Globally, Pilates continues to be the preferred low-intensity workout for millions of people. Women especially prefer Pilates for strength training, muscle building, and weight loss. Besides strengthening the core and muscles, the workout can cultivate body balance, improving everyday movements.
Resistance bands can be the perfect addition to your Pilates workouts, making them more effective by providing stability for challenging postures. You can enhance all Pilates workouts with resistance bands and efficiently target your abdominals, glutes, upper body, limbs, and core.
Here we share a full-body Pilates workout routine that you can do using resistance bands, but before that, let’s check out the benefits of Pilates band exercises.
Why Resistance Bands for Pilates?
Resistance bands are elastic bands that resist the movements of muscles due to their elasticity. They are available in several colors that denote the level of elasticity. They can be used for full-body workouts by offering a controlled and consistent resistance to muscle contraction.
Here are a few significant benefits of using resistance bands for Pilates.
Support Complex Movements
Resistance bands support Pilates postures while adding a challenge to the movements. The bands do not load your spine or joints with excessive weights which makes it manageable to activate specific muscle groups, especially if you are recovering from an injury.
Improved Technique and Posture
We sometimes use momentum instead of mindful muscle movements to complete reps when using free weights. This is a poor technique. However, with resistance bands, you cannot use momentum as you are required to maintain the tension in the bands throughout the workout. Simply put, when you use resistance bands for Pilates, your muscles are forced to work from start to finish in every rep.
Resistance bands are portable, flexible, and affordable, which makes Pilates easier for anyone. As they are incredibly lightweight, you will not feel their impact on your body as with free weights. Also, resistance bands are a great alternative to free weights you can visit this article to learn more about resistance bands and free weights.
A Full-Body Pilates Band Workout
With resistance bands, you can achieve greater muscle activity with a Pilates workout while lowering the force on the joints. It ensures that more stimulus is provided to the muscles with less chance of injury. This is one of the reasons why resistance bands are used for rehabilitation workouts instead of free weights.
Here are the Pilates exercises using resistance bands for a full-body workout.
- Stand with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Keep feet firm on the ground to add stability.
- Put the loop band just above the knees, keeping your toes pointed outwards and hands in front of you.
- Slowly low down into a sitting position, pushing your hips back and bending your knees.
- Bring your thighs parallel to the floor, keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold the position for 3 seconds, then slowly take the starting position.
Straight Side Leg Lift
- Lie down on your right side with your legs straight.
- Put your right hand under your head for support.
- Put the Pilates band on the arch of your left foot and grab both ends of the band with your left hand.
- Extend your left leg out straight. Keep your hips and feet stacked.
- You can bring the resistance band down to the floor for more stability.
- Pointing your toes outward, engage your core to bring your left leg up before lowering it to starting position.
- Repeat ten times before switching to the left side.
Straight Leg Lunge with Bicep Curl
- Stand with one foot on the band, holding either end with your elbows bent and the band extended to your waist.
- Take the other foot back to take a straight leg lunge position.
- Lower your body into a low lunge position, keeping your back straight, pulling the band up to shoulder height. Remember to keep your elbows in.
- Lift out the lunge without straightening the front foot.
- Lower the band back to the starting position.
- Do ten reps before switching legs.
- The best way to do this workout is to stand on your knees, but you can stand on your feet if it is uncomfortable.
- Loop the resistance band around your biceps and hinge the elbows at 90 degrees with your palms facing each other.
- Stretch the band by widening the arms, then bring them to the original position in a controlled motion. Keep your elbows bent.
Tricep Flutters with Squat
- Standing on the mat, keep your feet hip-width apart.
- Loop the band between your arms and take the arms behind your back.
- Sit back into a squat by slowly bending your knees.
- As squat, extend your arms as high as possible while pushing against the resistance band in the same motion.
- Gradually lean upright, bringing your arms down and resting behind your glutes.
If the exercise is too easy, you can challenge yourself by pulsing your arms up and down.
Seated Lawn Mower Rotation
- Sit on the mat with your feet resting on the ground.
- Loop the resistance band on the arch of your right foot and hold the other end with your right hand.
- Life the right leg up to bring the foot perpendicular to the ground.
- Pull the resistance band with your right arm, bending your elbow gradually while keeping it at your side.
- As you pull the band, rotate your torso and shoulder to the ride side along with the motion of the right hand.
- Rotate back, bringing your arm straight in front of you.
- Repeat the movement for ten reps before switching to the left side.
These are the best resistance band Pilates exercises to improve strength and well-being. However, there’s more. It would help to have a balanced workout to benefit from these exercises.
A sample workout for Pilates band exercises
- This is a 20-minute powerful Pilates full-body workout using resistance bands. Beginners must stick with the routine three days a week (with a rest day in between).
- Warm up to increase blood flow with some light cardio.
- Do five sets of banded squats (10 reps each).
- Rest for 2-3 minutes.
- Start with the straight-side leg lift. Do two sets of 10 reps from each side.
- Follow with two sets (10 reps) of straight leg lunge with the bicep curl.
- Rest for 2-3 minutes.
- Do four sets (15 reps) of biceps pulses.
- Rest for 3 minutes.
- Start with tricep flutters with squats, and do three sets (15 reps).
- Continue with seated lawn mower rotation. Do two sets (20 reps).
- Cool down with little stretching exercises or light cardio.
Pilates is an excellent workout; you can improve its effectiveness and efficiency with resistance bands. The full-body workout exercises and shared routines are good starting points for anyone.