Exercise Band Workouts for Your Hips and Thighs

The hips and thighs are difficult to slim and trim, second only to trimming belly fat. You can squat, lunge and extend and still have not get the results you want. Adding an elastic exercise band to your workout might be just the thing that helps improve your workout. Adding extra resistance to your exercise routine improves the effectiveness of your workout. To burn fat, you have to reduce your calories and do aerobic exercise, such as running, jogging, swimming or bicycling.  Do strength training exercises to improve your muscle tone and to add lean muscle mass while strengthening your muscles.

You can find exercise bands in most sporting goods stores or even at your local gym.  They are generally inexpensive, compared to other exercise equipment, and come in a variety of strengths. Beginners should start using bands that offer the least resistance and gradually move to more resistant bands as your strength increases. You can find bands that have handles or no handles. You can attach them to a door frame or a permanent wall anchor. Circular bands that wrap around your ankles or thighs are great for working your lower body while leaving your hands free.

Wrap a circular band around your ankles and lie down on the floor to do band leg extensions. Lie on your back with your legs extended. Squeeze your abs and lift one leg straight up toward the ceiling, stretching the band as you lift your leg. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds and then lower your leg back to the floor. Do 10 to 15 repetitions on each side. As your legs grow stronger, hold the lift up to 10 seconds or do more repetitions. Increase the resistance or the number of repetitions when you can do 12 repetitions without experiencing muscle failure.

Increase the effectiveness of your regular set of squats by adding a medium resistance exercise band. You can use two bands, one secured to each leg, or stand on one long band and hold each end in your hands. Move to your squat position and hold the handles of the exercise band with your palms up (or wrap the band around your hands) until there is slight tension on the bands. Push yourself up from the squat but keep your hands about waist level with your elbows bent and your palms upward. This exercise will not only add resistance to your lower body workout, it is also a great way to strengthen your arms and shoulders. Do 10 to 15 repetitions and then rest for one minute before doing another set of 10 to 15 squats.

Have a seat for this next exercise that will work your inner and outer thighs. Sit in a sturdy chair without arms and wrap an exercise band around your legs just above your knees. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Spread your knees apart pushing against the resistance band. Hold the position for 2 seconds and then relax. Repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions.

Resistance Band Workouts for Beginners

Photo Credit: Velislav Panchev CC-BY-SA-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0

Resistance bands can be used to exercise the whole body, arms, legs, back, abs, shoulders, and chest. There are some basic exercises that beginners should master before moving on to more strenuous resistance band workouts. A personal fitness trainer can help you choose a set of bands that will work for you and instruct you on how to use resistance bands effectively. Resistance bands are easier to use than exercise machines or even free weights. The level of the workout depends on how much effort you apply in stretching the band. You can also be more creative in your workouts using resistance bands. You can pull resistance bands from different directions and use with the arms, feet and legs. A great exercise for the biceps and forearm is to stand on the band with one foot and curl your bicep by stretching the band upward. Attach the resistance band to a door, a wall or to a heavy piece of exercise equipment, and use with the legs or to push down with the triceps. Resistance bands are versatile and effective for strength training. Before using resistance bands, warm up with a few minutes of cardio and some stretches. 
Perform a few chest presses with your resistance bands by looping resistance bands around a stable object or attaching them to a wall mount. Hold the handles in each hand with your elbows bent, back toward the wall and your forearms parallel to the floor. Step away from the wall just enough to take up the slack in the bands. Tighten your chest muscles and then press your arms out in front of you in a straight line. Relax and bring  your elbows back to your sides. Avoid locking your elbow. Do about 10 to 15 repetitions. Don’t forget to breathe out when you push forward and breathe in when you return to the start position. 
Bicep curls are performed using a resistance band by standing on the band with both feet and pulling the band using the handles. It may be easier for beginners to stand on the band using only one foot. Grasp the resistance band handles with your palms facing upward. Curl your arms up just as you would if you were using dumbbells. You can alternate curling one arm and then the other or both at the same time.  
Do some squats using resistance bands by standing on the band and holding the handles near your shoulders with your elbows bent and close to your sides. Begin with a medium resistance band and advance to a heavy resistance band, if the medium band does not offer enough resistance. Lower your body to a squat position and hold it for a few seconds. Return to a standing position, but keep your hands at your shoulders, grasping the handles of the bands. The band will offer resistance against your legs as your stand up and help increase the strength of your arms. Do 10 to 15 repetitions and increase the number of repetitions as you grow stronger.