Learn how to use rubber bands in bodyweight exercises to get a gym-level workout.
With the popularity of non-gym workouts growing in popularity, it’s important to know all the techniques and tools you can use in your workouts to deliver a great workout anytime, anywhere, and at any fitness level.
Fitness expert James Graige understands exactly how effective rubber bands can be in a variety of exercises. He has built muscle and maintained his athletic physique over the years using little more than resistance bands and bands, and he’s here to show you exactly how to incorporate them into your next workout.
“There are two reasons why you can use bands in your workout,” explains Greyge. “First, you can add more resistance, and second, help release resistance by doing some exercises.”
Using ribbons to aid exercise
One of the most common uses of bands is to aid in difficult physical exercises such as dips and pull-ups.
You can use a rubber band to help you do the dips by attaching it to parallel bars and placing your knees or feet in the center of the band to do the exercise.
If you don’t need help but want to improve your strength, you can do as many reps as possible using your body weight, and then once you reach failure, use the tape to do a few more push-ups, just like you do. would have done on a gravitron. The same is with pull-ups on the horizontal bar.
What makes these bands uniquely effective for exercise is variable resistance. The more you stretch the elastic, the more it resists.
“The bottom line is that when you stretch the tape as much as possible, that is also the weakest point in the range of motion,” says Graige. Therefore, the rubber band gives you maximum help when you need it.
Thus, the bands help you get past the most difficult sticking points in bodyweight exercises so you can increase muscle strength.
Using bands for extra resistance
We are now applying the same concept in the opposite way. Take push-ups, for example. It’s difficult for experienced athletes to make an exercise like a push-up more strenuous without adding a ton of reps and using extra weight like a power vest or a barbell pancake.
By using the same variable resistance principle, you can not only make the push-up harder, but also apply maximum resistance exactly where you need it.
Secure the tape under the shoulder blades and press each end with your hands to the floor before starting the push-up. Remember, the more you stretch the tape, the more it resists, so when you squeeze your body to the top, you create more resistance. This is the basic principle of strength training: work against increased resistance.
“You are strongest at the top of the movement,” explains Graige. “So the force curve now more closely matches the resistance created by the rubber band.”
You can also use bands to add extra resistance to the toughest exercises, such as squats and bench presses, to build even more size and strength.