Resistance Band Workout: Upper Body

When you're sorted out for shoes, if you can only invest in one more piece of kit, make it a super-stretchy, versatile resistance band.

"I get my clients to use bands all the time," says running coach and RW contributing editor Nick Anderson (runningwithus.com). "They can come back from their runs and pack in strength and conditioning work without going to a gym."

Bands are colour-coded according to their thickness. A thinner band (normally yellow or green) offers less resistance and an easier workout. Anderson recommends you chose a thin band to start with - you can always increase its resistance by making it shorter or doubling it up."It's tempting to let the band's recoil pull you back quickly, but that would nullify half your workout," Anderson says. "So keep it steady."

The bands let you isolate and work on particular muscle groups. For runners, who often neglect their upper body and core, this means you can balance out your runs with a full-body workout. Try this routine a couple of times per week, after a run.

Picture credt: Eleonora Ghioldi/ Getty Images

1. Attach your resistance band to a doorway at shoulder level - wedging it in just above the top hinge should put it at the right height. Stand with your arms extended out in front of you, perpendicular to the band. 

2. Keeping your arms straight, rotate your body away from the band by 90 degrees. Hold for two seconds, then slowly release back to the start position. Do six sets on both sides. 

3. Reconnect the band to a low position (about knee height) and rotate, bringing the band up diagonally so that you finish with it above your shoulders. Do six sets on both sides.

4. Finally, position the band higher, this time above your head. Rotate your body and bring the band diagonally downwards, again repeating six sets on both sides. 

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