At first glance, resistance bands might not look like much to you. Maybe something folks use when they first get into fitness or if they are trying to recover from an injury.
And while resistance bands can be useful for beginners or those following a rehabilitation program, their benefits expand far beyond that.
To that end, we’ve put this short guide for you. In it, we’ll go over three invaluable exercises you can do to improve your mobility and flexibility, and drastically decrease your risk of getting injured.
Also, to make the most out of the below exercises, you should perform each repetition slowly and with intent. Maintain good posture, keep constant tension on the band, and make sure that the right muscles are working.
- Band Face Pulls
Face pulls are an invaluable exercise that strengthens our rotator cuff muscles, develops our posterior delts, and leads to better stability and mobility in the shoulder joint.
What’s even better is the fact that you can perform them with long resistance bands or resistance bands with handles.
To do face pulls:
- Wrap a band on something sturdy, grab it with both hands, and step back to create some tension.
- Pull the band and have your elbow flared out and thumbs facing the ceiling.
- Get the band as close to your face as you can, hold for a moment, and extend your arms
- Lateral Walks
Most strength and mobility exercises are done two-dimensionally - front to back and back to front. But, to develop true hip mobility and stability, we also need to include side-to-side movements.
Resistance band lateral walks are great for strengthening and opening up the hips.
To do this exercise:
- Loop a smaller resistance band over your legs, just above your knees.
- Take a lateral step to the right.
- While keeping your right leg stable and rooted, bring your left foot to the right.
- Take the next lateral step in the same direction and follow along with your left leg.
- Lying Hamstring Stretches
Banded lying hamstring stretches are among the best exercises you can do to lengthen your hamstrings without having to put your lower back in a compromised position.
The great thing about bands is that they offer us the ability to apply enough pressure, so we don’t need to have a second person there.
To perform these:
- Lie flat on the floor and lift one leg in the air. Keep the knee slightly bent.
- Loop a band over the foot (a long resistance band would work great here).
- Fully straighten the leg and extend it, so your knee travels toward your chest. Use the band to apply pressure.
- Put the hamstring in a stretched position and hold for 20 to 40 seconds.
- Repeat for your other leg.
Make Sure to Incorporate Both Dynamic and Static Exercises
Resistance bands offer us the ability to perform tons of static exercises to stretch almost every muscle in the body.
And while all of these are beneficial for us, it’s vital to mix dynamic exercises into the equation, as they offer unique benefits, such as improved coordination and strength, better muscle activation, and better overall mobility.