7 Resistance Band Stretches for a Full-Body Routine

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This basic stretching routine targets the muscles of your hips, legs, chest, and back. You will be using a resistance band or tube, which will allow you to deepen your stretch and increase your flexibility.The key to making this workout effective is to use just enough tension to deepen your stretch without going too far.

In order to get the right level of flexibility, you may need to adjust where you hold the band. If you don't have a band, you can also use a towel, although you won't get the elasticity that you will with a resistance band.

Safety and Precautions

As you perform these stretches, make sure to avoid ballistic stretching. This is where you make bouncing movements to create the momentum to stretch beyond where you could normally go. Ballistic stretching can lead to injury.

You also don't want to force the stretch beyond its limits. As you gain flexibility, you will be able to deepen the stretches and go farther. In the meantime, make sure none of the stretches you perform make your muscles hurt. The goal is not to go as far as possible, but to feel the gentle stretch, hold it, and improve flexibility.

Overview

Total Time: 15-30 minutes

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Equipment Needed: Resistance bands, exercise mat

What to Expect: Each stretch should be held for 15-30 seconds. It's vital to stretch both sides of your body equally, so if there is an exercise that stretches the quads, hamstrings, or hips, for example, make sure you stretch both legs. If you have time, cycle through the stretches two times.

Warm-Up

Warming up before doing this resistance band stretching routine will help reduce the risk of injury and increase the effectiveness of your stretching. A few minutes of brisk walking or other cardiovascular activity like biking will increase the temperature in your muscles and increase the benefits of the resistance band stretches.

Walk briskly, bicycle, or even jog in place for about 10 minutes before your stretching routine. You should be somewhat out of breath, but still able to talk in full sentences. You could also do this routine after your full cardiovascular workout.

The Workout

Perform these stretches after a workout or throughout the day for improved flexibility and relaxation. Follow these guidelines to make the program more effective.

  • Hold each stretch for at least 15 seconds and repeat each stretch if you have time.
  • It's great to do these stretches when your muscles are warm if possible. Take a short walk or do some light movement exercises prior to stretching. If your muscles are cold, take your time with each stretch to avoid injury.
  • Stretch to your level of comfort. The stretches should not be painful.

Each stretch should feel good. If your muscles shake, that means you may be going too far.

Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Lie on the floor and loop band around the right foot, grabbing onto the band closer to your foot to create tension. Straighten the right leg as much as you comfortably can while keeping the left leg bent on the floor. Gently pull the right leg towards you, stretching the back of the leg. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and switch sides. 

Safety Tip

A study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science shows that painful, high-intensity hamstring stretching can lead to decreased muscle performance. Make sure you do not stretch to the point of pain. 

How to Do It Right

When you perform this hamstring stretch, make sure your hips stay squarely on the mat. This will ensure you are targeting the right muscles for this stretch.

Inner Thigh Stretch

Inner Thigh Stretch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Lie on the floor and loop band around the right foot, grabbing onto the band in the right hand to create tension. Gently lower the right leg out to the side and towards the floor until you feel a stretch in the inner thigh. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and switch sides.

Safety Tip

You may want to support the leg with the other hand so you don't stretch too far. To do this, hold both of the loose ends of the band in one hand.

Lying Hip Stretch

Lying Hip Stretch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Lie on the floor and loop band around the right foot, grabbing onto the bands with the opposite hand. Straighten the left leg out on the floor and gently lower the right leg across the body and to the left as low as you can go feeling a stretch in the right hip and glute. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and switch sides.

Safety Tip

Some research suggests that low back pain can be correlated with tight hip flexors. Try this stretch is you have low back pain. Ease into and out of the stretch slowly.

How to Do It Right

Think about keeping your upper body perfectly parallel to the ceiling. Make sure your shoulder doesn't roll off the mat as you lean your leg over to the side.

Upper Back Stretch

Upper Back Stretch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Sit on the floor with legs extended and loop band around both feet. Cross the band and grab on to each side with both hands close to the feet. Gently curl the back, stretching it towards the back of the room and using the bands to create tension and add to the stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.

Safety Tip

As with any back stretch or exercise, if it starts to cause pain, gently release the stretch. Consider other back stretches to reduce back pain.

How to Do It Right

Keep the abs contracted and try not to collapse over the legs. Feel your shoulder blades spreading open while you aim with your chest toward your feet.

Chest Stretch

Chest Stretch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

In a cross-legged position on the floor or seated in a chair, grip the band with hands a few inches apart. Gently pull the arms out and down as low as you can to stretch the chest.

Safety Tip

If you have shoulder problems, you may want to skip this exercise or try another shoulder stretch.

How to Do It Right

You may need to adjust your hands to change the tension in the band if it's too tight or too loose. This should be a gentle stretch.

Side Stretch

Side Stretch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Sit on a chair or cross-legged on the floor. Hold onto one side of the band with the left hand and reach the arm towards the right. Grab onto the other end with the right hand and gently pull, creating tension and stretching the left side of the waist. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Safety Tip

If it hurts when you deepen this stretch, you may be performing it too intensely. Try backing off to see if the pain subsides. Remember, the goal is to increase flexibility. You can increase intensity as you build more flexibility.

How to Do It Right

Try not to round through the back. Be mindful of keeping your torso straight and your core muscles engaged.

Kneeling Quad Stretch

Kneeling Quad Stretch

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

Sit on the floor with the right leg bent in front of you, left leg bent behind you. Loop the band around the top of the left foot. Lean to the right on the right forearm and use the band to gently pull the heel towards the glutes to stretch the front of the thigh. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

How to Do It Right

Once you are feeling ready to add additional challenge, squeeze the glutes for a deeper stretch.

A Word from Verywell

If you have any concerns about this resistance band stretching routine, speak with a healthcare provider who can help you assess your unique situation and determine if these are safe and effective for you. Remember that the goal is an improvement in your flexibility, and there is no need to stretch beyond what is comfortable.

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5 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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