4 Resistance Band Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

Updated: October 20, 2022

“No pain, no gain” the saying goes.

And it’s very much the case with resistance training.

But it’s worth it. For a little bit of physical effort – probably not as much as you think – your bones will reap some serious gains, which we’ll get to in just a moment.

And I get it!

Working out can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if you join a gym and have to travel a ways to get there.

But what if I told you that you could get your resistance exercises done from the comfort of your own home?

Even if you don’t have a bunch of space.

Scroll down and watch our video to see for yourself.


What is Resistance Exercise?

Resistance exercise refers to exercising your muscles using an opposing force.

It works because resistance makes your muscles contract, which builds their quality and strength. And resistance exercise is beneficial for your bones too because it:

  1. Increases core strength and balance: Having better balance and stability reduces the risk of falls and subsequent fractures. Especially in those that already have osteoporosis. A study of 60+ year-olds in Korea found that resistance exercise, with a Thera-band in this case, can improve both static and dynamic balance.
  2. Increases bone density, as well as muscle mass: Resistance exercise, puts the bones under stress, which strengthens them, as well as the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that surround them. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine split 44 elderly women into two groups. The first was a control who were instructed to continue their normal lifestyle. The second group was given three one hour resistance strength classes a week for a year. At the end of that year, the women who took the classes saw an increase in bone mineral density in nearly every site measured, while the control group saw a decrease in nearly every site.

Resistance exercise can be done using free weights, resistance machines, tubes, or resistance bands. Basically, anything that requires your muscle to overcome a resistant force.

In the exercises below, we’re using resistance bands, but you can also use resistance tubes with handles. They’re a great low-cost, small-space option to getting your workout in at home, anytime.

What’s more, anyone can do these exercises. No matter your age or level of strength.

Front Squats

  1. Place your feet on top of the band, shoulder width apart.
  2. Hold the handles with an overhand grip and bring them up to shoulder height.
  3. Squat as far down as possible, making sure your knees don’t go over the front of your toes.
  4. With power, explode up and return to a standing position
  5. Do 4 sets of 12 repetitions.

Why the front squat?

Front squats work your entire lower body and will help with your strength and balance. They also work your core because you’re required to stabilize your midsection throughout the entire movement.

And if you think about it, the squat puts a demand on a whole host of muscles – primarily the hip extensors –  that you use in everyday life. Like sitting down in and getting up from a chair. In fact, one study on squatting exercises concluded that using a chair during the squat exercise generates greater hip flexion angles in older adults.

Overhead Press

  1. Place your left foot on the band and step your right foot slightly in front (about a foot).
  2. Raise your arms until you reach full extension, with your hands above your head and palms up.
  3. Return your arms back down to starting position, slowly. Your elbows will be bent and at shoulder level.
  4. Complete 3 cycles of 10 reps.
  5. Switch legs and repeat.

Why the overhead press?

The overhead press works your shoulders and triceps. This exercise also develops strength and stability in the abs, lower back, glutes and upper thighs, which are all important to reduce fracture risk. As your balance and strength increases, your risk of falling and fracture risk decreases.

Tip: If you’d prefer, the overhead press can be carried out from a seated position. Sit down and place your feet shoulder width apart with your band underneath them, with a handle in each hand. Then raise your arms until you reach full extension. This variation is actually the most common in clinical settings, as it’s believed to reduce the impact on spine posture.

Open Clamshell

  1. Tie your resistance band together around your thigh, just above your knees.
  2. Lie down on your left side with knees slightly bent and your legs stacked.
  3. Extend your left arm to rest your head upon.
  4. Keep your feet together and lift your right leg as far up as possible, without your feet separating.
  5. Lower down and return to starting position.
  6. Do 12 reps on each side, twice.

*Intensify this exercise by squeezing your glutes (buttocks) 2-3 times in the open clamshell position.

Why the clamshell?

This exercise targets your hamstring muscles and glutes, which are key for a healthy back and to stabilize your knees.  If you sit for long periods  (at a desk job, driving or something else that requires a lot of sitting) your glutes are in a stretched position and aren’t being worked.

Push-Up

  1. Place the resistance band across your upper back and loop the ends of the band through each thumb.
  2. Get in plank position and lower yourself to the ground, face down.
  3. Contract your core and glutes and push straight up until your arms are fully extended.
  4. Lower back down until your chest touches the floor.
  5. Do 5 to 20 repetitions, depending on your strength.

Modification: if you can’t do multiple pushups this way, don’t sweat it! You don’t want your technique to suffer as it will place stress on your spine. Modify this exercise by putting your knees down and pushing up from there. There’s a version of the push up for any ability!

Why the push-up?

The push up is a full body workout. It uses a large number of muscles, including your legs to complete the action. When you perform push-ups, you’re engaging your core, your legs, and your arms.

