Resistance bands are proven to accelerate exercise results and, in an age of coronavirus where home workouts are the norm, they're practically a godsend. They're versatile and can be adapted to target near enough every muscle meaning you won't need to team them with other pieces of at-home gym equipment, they're affordable so you needn't worry if you won't use them again post COVID-19, and a recent study even shows them to garner the same results as weight lifting. Here, we've rounded up the very best, as well as the most effective exercises to try.
SEE: 22 best home workouts to try during lockdown
Best budget resistance bands
Peak Supps have rave reviews on Amazon, and it's all thanks to skin-friendly and durable latex that won't bunch up as you work out (if you know, you know). Each band comes in different strengths – light, medium or heavy, and cost only £4.75 each.
Peak Supps moderate resistance band, £4.75, Amazon
SEE: The best home gym equipment to make exercising at home easier
Best beginner's resistance bands
Fitness Mad's resistance band is ideal for those new to resistance training. It's specifically set at the lightest resistance, meaning that it'll stretch further and users won't have to push (i.e. resist) as hard to complete a move.
Fitness Mad light resistance band, £6.99, Amazon
Best advanced resistance bands
FITFORT is made for anyone already au fait with resistance bands. Their star feature is the anti-slip and durable design, meaning that you can train as hard as you like without the bands rolling up. If you're not quite there yet but aim to really get to grips over the next few weeks of lockdown, this set comes with three levels of resistance, so you'll get the same benefits as you progress from amateur to advanced.
FITFORT resistance bands set, £19.99, Amazon
Best resistance bands with handles
Resistance bands with handles allow you to target specific arm muscles while stabilising with your lower body. This Fitness-Mad buy comes with a user guide explaining the key exercises for a total body workout, and is available in three colours: pink, light blue and dark blue.
Fitness-Mad resistance band with handle, £13.95 - £15.49, Amazon
Best resistance band set
Gritin resistance bands are designed according to the level of exertion required: green is the lightest and black is the heaviest. This set of five is currently a best-seller on Amazon which, considering it's only £15.99 and there's something to suit all abilities, is easy to understand.
Gritin resistance bands set, £15.99, Amazon
Best long resistance bands
Reebok's Toning Bands are ideal for assisted stretches and improving on flexibility. They come in a pack of two: one low and one medium resistance level, at 1.8m long each, making them the perfect length for anchoring around feet or hands during recovery.
Toning Bands, £6.99, Reebok at Sports Direct
Best resistance bands workouts
Best resistance band glute exercises
Glute bridge: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet directly under your knees. Wrap a resistance band around your thighs and press into your heels as you squeeze your glutes and raise your hips to the ceiling. Lower and repeat.
Squat abduction: Wrap a resistance band around your thighs and bend into a squat. Move one knee a few inches to the right and back to centre. Repeat on the other side.
Best resistance band leg exercises
Hamstring walkout: Wrap a resistance band around your thighs, lie on your back and bend your knees with feet directly under knees. Lift your hips into the air and press your heels into the ground. Lift one foot and step it a couple of inches forward, ensuring to keep your hips lifted. Lift the other foot and follow. Reverse the movement with steps back to return to the start.
Lateral walk: Wrap a resistance band around your thighs and lower into a squat. Step to one side and squat. Step back to return to starting position. Repeat with a step to the other side.
Best resistance band arm exercises
Plank row: Get into a high plank with shoulders stacked over your wrists. Wrap one resistance band around one thumb and hold the other in your opposite hand. Pull to your shoulder and slowly lower back down. Repeat.
Bent over row: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees with a micro-bend and hinge at the hips with a flat back so that you are at 90 degrees. Wrap one end of a resistance band around one foot and hold the other end in the hand of the same side. Pull the band up until your hand almost reaches the side of your body and lower back to release. Repeat.
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