4 Exercises You Can Do With Resistance Bands

You've got the gear—now here's how to use it

Easy to fold up and throw in your bag, resistance bands are one of the best pieces of workout gear for travelers. Whether you attach them to a door handle or a tree trunk, they can help you fit in your strength training just about anywhere.

We recommend this starter pack from Black Mountain Products because of its versatility. Once you've made your purchase, here's a few great exercises to try. 

Lateral Raise
With your feet shoulder width apart, grab one end of the resistance band with your right hand and place the other end under your right foot. Straighten your right arm with your thumb pointed forward and keep a slight bend in your elbow. With your abdominals contracted and good posture, lift your arm laterally to shoulder height without bending your wrist. Your thumb should be pointed up and your palm should be pointed forward. Lower your arm and repeat on both sides.

Front Raise
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart on the band and grasp the ends of the band with your palms facing one another. Keep your arms straight and raise them until they are at shoulder height. Lower your arms and repeat.

Thigh Abduction and Adduction
Sit in a chair, tie an eight- to 12-inch loop on one end of the band and place it around your ankles. Stand up and do a set of kicks to the front, side and back with your right leg, holding onto the chair for balance. Repeat with the left leg. 

Hamstring Curl
Now stand behind your chair with the band around your ankles. Bend your knees slightly and shift your body weight to your right leg. Lift your left leg slightly off the ground and bend it 90 degrees toward your buttocks, making sure your abs stay contracted. Slowly return it to the starting position and repeat the exercise with your right leg.

Via American Council on Exercise and University of Arizona.