6 Simple Exercises That Are *Way* More Effective With Resistance Bands

Photo: Getty Images/Martin Dm
You don't need to spend big bucks on fancy gym equipment to get into the best shape of your life. In fact, one of the best tools at your disposal is completely affordable, easy to pack for trips, and incredibly versatile. We're talking about how to use resistance bands.

If you follow trainer Rhys Athayde on Instagram, you'll quickly notice that he incorporates resistance bands into more than a few movements. As the chief experience officer and founding trainer of Dogpound, he works with a long list of celebrities who swear by them, including Josephine Skriver and Jasmine Tookes.

Aside from building workouts around the weights and machines in his New York City studio, Athayde's easy strength-training routines are made more challenging with the addition of a resistance band. From abdominal exercises to booty workouts, and everything in between, a little added resistance goes a long way.

How to use resistance bands and really feel the burn

1. Bicycle crunches


Bicycle crunches already bring on the burn, but a resistance band really makes you feel it in your obliques.

2. Treadmill side steps


Tired of your usual treadmill routine? Slip a resistance band around your thighs, just above the knee. Side steps at an incline to target your glutes.

3. Single-leg hip raises


Elevated single-leg hip raises will always make you break a sweat, but add a resistance band just above your knees and your muscles have to work even harder.

4. Stationary steps


Doing side, diagonal, and back steps with one leg while balancing on the other will certainly tire you out after a while. When you add a resistance band, though—either around your calves or above your knees—you'll amp up the all-over toning effects.

5. Clamshells


Clamshells might look easy at first, but in Athayde's words, they're killer. With a resistance band above your knees, the motion's toning abilities only increase.

6. Squat walks


Squat walks are great for your booty and quads (just make sure you get all the way down, with your hips below parallel), especially when you add some resistance by using a band both above your knees and around your calves.

Find out the best pants for every type of workout. Or, here's the one thing Jennifer Aniston's trainer says gives you a better workout.

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