Canyon Ranch Blog

Resistance Bands: The No-Machine Strength Workout

Resistance bands—stretchy sashes and tubes—may not look like much compared to the other gear in the strength training area of your gym. They are, however, a great tool for keeping your muscles challenged. Beyond the fact that they can provide a welcome break from weight machines, they offer results without as many safety concerns. In fact, resistance bands are often used in physical therapy, since they allow you to work muscles without putting lots of pressure on a single joint. Plus, they’re portable and easy to store (making them great for at-home use), and just one band allows you to complete a mix of moves that targets different areas of your body.

Getting started with resistance bands is easy. The shorter and thicker bands create more tension—meaning you’ll need to use more strength to stretch it. So, be mindful of choosing a band (by a good quality brand) that isn’t too easy or too hard for you to manipulate, so you can successfully complete an effective workout. (You may find switching bands necessary, depending on the moves you’re doing.)

Virtually every exercise you can do on a weight machine or with free weights can be done using resistance bands. Some translations may be obvious, while others might require a little creativity. For example, tubes usually have handles on both ends: Step on one while holding the other to do standing bicep curls, or shut one end in a door to do standing triceps extensions. And if you need more resistance, try using two tubes together.

To begin your relationship with resistance bands, try this combination of upper- and lower-body exercises. Each can be done with any type of band.

Lateral Raise

What It Does: Strengthens your shoulders and deltoids (the muscle that wraps around the top of your shoulder)

How to Do It: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place one end of the band under your right foot. Hold the other end of the band in your right hand and place your right arm straight down at your side, thumb facing forward and elbow slightly bent. Soften your knees and engage your abdominals. Lift your arm out to the side and all the way up to shoulder height, turning it as you go so that your palm is facing forward. Slowly lower your arm back to your side and repeat.

Be careful not to…bend your upper body. Keeping your posture erect allows your shoulder and deltoid muscle to do the work—and become stronger.


Wide Row

What It Does: Strengthens your upper back muscles

How to Do It: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, avoiding locked knees. Hold the band so that your hands are slightly wider than your shoulders and your palms are facing the floor. Lift your arms to chest height, then expand your chest and pull your shoulder blades back as if you were cinching them together. Slowly bring your arms back in front of you and repeat.

Be careful not to…move your lower body. Keeping your legs and hips still allows the focus to remain on your upper back muscles.


Leg Adduction

What It Does: Targets your inner thighs

How to Do It: Place a chair on your left side so you’re able to hold on to its back. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, tie your resistance band into a loop and place it so that it’s taut around your ankles. Holding the back of the chair for support, shift your bodyweight onto your right leg, keeping that knee slightly bent. With your left foot flexed, lead with your heel as you lift your leg forward (this will keep the band from falling). Cross your leg in front of your body, and then slowly return to starting position and repeat.

Be careful not to…shift your hips and shoulders. Maintaining a stable stance allows your inner thighs to benefit from each rep.

Interested in a few more? Try these resistance band exercises from the American Council on Exercise.


Dumbbells: The No-Machine Strength Workout
Kettlebells: The No-Machine Strength Workout
Medicine Ball: The No-Machine Strength Workout
Body Bar: The No-Machine Strength Workout

Walking Meditation Techniques
Taking a stroll can become a spiritual ritual that does more than get you moving
Read More
5 Unique Fitness Classes You Haven’t Tried—Yet
Spice up your routine and challenge your body in new ways
Read More
Preventing Osteoporosis
Keep your bones strong with a healthy diet, regular exercise and preventative ...
Read More
7 Favorite Foods That Feed Your Brain
What you eat can affect your vascular health, blood sugar regulation, oxidation and ...
Read More
Can Genomics Help With Weight Loss?
 Weight loss might take more than dialing in your diet and adding in exercise. But, that ...
Read More
What Our Beauty Expert Can’t Live Without: Q&A ...
We all wonder about the skin care products that beauty professionals use and can't live ...
Read More
8 Ways to Reach Your Healthy Weight and Stay There
Find out if you’re doing all that you can to achieve your goals
Read More
10 Ways to Boost Your Immune System
Do what you can to keep your body's natural defense strong
Read More
Massage for Pain Relief
Learn which type of rubdown is best for what’s hurting you
Read More
Managing Seasonal Lows
If you suffer from winter sadness, try these ways to lift your spirits
Read More
Spirituality & Your Health: A Q&A with Dr. Finley
Nurturing this connection can support your wellness journey in powerful ways
Read More
11 Stress Relievers for a Healthier Brain
Sound strategies for managing negative thoughts and supporting positive brain changes
Read More
Book Online or Contact Us
Book Now Contact Us

Questions & Reservations

Tucson, Arizona +1 800 742 9000
Lenox, Massachusetts +1 800 742 9000
SpaClub®, Las Vegas +1 877 220 2688
Groups: +1 877 862 0583
SpaClub®, At Sea Queen Mary 2: +1 866 860 4662
Oceania Cruises: +1 877 329 1924
Regent Seven Seas: +1 877 329 1924
Celebrity Cruises: +1 844 860 4662