And the push up mimics our natural reaction to falling; extending the arms, hands, and wrists to absorb the impact. Writing in Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. Edward Phillips, of Harvard-affiliated Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, states that push-ups can teach us better muscle memory so we can react quicker and protect ourselves if we fall.

And remember – it’s not where you are now, but where you want to go that matters!

The exercises above use both resistance tubes with handles and resistance bands. Depending on your strength, you can get higher resistance bands and tubes. The different colors signify different resistance strength. You can buy these at any sporting goods store near you.

Do you have resistance band exercises you do regularly? Let us know in the comments below.

Article Comments

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  1. Avivah Silbergeld

    April 26, 2016 , 10:23 am

    Thanks for this article. I ma 79 yrs old and have been taking the Algae Cal Strontium Calcium combination for 3 years
    .A VFA assessment by DEXA revealed slight concavity in the T8 and T12 vertebrae, bone density for these vertebrae was 2.8.. Would there be any restrictions for doing these exercises?

    Thank you

  2. Monica

    April 26, 2016 , 2:27 pm

    Hi Avivah,

    I would definitely suggest you work with your physiotherapist or trainer to develop an exercise training program that is right for you. There may be some restrictions or modifications on this list because of your vertebrae, so it’s always best to be safe and ask first.

    – Monica @ AlgaeCal

  3. DeeDee

    June 2, 2018 , 9:54 am

    How about wrapping some weights to your arms and legs and going about your daily chores. Would that be considered weight bearing to strengthen your back bones.

  4. Monica AlgaeCal

    June 4, 2018 , 8:51 am

    Hi DeeDee,

    Weight-bearing exercise is anything that literally bears your own weight. So that also includes things like walking, hiking, and daily chores as you mentioned. Adding extra resistance with free weights or weights that you can attach to your arms/ legs is a great way to challenge yourself! This will definitely help strengthen bones.

    – Monica

  5. Karen Palliser

    June 11, 2018 , 3:38 pm

    What type of resistant bands do you recommend?

  6. Jenna AlgaeCal

    June 13, 2018 , 3:10 pm

    Hi Karen,

    Good question! When picking a resistance band you don’t need to purchase a specific brand, but you should be mindful of choosing the resistance based on your strength and fitness level. Monica uses a band similar to this one on Amazon! You can purchase similar bands in most sporting good stores too 🙂

    – Jenna

  7. Joyce

    August 31, 2019 , 8:34 am

    I’ve had several fractures recently. What exercise would you recommend?

  8. Megan AlgaeCal

    September 3, 2019 , 1:53 pm

    Hi Joyce, thanks for reaching out!

    Sorry to hear about your recent fractures – it’s always best to talk to a healthcare provider before starting a new exercise, especially if you have had several fractures recently. ❤️ You may be able to pick out a number of exercises that are safe for you to do in our Full Workout Routine for Osteoporosis here.

    Hope that helps!

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  9. Nuno

    January 2, 2020 , 12:22 am

    Hi!
    Can I perform the exercises without a resistance band?

  10. Blaire AlgaeCal

    January 2, 2020 , 8:38 am

    Good question, Nuno! Yes, you can certainly do these exercises without a resistance band. Once you become more comfortable with these exercises, then you might want to add in a resistance band to make your muscles work a little harder! ?

    – Blaire @ AlgaeCal

  11. Margaret Morton

    January 11, 2020 , 3:17 am

    Is there another exercise instead of the pushup as I have had bilateral knee replacements and so cannot kneel but I am very keen to do the best resistance training I can.

  12. Megan AlgaeCal

    January 15, 2020 , 8:44 am

    Hi Margaret, thanks for reaching out!

    You can modify the floor push up into a wall push up 🙂 Simply stand a little farther than arm’s length away, then do the same motion.

    Hope this helps!

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  13. James Hogsett

    February 21, 2020 , 8:25 am

    I recently was diagnosed with osteopenia. I know this is a situation that can develop into osteoperosis. I like your program very much since I can do the exercises in my home and not have to run to a gym. However, I note the heading of your program is for those who have osteoperosis. Therefore, my question is…..Will these exercises and the schedule you provide meet my need since I do not have ossteoperosis OR should I be engaged in another type of prorgram.

  14. Megan AlgaeCal

    February 21, 2020 , 10:59 am

    Hi James, so glad you’re enjoying our exercises!

    You can definitely continue with our program and benefit from these exercises as well – thanks for checking in! By being proactive with exercise and providing your body with the right nutrients, you can help to support your bone health.

    If you have any bone health questions, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-820-0184. ?

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  15. gia

    December 30, 2020 , 4:26 pm

    where can I find a pdf to these exercise pages? Just diagnoses with osteoporosis at 55!
    Need some strength building options from home.

