Resistance band in operation

Resistance bands are mobile, lightweight and versatile - making workouts at home or at work exceptionally easy.

Whether you want to take your gym around with you or make the best use of tight spaces in your home, a set of resistance bands is the perfect addition to your fitness inventory.

There are literally dozens of effective workouts possible with this relatively simple piece of fitness equipment, but here are 10 of the best.

1. Front squats

Start by standing on the band with your feet about a shoulder’s width apart. Take a handle in each hand, and bring each one above the corresponding shoulder. Keeping your back straight and your chest out, perform a squat until your thighs are parallel with the ground - and slowly rise to your original standing position. Perform between 10 and 20 reps.

2. Prone leg curls

Lie on your belly and loop a band around your right ankle - attach the other end of the band to a door handle or fixed support. Create some tension in the band by moving away. Slowly bend your leg at the knee, until your heel gets as close to your thigh as is comfortably possible. Slowly return your leg to its original position. Perform between 10 and 20 reps.

3. Seated row

Take a seat, and with your legs extended, position the centre of the band on the soles of your feet. Hold the band with both hands, with your palms facing each other. Slowly bend at the elbow, and bring the band towards your body. You should feel your shoulder blades squeezing against one another. Slowly return to the starting position. Perform 10 to 20 reps.

4. Lying pullover

Anchor the centre of the band on a fixed support. For this exercise, a door handle won’t be appropriate, as you’ll need the band to remain just a few inches above your body. Lie on your back, and take hold of both handles. Starting with your hands above your head and your knees bent at 90 degrees, slowly pull your arms down to your sides, and then gently return then to their starting positions. Perform 10 to 20 reps.

5. Incline chest press

Assume a forward lunge position with your right foot forward, and position the middle of the band on the sole of your back foot. Bring the band to shoulder level by pulling each handle. Pull each hand forward until they meet in front of you, then return them to the side - keeping your arms straight and outstretched at all times. Perform 10 to 20 reps.

6. Bench press

Anchor your resistance band on the legs of your bench, and lie on it facing up. With a handle in each hand, position them so they’re touching your shoulders. Slowly extend your arms upwards until they are fully extended, and gently return them to their original positions. Perform 10 to 20 reps.

7. Lateral raise

Stand with both your feet on the centre of the resistance band - around a shoulder’s width apart. Grab each handle and pull up to your waist whilst keeping your palms facing the ground. With your arms straight, raise each handle up slowly to shoulder height, and gently return them to their original positions. Perform 10 to 20 reps.

8. Standing biceps curl

Stand on the centre of your resistance band with your feet a shoulder’s width apart. Grab each handle and start with each hand by your hips, with your palms facing up. Pull both arms to your shoulders slowly, and then gently lower them to their original positions. Perform 10 to 20 reps.

9. Kneeling crunch

Attach your resistance band to a high anchor. The top of a door or a cable column is ideal. Kneel down with your back to the anchor you’ve used, and grab both handles - keeping them positioned on each shoulder. From an upright position, gradually bend forwards, until your abdomen is parallel with the floor. Gently return to your upright position. Perform 10 to 20 reps.

10. Reverse crunch

Anchor the handles of your resistance band on a door handle. Lie on your back, and wrap the band around both feet. The soles of your feet should be facing the door. Move away to create some tension, and raise your knees until your calves are parallel with the floor. Keeping your abdominal muscles tense and your back flat, pull your knees towards your shoulders. Slowly return to your original position. Perform 10 to 20 reps.

These relatively simple resistance band exercises can be performed almost anywhere. As long as you have your resistance band tucked away neatly in your bag, you’ll never have to miss another workout again.