the primarily lower body exercise into a full body exercise.
You can also loop the band around your upper back and do lunges—pressing yourself up to standing is much harder now!
Bands Help You Make Progress Faster
If there are exercises that you can’t do because you aren’t strong enough yet, you can use bands to help you to build not only physical strength, but also muscle memory. That way your body gets used to and remembers how the movement feels, so one day you can do it without the band.
Pull ups are probably the most commonly known exercise where you can use them for this purpose, but they can also help you make faster progress in handstands, push ups, pistol squats, and even more advanced exercises like front levers and muscle ups.
Bands Can Make Your Exercises Easier
When you first start practicing handstand push ups or muscle ups, you may find yourself getting super frustrated because they’re much harder than you ever expected.
Here’s where using bands can really help you. You can practice not only muscle ups or handstand push ups, but also so many simpler moves with bands.
As an example, resistance bands can help you to get started with explosive, or “clapping” push ups. You can just attach the band to a pull up bar and then place it around your hips. As you do a push up with the band around your hips, the band will slightly pull you up so you can release your hands quickly before landing in the push up position again.
Bands Can Make Your Exercises Harder
Increasing the volume, or, the number of reps, is one way to build more strength. The other way is to increase resistance, or, make the exercises more difficult. This is where resistance bands can help you.
If you want to get stronger at push ups, you can simply wrap the band around your upper back and grab each end of the band with your hands. When you’re pushing up, the band will add resistance, making your body work harder. If you want to make regular bodyweight squats more challenging, you can do squat presses with the band. You will quickly learn that this version is significantly harder than regular squats!
You Can Work Out Anywhere
Resistance bands are perfect for outdoor workout too. If you have a fitness park near you, that’s the best place, but you can also do plenty of things at a typical kid’s playground. The best part about having your own equipment with you is that you never have to wait if someone else is using the equipment you want to use!
There are plenty of exercises that you can do even at home, which means that you won’t have to spend time driving or walking to a park or gym.
Bands are Small and Portable
Jump ropes are one the best workout tools for traveling, because they’re so small and will fit in any bag. But bands are actually no different! They’re about the same size as jump ropes, they’re easy to store at home, you can stick them in your pocket when you go to train outside and bring them with you when you travel.
You Can Use Bands to Increase Flexibility
Bands are actually also great for increasing flexibility! You can do various chest and shoulder stretches with them, increase hamstring, quadriceps and hip flexor flexibility and more.