While hauling home a rower or a lat pulldown machine may not be an option, trainers have got an easy hack that’s (almost) as good— and all you need is a $15 resistance band. “Resistance band training has tons of advantages,” says trainer and founder of the DE Method Dannah Eve. “Performing workouts with weights requires access to a very well-stocked gym or home gym and tons of space, but resistance bands are highly valuable for anyone who wants to build strength and stability throughout the entire body.”
Admittedly, using a resistance band at home will feel a whole lot different than pumping iron at the gym, but these types of workouts offer their own set of strength-boosting benefits. “With resistance bands, the resistance increases as you move through the exercise range of motion, while free weights and weight machines stay the same during the full range of motion,” says Eve. And this, she adds, is a good thing. “Resistance bands are much easier on your body and offer a much safer, low impact and sustainable form of strength training, whereas weightlifting using free weights or machines can put unhealthy strain on your spine, joints, ligaments, and tendons.”
Another great thing about resistance bands: Unlike weights—which often require you to purchase an entire set to use throughout your workout—you really only need one of them. “You can also easily increase the overall weight per exercise just by adjusting your grip to increase resistance on the band,” says Eve. She’s a fan of her very own DE Total Body Bands ($15), which come in light, medium, and heavy resistance levels. One tip, before you click add to cart? “For beginners, it’s always better to start off on the light side and slowly increase resistance or change your grip as you build strength,” she says.
Below, Eve shares exactly how to reunite with the gym equipment you miss the most without ever having to leave your home. Here’s how to create a no gym equipment workout using resistance bands.
Rower: Resistance band rows
Start by fastening your resistance band around any secure object, like the leg of a (sturdy!) table, just below chest height. Place your feet slightly wider than your shoulders with your knees bent, hold the resistance band in each hand, and row toward your chest. Hold for two seconds, then repeat. The closer you stand to the sturdy object, the easier your rows will be, so step back further for an added challenge.
Glute machine: Resistance band kickbacks
Fasten your band around any secure object at knee height by wrapping half of the band around a pole and looping it through itself. Place the band around the middle of your foot, and step back to a comfortable distance. Hold onto the object for support, and kick back your leg while firing your glute muscle. Repeat a full set on one side, then switch to the other.
Upright rowing machine: Resistance band upright rows
Stand with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders, and secure the band underneath your feet. With a flat back and slight bend in your knees, row upward towards your face keeping your elbows pointed up and out. Hold for two seconds at the top and repeat. For an added challenge, cross the resistance bands in front of you for more tension.
Bench press machine: Resistance band chest press
Fasten your resistance band around any secure object, just below chest height. Step inside the band, then step forward to find the perfect resistance, facing away from the secure object. Place the band across the middle of each palm, with your hands are facing out as if you were to give a high-five. With a slight bend in your knees, close both hands around the band and press straight out until both arms are fully extended. Return to start and repeat.
Lat pulldown machine: Resistance band pulldowns
Using a long, total body resistance band, tie a knot on one end of the band and secure it over a door frame so that when you close the door, it will be on the other side of it. Kneel down on top of a folded towel or yoga mat, and reach up and grab the band with both palms facing away from you. Pull down until your hands reach shoulder height, squeezing your shoulders behind you. Slowly return to start and repeat.
Leg curl machine: Resistance band leg curl
Lay face down on a mat or towel while securing one end of your resistance band around a stable table, couch, or chair leg and the other around both ankles. Keeping your feet shoulder width apart, curl your legs up towards your butt, using your hamstrings. Hold at the top for a brief pause, lower back down, and repeat.
Want to try another resistance-band workout? Follow along with the video below: