Adding resistance bands to your fitness routine is a simple way to increase the intensity of exercises, burn more calories, build muscle, and accelerate your weight loss.  When incorporated into a regular exercise routine, resistance bands can help you move to the next level with your fitness.

So, how do you get started? This post will explain:

  • What are resistance bands?
  • Advantages of using resistance bands for weight loss
  • Simple resistance band exercises for weight loss

What are resistance bands?

Resistance bands are light weight elastic bands – think large rubber band – that are used for strength training. There a few common resistance band styles:

  • Closed loop – these are great for lower body exercises, like lateral walks or squats
  • Long or short bands with plastic handles – these can be used for upper body exercises like an overhead press
  • Flat, long bands – these can be used for upper or lower body exercises, and can even assist with stretching

The different colors represent the strength of the band – or the stretchiness. The stronger the band, the harder it is to stretch, meaning your resistance for that exercise is higher and more intense.  Generally, green and red bands tend to be on the lighter side, whereas blue or purple bands are on the heavier side.

Resistance bands can target any muscle group, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, chest, biceps, and more. Resistance bands are affordable and easy to store, and you can take them with you to get in a good workout anywhere! Take them with you on vacation, or keep a resistance band in your desk to use for quick exercise breaks at work.

The Advantages of Using Resistance Bands

Research shows that resistance bands offer significant benefits compared to free weights for strength training. They put less pressure on joints, thereby reducing the risk of injury. Resistance bands are effective at increasing muscular strength for all types of people, regardless of age, gender, or current fitness level.  Here are some benefits of using resistance bands for weight loss:

  • Your muscles are under constant tension. Unlike dumbbells or weight machines, resistance bands keep your muscles activated for the full range of the movement. This increases the overall quality of the movement.
  • Smaller muscles get into the game. Using resistance bands can feel “wobbly” at first, and that is where your smaller stabilizing muscles come in. These muscles help support your larger muscle groups in completing a smooth, stable movement, and a resistance band helps activate them!
  • Movement is more natural. With free weights or machines, your range of motion can be restricted or unnatural. With resistance bands, your body moves more freely which supports your fitness for the day-to-day activities of living.
  • You can do more with less. Resistance bands are perfect for compound movements – exercises that combine more than one movement into a single rep. For example, you can stand on a resistance band to add weight to a squat or lunge, and also raise your hands over your head as you stand to incorporate a shoulder movement.
  • You feel what is working. With resistance bands, small changes to your position or angle can make a big difference in how intensely you feel the exercise. With small adjustments, you can find the movement that makes you feel the most powerful and gives you the most benefit.

Simple Resistance Band Exercises for Weight Loss

Try these easy moves to incorporate resistance bands into your fitness routine!

  1. Wrap a resistance band around your thighs and perform a squat. This will increase the muscle activation of your glutes.
  2. Place a loop band on your forearms and perform an overhead press to target the shoulder muscles.
  3. Wrap a band around a sturdy object, like a door knob or pole, and use the band to perform rows. This targets your back muscles.
  4. Hold one end of the band in each hand and extend your arms up and down across your body like you are making a letter X – think cheerleader or lifeguard. This is a great move to support strong posture!
  5. Stand on one end of the band, and hold the other end in your hand to perform a bicep curl. Adjust the position of your hand until you find the right amount of resistance.

Looking for more ideas for how to use resistance bands? Ask your CoreLife Exercise Specialist about safe exercises you can incorporate into your routine. You can also purchase resistance bands at and CoreLife clinic. Use them at home, in the gym with your trainer, or pick up an extra set to give as a gift!