As humans, we can’t help but look for the better and best versions of pretty much everything. It’s a natural instinct! Take yoga, for example. Once you discover all of yoga’s amazing fitness benefits — it improves balance, busts your booty, and gives you a full body workout, to name a few — you’ll probably want to maximize those benefits even further. Thanks to resistance bands, that’s actually possible!
That’s right, bulldoggers. With resistance bands, our brand of high-energy yoga just got even better.
Resistance bands can be incorporated into almost any workout for an added challenge, and luckily, yoga is no exception. According to the National Institute for Fitness & Sport, yoga with resistance bands offers a wide range of benefits. Most obviously, of course, they offer extra tension and resistance (well, duh) to other motions, prompting your muscles to work a little harder.
Per NIFS, resistance bands also allow you to take advantage of a full range of motion in your exercises. Workout moves with resistance bands tend to be much less limiting than workout moves that use free weights or other weight machines, and exercising within a wider range of motion helps reduce the risk of injury.
If you’re looking to add a fun twist to your yoga practice, resistance bands are also a really convenient, manageable way to go! They’re easy to store, pack, and travel with, so you can incorporate them whether you’re in your yoga flow in our Main Line studios or the comfort of your living room (hello, online yoga!).
Ready to start incorporating resistance bands into your yoga routine so you can reap those benefits? Start with these three moves.
1. Start in tabletop pose, with hands and knees on the floor and your shoulders stacked over your hands. Your resistance band should be stretched between the balls of both feet. Maintaining the position of your upper body, slowly straighten one leg, lifting your foot off the floor. Hold in that position, then bend your knee to repeat the same motion on the same side. See how many reps you can do before switching to the other leg. A great workout for your core and lower body!
2. If you’re trying to sculpt your upper body, resistance bands are about to be your new BFFs. Adding them to your yoga repertoire can really help tone your arms. Set up into a Warrior 2 lunge pose, with your front foot pointed forward and your back foot flat on your mat and perpendicular to the front one. Wrap a resistance band under your back foot, gripping the band with your back hand while keeping the opposite arm straight above your front leg. Pull up on the resistance band until your elbow is at a right angle. Hold at the top of each rep before returning to starting position and pulling up again. How many reps can you do before switching the position of your legs and working out your opposite arm?
3. Here’s another way to work your upper body! Start in Warrior 1, lunging with both feet pointed forward and keeping your hips squared off. Wrap a resistance band across the blades of both hands. Begin with both elbows at right angles and tucked into your sides, your hands in front of you at your waist, palms facing in. Place one palm flat on your chest, keeping that elbow tucked into your side. Straighten the opposite elbow for one rep, feeling the resistance as your arm gets closer to parallel with your back leg. Challenge yourself to five to ten reps on one side before switching.
Top Resistance Bands for Working Out
You’ve got the moves, and now you need the tools of the trade. Here are a few top exercise bands we love.
1. MyAdventuretoFit: These non-slip fabric resistance bands are soft, handmade, affordable, and pink! They also come with a mesh carrying case for easy transport.
2. LaCatrinaCreations: Grab these bands in sets of three so you can have one band in your car, one in your workout bag, and one under your desk at the office. Opportunities for a quick exercise sesh are everywhere!
3. Fitccessory: If the only thing better than yoga is yoga with a resistance band, then the only thing better than a resistance band is a resistance band printed with avocados. Guacamole, anyone?
4. RapidStrength: These nylon resistance bands are soft and elastic, and yet somehow tough and durable. Multi-tasking, just like you!
Now it’s your turn to get the (resistance) band (back) together! Combine yoga moves with exercise bands for an effective and challenging full body workout.
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Featured image: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash