Want to up the ante with your bodyweight training? Here’s how to do it by adding a resistance band to your routine.

If you’re enjoying your bodyweight training but looking to kick things up a notch, a resistance band, (also known as a theraband) allows you to create greater resistance, making it harder to do the move and increasing the benefits. Easy to roll up and stash in your bag, you’ll be able to keep up your bodyweight training anywhere, anytime! Here’s eight exercises you can do using a resistance band.

 1: Seated row 

Area of the body worked: The upper back muscles.

  • Sit on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you, feet together.

Resistance band stretch

  • Place the resistance band around your feet, and hold equal lengths in your hands either side – your hands will level with your knees.

Resistance band stretch

  • Holding your stomach in and your back straight, pull the bands backwards.

Resistance band stretch

  • Slowly release the bands back.

Resistance band stretch

 2: Shoulder press 

Area of the body worked: Shoulders and triceps.

  • Stand straight, with legs hip-width apart, the band under your feet.

Resistance band stretch

  • Hold the band with either hand, they should be level with your shoulders.

Resistance band stretch

  • Pull the bands upward, over your head.

Resistance band stretch

  • Release slowly and with control to the starting position.

Resistance band stretch

 3: Push up 

Area of the body worked: The pectoral muscles (chest) and triceps, and some benefit for the deltoids (back) and midsection.

  • On the ground, set your hands at a distance slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. The band should be held in either hand, lying behind your shoulders around your upper back, resting at bicep level.
  • Raise up onto your arms and knees – or arms and feet, making sure your body is a straight line – your buttocks shouldn’t be sticking way up in the air or sagging down. If you’re having trouble staying straight, concentrate on tightening your abs, pulling your belly button to your spine and tilting your hips towards your chin.)
  • Steadily lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle or smaller.
  • Once your chest touches the floor (or your arms go down to a 90 degree angle), push back up until you’re back in the same position.

Resistance band stretch    Resistance band stretch

 4: Squat walk 

Area of the body worked: The quadriceps, glutes and calf muscles.

  • Tie the resistance band around your upper thighs, the tighter you do it, the harder the exercise.

Resistance band stretch

  • Standing in the squat position (bent at the knee, hips back and knees not going over your feet), step the left.

Resistance band stretch

  • Step back to the right and repeat.

Resistance band stretch

  • You can also take several steps in one direction before returning.

Resistance band stretch

5: Side steps 

Area of the body worked: The hip abductors (sides of your glutes).

  • Stand straight, with legs hip width apart, the band under your feet.
  • Hold the band with either hand, they should be level with your hips.
  • Step to the left – you can do one step, or several.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.

Resistance band stretch

 6: Bicep curls 

Area of the body worked: The biceps

  • Stand straight, with legs hip width apart, the band under your feet.
  • Hold the band with either hand, they should be level with your hips and facing upwards.

Resistance band stretch

  • Pull the bands up towards your shoulders, ensuring your hands continue to face up to work your biceps.

Resistance band stretch

  • Slowly return your hands to the start position and repeat.

  7: Triceps extension 

Area of the body worked: The triceps

  • Fold the band on half and hold one end in your left hand behind your head.

Resistance band stretch

  • Hold the other end of the band in your right hand and lift towards the sky, as far as you can extend it.

Resistance band stretch

  • Slowly release back to the starting position, do 12 – 15 repetitions before swapping to the other side.

Resistance band stretch

 8: Standing row 

Area of the body worked: The upper back muscles.

  • Stand slightly bent at the waist, with legs hip width apart, the band under your feet.
  • Hold the band with either hand, they should be level with your knees.

Resistance band stretch

  • Pull the bands up and behind your back at hip level, as far back as you can stretch them.

Resistance band stretch

  • Slowly return your hands to the start position and repeat.

Hold the band with either hand, they should be level with your knees.

The content of this article is not tailored for any particular individual’s circumstances. The author does not take into account your physical condition, medical history or any medication you may be taking. Any advice or information provided by the author cannot replace the advice of your health care professional. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent those of HBF unless clearly indicated.