Top 10 Resistance Band Exercises for Athletes

Before we get started, please keep in mind that this list is my professional opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Please understand that there are many great exercises that did not make this list, but I could only choose 10. These 10 exercises are great for everybody, especially for times when we are travelling and don’t have access to weights or fitness centers.

  1. Mini Band Glute Bridge

This is a great exercise because most athletes tend to be underdeveloped in the posterior chain. I love to use this as an “activation” type exercise to prep the body before strength or speed work.

  1. Good Morning

Again, a great exercise for the posterior chain. This time we’re training the hinge pattern and putting most of the focus on our hamstrings.

  1. Band Pull Apart

Everyone from all walks of life should be incorporating this exercise into their exercise routines. It’s a phenomenal exercise to improve posture, upper back strength,

  1. Assisted or Resisted Pull Ups

This is a great exercise because it can be modified to make the exercise easier or harder. If you aren’t quite strong enough to do normal pull-ups yet, then we can do assisted pull ups. If normal pull-ups are easy for you, then we can add resistance with the band.

  1. Mini Band Hip Flexor March

This is a very underrated drill for athletes. Often times I hear people complaining about their hips being “tight”, but in reality, their hips are just weak. Developing the musculature around the hips is extremely important and you can hit most of the large muscle groups with compound movements, but smaller muscles like the Sartorius and Piriformis can be hit with this drill.

  1. Paloff Press

The Paloff Press is a staple in my athlete’s programs because it’s one of the best ways to train the Anti-Rotation function of the core. There’s many variations you can try, such as Standing, Half-Kneeling, Tall-Kneeling, Split Stance, etc. All of them are great and some much harder than others.

  1. Plank with Banded Row

Very challenging and can be done anywhere. Not beginner friendly. Start with normal Plank, Side Plank and Body Saw. Once those are mastered, then give this one a shot. Core Stability at it’s finest right here.

  1. Mini Band Lateral Walks

Another staple in my athlete’s programs. This Mini Band Lateral Walk will target your Abductors and Glutes. The Abductors are a very important muscle for being able to do any kind of lateral movement, change of direction and speed work. When we have weak Abductors, we’re prone to go into Knee Valgus, which is usually never a good thing.

  1. Banded Rows

You can never have too much Upper Back work! This one in combination with Pull-Ups and Band Pull Aparts is just about all the Upper Back training you’ll ever need.

  1. Tricep Pushdowns

The only Upper Body Push exercise on this list. For good reason. The triceps are extremely important for every athlete.

Published by Jonathan Valentini,

B.A. Exercise Science, Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach, Former NCAA athlete, CSCS, CSAC, CPR/AED

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