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7 Workouts You Can Do With Resistance Bands If You’re A Beginner

These resistance bands will work your muscles hard.
PHOTO: Getty Images/istockphoto
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Resistance bands are one of the most popular workout equipment for two reasons: 1) They’re portable, which means you can use them anywhere and 2) Compared to a lot of other tools, they’re affordable. 

These bands can provide assistance (it can make pull-ups feel easier) or resistance (air squats and lunges could feel harder). The color of the bands also matter. It’s not the same for every brand, but generally speaking, the lighter the color, the less resistance it has: Beginners use yellow to orange bands and more advanced athletes lean towards the greens and purples. What’s most important is being able to use the resistance bands to challenge every move you make without compromising your form or technique. If you feel like you are able to do 15 reps of the same exercise without feeling tired, that’s usually a clear indicator that it’s time to move up.

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Resistance bands work you double-time: Your muscles are working with the tension the band creates for a longer period. This builds strength, which is why a lot of people, especially trainers, are such fans. If you have resistance bands at home and want to try them for the first time, check out these workouts.

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The Best Workouts For Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands: Lateral Walk

Wrap a resistance band around your thighs, just about the knee. Slightly bend your knees into a half-squat. Take a step to the right and then take a step back; that’s equivalent to one rep. If you have more room, you can keep walking sideways while keeping your half-squat position. Repeat 15 times and then go the other direction.

Resistance Bands: Lateral Lunge

Loop a resistance band around your ankles. Get into starting position: Stand straight with your legs together and put your hands together in front of your chest (in what is similar to a praying position). Take a big step to the right, pushing your butt back and bending your knee to deepen the lunge. Push back into the starting position to complete one rep. Do this 12 to 15 times before switching legs.

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Resistance Bands: Single-Leg Deadlift

Stand straight with one foot slightly in front of the other. Wrap a resistance band around the front foot. Hold the other end of the band with two hands. Lean forward, slightly bend your knees, and lower down until your hands are by your knees. Slowly lift up to the starting position. This counts as one rep. Do 10 to 15 reps before switching to the other side.

Resistance Bands: Thruster

Stand shoulder-width apart, with both feet on a resistance band. Grab onto each end of the band and bring your hands to your shoulders, pulling the band. The band should be behind your shoulders, and your elbows should be pointing out to the sides. Hinge forward at your hips and sit back into an air squat. Stabilize yourself with your heels. On your way up back to the standing position, press your arms overhead. Engage your core and squeeze your butt. Slowly lower your hands back to your shoulders. Do this 12 to 15 times before moving on to your next move.

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Resistance Bands: Chest Press

Pick a band with handles and loop it onto something secure behind you. Grab onto each handle and hold your arms straight out to the side, elbows bent at a right angle. Make sure your palms are facing forward. Stand with one foot in front of the other so your feet are staggered. Then, slowly press the handles forward and straighten your arms, until your hands meet in front of your body. Bend your elbows and bring the handles back toward your chest to return to the starting position. Do this in a controlled motion. Repeat 15 times.

Resistance Bands: Bicycle Crunch

Lie on your back and loop the resistance band around your feet. Place your hands on the sides of your body as an anchor or put them behind your head. Bring your right knee toward your chest as the left leg extends. Keep switching sides as you count. Make sure your lower back isn’t lifting as you do this. Do this for 20 reps.

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Resistance Bands: Chopper

Loop a resistance band over a sturdy object, one that is positioned higher than your head. Stand to the right of it, with your feet shoulder-width apart, and grab onto the free end with both hands. Hold it in front of your body, by your left shoulder. Pull the band down diagonally across your body towards the right hip. Twist your torso as you pull. Do this for 10 to 15 reps before doing the other side.