Resistance band exercises

Resistance bands

Exercising with a resistance band can help improve your strength and flexibility. See suggested exercises and watch our exclusive video.

Resistance bands are large elastic bands that you can use to exercise all areas of the body. They can be good for people with limited mobility, as many of the exercises can be done while seated.

“We should all do muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week,” says BHF physical activity specialist Lisa Purcell.

Strength activities make your muscles stronger while flexibility exercises stretch them, making everyday activities easier. Some of these can be done while seated.

If you have a heart condition or high blood pressure it’s important to check with your doctor or cardiac rehabilitation team what sort of activities you can safely do and how much you should do.

Bands cost about £10 and are available from a wide range of retailers. Try your local sports shop or search online.

Lateral Raise

Resistance bands - lateral raise Stand up, place both feet on the middle of the resistance band and hold each end of it with your hands.

Raise both arms to the side, until they reach shoulder height, then return to your starting position and repeat ten times.



Squats

Resistance bands - squats Place both feet on the middle of the resistance band and hold each end of it with your hands. Slowly bend your knees into a squatting position, then return to your starting position and repeat ten times.



Chest Press

Resistance bands - chest pressSit or stand and put the resistance band behind your back and hold each end of it. Stretch both arms out in front of your chest, then return to your starting position and repeat ten times.



Leg Press

Resistance bands - leg pressSit on a chair with your back straight. Place one foot in the middle of the resistance band and hold both ends of it with your hands. Bend your knee towards you, then straighten it back out in front of you before returning to your starting position and repeating with each leg ten times.



Bicep Curl

Resistance bands - bicep curl Sit or stand, place both your feet on the middle of the resistance band and hold each end of it with your hands. Raise your arms out in front of you to chest height, then return to your starting position and repeat ten times.



Seated Calf Press

Resistance bands - calf pressSit on a chair with your back straight. Place one foot in the middle of the resistance band and hold both ends of it with your hands.

Extend your leg and point your toes towards the ceiling, then point your toes forwards towards the ground.

Return to the starting position and repeat with each leg ten times.



Tricep Press

Resistance bands - tricep pressStand up and place one end of the resistance band under the heel of one of your feet. Hold the other end of the band with both your hands, stretch the band so it runs behind your body and pull it above your head, then return to your starting position and repeat ten times on each side.

Read our guide to yoga including chair-based yoga

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