Resistance bands can help strengthen your back and waistline.
Resistance training isn't limited to lifting heavy barbells or large stacks of weight plates. Resistance can come from many sources, including exercise bands. Pulling against the resistance of rubber or latex bands can help you build muscles across your body, including your abdominal and back muscles. If you want to work your back and waist muscles at home or while you're traveling or if you just don't like to lift weights, use a resistance band to stay in top shape.
To target muscles such as the rectus abdominis and the obliques that form your waistline, perform standing rotations, resistance-band crunches and woodchopper exercises. To perform a core twist -- a type of standing rotation -- anchor the end of a straight band close to the floor. Face the anchor point and hold the opposite end of the band in both hands with your arms extended and the band taut. Rotate your torso as far as possible in one direction while you keep your arms straight. Return under control to the starting position. Use a split stance with your left leg closer to the anchor point when you twist to the right and vice-versa.
You can use resistance bands to replicate many classic back exercises, such as rows and lat pulldowns. Begin the band version of a bent-over row by stepping on the middle of the band with your right foot. Hold the other end of the band in your right hand so the band is taut with your arm extended downward. Bend forward a bit from the waist and step back with your left leg. Pull your hand up toward your shoulder, stopping just short of the armpit. Perform the exercise with both arms.
Back and Waist Exercises
If time is a factor, perform resistance band exercises that work your back and waist together. Do twisting rows and pulls to target your back but also work your abdominal muscles. Perform side bends and side crunches with a band to focus on your abs but also engage your back muscles to assist or stabilize your movements. To do a twisting seated row -- which targets your back but also works your obliques -- anchor the band 2 to 3 feet above the floor and sit on a bench or chair facing the anchor point. Hold one end of the band with your right hand so the band is taut when your arm is extended forward. Pull the band back toward your right side as you twist your torso to the right and then return under control to the starting position.
Exercise-band routines are much like any other form of resistance training. Begin each session with a five- to 10-minute aerobic warm-up. Work major muscle groups one to three times per week but not on consecutive days. For a dedicated waist-and-back workout, select four to six exercises and then do two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of each activity, or work up to that level. Many resistance-band exercises -- such as rows, woodchoppers and some twists -- are performed with one arm or to one side at a time. Perform the desired number of reps to one side and then repeat the exercise with an equal number of reps to the opposite side.