  16. Megan AlgaeCal

    December 31, 2020 , 8:33 am

    Hi Gia!

    You can download a PDF by clicking on the green printer icon. You’ll find this at the bottom of the page or on the left-hand side depending on which device you’re using.

    Hope this helps! If you have any questions, feel free to give our Bone Health Consultants a call at 1-800-820-0184. They’re available 6am-4pm PST and always happy to help! 🙂

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  17. Mary

    January 28, 2021 , 1:44 am

    Hello,
    Thanks for the 4 Resistant Band exercises shown above. I was wondering if you could demonstrate a a few more so there is a bit more variety.
    Thanks

  18. Blaire AlgaeCal

    January 28, 2021 , 10:12 am

    Hi Mary,

    We’re so glad you enjoyed the resistance band exercises!

    We will certainly pass on your message to our team to keep in mind for future exercise posts. In the meantime, you can find plenty of other resistance band exercises here. ?

    – Blaire @ AlgaeCal

  19. Mary

    February 5, 2021 , 6:04 am

    Thank you Blaire very helpful .

  20. Blaire AlgaeCal

    February 5, 2021 , 9:43 am

    My pleasure, Mary! ?

    – Blaire @ AlgaeCal

  21. Joanne Schutter

    May 12, 2021 , 10:32 am

    I am eager to try these exercises!!
    Thank you!!
    Joanne Schutter

  22. Angie Zabel

    May 2, 2021 , 7:48 pm

    Thanks for the help

  23. Carol Koehler

    May 4, 2021 , 4:09 pm

    Thanks for the exercise tips. You inspire me to get busy and start a work out program.

  24. Susan Schneider

    May 29, 2021 , 6:53 pm

    I like all the different exercises that shown on the site. I try different ones everyday.

  25. Nancy

    September 14, 2021 , 2:30 pm

    Hi,

    I love the site and do many of the exercises as well walking and taking algaecal and strontium. I would love to do more weight bearing exercises for my hip including yoga, but my knees hurt when I do them. I am 67 years old, 113 lbs and in fairly good shape. Any advice on how to get rid of the knee pain? They do not bother me otherwise.

  26. Ishneet AlgaeCal

    September 21, 2021 , 2:15 pm

    Thanks for reaching out, Nancy!

    We are so sorry to hear about your knee pain. AlgaeCal has been studied specifically for improving bone mineral density and not knee pain. You may benefit from our product called Triple Power Fish Oil! It eases inflammation through a combination of EPA + DHA omega 3s, turmeric, and astaxanthin. You can learn more here:

    Hope this helps!

    -Ishneet @ AlgaeCal

  27. Rachel

    December 14, 2021 , 12:47 pm

    What length should the resistance band be to do the front squat and the overhead press exercises? Thanks!

  28. Kirby Johnson

    December 16, 2021 , 3:34 pm

    Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for reaching out ? Rather than purchasing a particular length, Monica prefers a band similar to THIS style, as it allows her to adjust her grip and length as needed. Hope this helps! You can also purchase resistance bands in most sporting good stores too, which will give you the opportunity to find the right fit for you.

    – Kirby @ AlgaeCal

  29. Pam

    November 12, 2022 , 3:27 pm

    /I just received my AlgaeCal and Stromium pack today and am anxious to get going. I have prolapse so not sure the squats would be ok to do? What do you think?
    Thank you,
    Pam

  30. Brianne AlgaeCal

    November 15, 2022 , 10:14 am

    Hi Pam,

    Thank you so much for commenting. I’m so sorry to hear of what you are experiencing! If you are ever unsure if an exercise is right for you, it would be best to double check with your medical practitioner for their best advice, to ensure this is a good fit for you.

    I hope this helps, Pam, and please do take care!

    – Brianne @ AlgaeCal

  31. Gloria Torres

    November 27, 2022 , 8:20 am

    very useful exercise information. Thank you!

  32. Brianne AlgaeCal

    November 27, 2022 , 2:44 pm

    Hi Gloria,

    You are so very welcome! We are so happy you enjoyed this article! 🙂

    – Brianne @ AlgaeCal

This article features advice from our industry experts to give you the best possible info through cutting-edge research.

Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,
Lara Pizzorno
MDiv, MA, LMT - Best-selling author of Healthy Bones Healthy You! and Your Bones; Editor of Longevity Medicine Review, and Senior Medical Editor for Integrative Medicine Advisors.,
Dr. Liz Lipski
PhD, CNS, FACN, IFMP, BCHN, LDN - Professor and Director of Academic Development, Nutrition programs in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.,
Dr. Loren Fishman
MD, B.Phil.,(oxon.) - Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Founder of the Yoga Injury Prevention Website.,
Dr. Carole McArthur
MD, PhD - Professor of Immunology, Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City; Director of Residency Research in Pathology, Truman Medical Center.,