The Best Resistance Band Stretches
Resistance bands are great for stretching, especially for those with limited flexibility and mobility. Stretching is very important as it lengthens and relaxes the muscles. Mobility is also very important as it increases your range of motion and allows you to move better.
Both resistance band stretches and banded mobility exercises will help improve your overall performance. Certain stretches and mobility exercises are best done with assistance from someone. You see athletes getting stretched by their trainers all the time. That’s because certain stretches require assistance. That’s why resistance bands are essential if you don’t have or don’t want help when stretching…Resistance bands can act as your personal, portable, stretching trainer/partner.
This basic stretching routine targets the muscles of your hips, legs, chest, and back. You will be using a resistance band or tube, which will allow you to deepen your stretch and increase your flexibility.The key to making this workout effective is to use just enough tension to deepen your stretch without going too far. In order to get the right level of flexibility, you may need to adjust where you hold the band.
10 Best Stretch Band Workouts
- Lying Pike Stretch
This is a fantastic stretch to open up your hamstrings. The band makes this stretch similar to as if a partner were assisting you.
Lie down on your back and wrap a band or a towel around your feet (it usually works better with if the band is folded in half first). Keeping your legs as straight as possible, engage your quads and pull your chest towards your legs. Start slowly, and go only as far as you can go while keeping your legs straight. Pause, then try and go a little further.
You can also flip onto your shoulders for an even deeper pike stretch.
- Glute stretch
Start off lying down, back flat on the floor, feet flat on the floor, and your knees raised. Loop your band around both legs, just above the knee. Try to keep your knees at least hip-width apart, working against the tension of the band. Now, raise your hips gradually into the bridge position, stabilizing yourself by placing your arms flat against the floor. Continue raising your hips until your torso and thighs form a straight line, and then slowly and gradually reverse the movement until your hips come to rest on the floor.
- Side Stretch
Sit on a chair or cross-legged on the floor. Hold onto one side of the band with the left hand and reach the arm towards the right. Grab onto the other end with the right hand and gently pull, creating tension and stretching the left side of the waist. Try not to round through the back, but keep the torso straight. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Single-Leg Lift
Lie on your back or have a standing position with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place a resistance band around your ankles. Place your arms out to your sides at a 45-degree angle from your body. This is your starting position. Raise your right leg in the air, driving the knee toward the chest. Return to start. That’s one rep. Do 8 reps; repeat on the opposite side. Keep your feet flat and lift from the core, not from the hip flexors
- Shoulder Stretch
This exercise will fire up the rear deltoids, rhomboids, and Teres minor to get them ready to stabilize the shoulder joint. Keep a neutral spine, think good posture.
Slowly pull the band apart. When you pull the band apart, make sure to retract your scapular (shoulder blades). You’ll activate all your posterior muscles, getting them ready to stabilize the shoulder joint for big compound movements, while making sure that your shoulder isn’t going to sustain any injuries. Do one set of 10-12 reps.
- Calf Stretch
Your lower leg muscles take a beating when you run or exercise so they’re one of the most important muscles to stretch at the end of your day.
Place your right leg out straight while keeping the knee extended. Place the band around the widest part of foot; pull back on the band and hold for 15 to 20 seconds. Push your foot into the band for five to seven seconds; relax and pull your foot back into a new range of motion (ROM). Repeat for two to three cycles of contracting and relaxing before switching to the left foot.
- Kneeling Quad Stretch
Sit on the floor with the right leg bent in front of you, left leg bent behind you. Loop the band around the top of the left foot. Lean-to the right on the right forearm and use the band to gently pull the heel towards the glutes to stretch the front of the thigh. Squeeze the glutes for a deeper stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Pancake Stretch
This is an awesome stretch for handstands or gymnastics flexibility training and the band helps you get deeper into the stretch faster.
Sit on the floor with your legs straddled as wide as possible to each side. Fold a band in half, then hold each end of the band in one hand above your head. Keep your back flat, then lean your chest forward as far as you can while keeping your shoulders above your head. Your goal should be to get your chest to touch the floor but just go as far as feels comfortable first.
- Hip Stretches
This exercise targets the hip flexor muscles. To begin, you’ll need to anchor one end of your resistance band to a suitably strong point, at about knee height. Now, step into the band, looping it around your left thigh, and take about a pace back to create tension in the band. Adopt a kneeling position with your left leg and keep your right leg out to the front with your knee joint forming a right angle (like the “take a knee” position in sports). For added stability, push your left foot outwards a little, rather than maintaining a straight line behind you. Repeat for the other hip.
- Lying Hip Rotator Stretch
Your hip rotators and outer thigh muscles help stabilize your body when standing on one leg and do a lot of work when you’re running. This stretch focuses on those muscles and feels great, so it’s a good one to finish up your cool-down.
Lie flat on the ground with your left leg out straight. Wrap the band around the outside edge of your right foot and pull it across your body with your left hand; hold your right knee in your right hand. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds and then push the outside edge of your foot into the band (moving away from your left hand). Gently push down on your knee (pushing your thigh bone into your hip socket) and hold for five to seven seconds. Release and with your left hand pull your right foot into a new ROM. Repeat for two to three cycles of contracting and relaxing before switching to the left leg.
There you have it! 10 simple exercises to help stretch your muscles. Using the resistance band method of stretching is an extremely effective method of increasing muscle flexibility and joint ROM. Be sure to do a proper pre-hab to warm up before you exercise, and then use the contract-relax method at the end to ensure a proper cool-down, which is critical for recovery and preparing for your next session.