Gone are the days when a strength workout only meant hefty gym equipment. What if we told you that a weight training regime is more than possible with just an elastic resistance band? A 2020 meta-analysis by the journal SAGE Open Medicine suggests that the effectiveness of resistance bands can be compared to conventional free weights (dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells) in terms of strengthening muscle and losing body fat-in fact, it’s a cheaper and portable piece of equipment that you can pretty much carry around in a pocket for a quick and easy travel workout.
Though an ideal strength workout would include both elastic resistance and free weights, body recomposition and transformation specialist Avinash Mansukhani believes that resistance bands are an effective and adequate tool for getting a workout in and hitting all the muscle groups-even when you’re on the go or don’t have access to a gym. “Ideally, I would recommend two resistance bands-one for the bigger muscle groups (leg, chest and back) and one for the smaller ones (biceps, triceps and shoulders),” says the man behind Fight The Sunrise (FTS) fitness. “If you can only take one, I suggest you take the lighter one and hit more reps instead of taking the heavier one and being able to perform none,” he adds.
Want to get started? Here is a great list of resistance band exercises that you can try, as directed by Mansukhani himself. Starting with the chest and ending with the calves, this full body routine can be done regardless of your gender. “Perform between 3 to 6 working sets for each move, depending on how advanced you are,” suggests the trainer. “Do repetitions till failure if you’re doing a full body workout. If you are splitting them into upper and lower body days, you can do 5 to 8 sets of each,” he adds. Build your reps as you build your strength and endurance, and remember to get adequate rest, nutrition and hydration.