1 Cool Resistance Band, 5 Ways to Use It

Chris Freytag by Chris Freytag | November 9th, 2009 | 7 Comments
topic: Fitness, Pilates


We trainers are always looking for new and innovative ways to accomplish the same goal — helping our clients get into better shape. In addition, I’m personally always looking for fitness products that are affordable for my clients to use on their own at home and on the road. Well, the Ultra Toner resistance band has been on the top of my list for over a decade as one of the most affordable, portable and USEFUL at-home fitness toys.

First off, the Ultra Toner is a rubberized resistance band in the shape of a figure 8. And yes … some do view it as a toy! I remember when my youngest son was around 9 years old and he and his friends would put the Ultra Toner on their ankles and run around the basement playing tag — quite the workout. But on the serious side, this band can be used as resistance while performing lots of functional resistance exercises. If you want to pump up a stale routine, feel the muscle burn and get some fast results, grab an Ultra Toner and keep reading.

I teach several muscle conditioning group fitness classes a week, and I use the Ultra Toner all the time — my clients and members love it! From seniors to the fit athlete, they can choose the correct resistance level based on color and get a great workout. Don’t try to compare it to an exact weight; go with the feel of the band and the amount of effort you need to achieve intensity.

How to choose the right level of resistance

The Ultra Toner bands come in a range of resistance levels, from easy-to-stretch to progressively more difficult. Yellow is the lightest resistance, used often by beginners. The most popular color is green, which is considered light resistance, and the red band is considered medium resistance. The blue band is more intense; I suggest it for exercises where you want to do less reps with more resistance. But the beauty of the bands is the ability to perform muscle endurance exercises — continued repetitions of the same movement until muscle fatigue. I personally switch between the green and red depending on the muscle groups being worked.

To determine which color is right for you, use this rule of thumb: You should reach moderate to maximum muscle fatigue between 20-30 repetitions. If your band is too easy, you’ll know. If it’s too hard, you won’t be able to complete the full range of motion. Stay in control and keep a steady pace; adding music with a constant tempo is also a great way to keep a rhythm going and motivate yourself.

5 ways to use the Ultra Toner

1. Place the Ultra Toner on your shoes, squat down low and side-step to the right four times then left four times. Continue to do this until fatigue, working the lower body — specifically those medial gluts and quads. I tell my clients: “Imagine you are sweeping your buns across a picnic bench.”

2. Keep the Ultra Toner on your shoes and sink down into a plie (wide stance, heels face together, toes apart). Hold an isometric plie as you lift and lower the heels, working the calves and legs while incorporating core body balance.

3. Stand tall with the Ultra Toner on your shoes. Try balancing on one foot while performing quad lifts, moving into leg extensions.

4. Hold the Ultra Toner in your hands, pull open across the chest working the rhomboids and mid back. Balance on one foot and incorporate the core body stabilizers.

5. Try using it during your ab routine. Place the band on one shoe and hold the other handle in opposite hand. In supine crunch position, pull the handle and press your foot away as you do your bicycle ab exercises. You have added resistance, and it requires balance and mind-body connection as you push and pull.

These are just a few of the many ways to incorporate the Ultra Toner into your routine. You can mimic many everyday activities with this band like rowing, pumping and side-stepping. By adding music and continuing the repetitions to fatigue, you also get the heart rate up and burn up the calories. For me and my clients, it’s a great change of pace from using heavy weights with fewer reps. It’s important to do both forms of training: Work on both muscle strength and muscle endurance for a functional, fit and fantastic body!

For more ways to use the Ultra Toner, go to SPRI.com and watch the video clips. Or try these other types of resistance bands and workout ideas from Gaiam, SPRI’s parent company.

BodyBand Workout Kits

The Biggest Loser Total Body Bands

How-to Video: Pilates Butt Toners Using CorePlus Reformer cloverleaf resistance band

An Affordable Alternative to a Pilates Reformer

Stay Healthy,



Just give it two weeks! Check out my new book 2-Week Total Body Turnaround.


  1. Chris,
    I use it wrapped around my left foot and then take it with my right hand – then start in the center and stretch out to work the core. I do it to both sides. It’s great. Also I do squats and then do a leg lift. I try to get my foot almost up to my hip. Right leg – then left. You look like you are stomping but it works your gluts!

    Robert Countryman | November 10th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  2. Great advice. I did the exercises in a circuit format with a few of my own thrown in for good measure… I really got a sweat on. It’s a totally different burn to using weight machines!

    resistance band | December 7th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  3. Thanks.It looks perfect for guys my age :-)

    50PlusSam | September 20th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  4. I worked in a hospital for many years often to see the physical therapists working with these multi colored bands. I never thought about the multitude of ways I could use them for myself. I plan to try the ab routine. Thanks for the insight.

    AJ | June 24th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  5. i received a GAIAM residence cord dvd and cord. The handles are not attached to the cord and there are not any instrutions on how to connect the, can you tell me how this is done please?

    c nelson | March 16th, 2013 | Comment Permalink
  6. Thanks for your question. Please contact our Customer Service department at customerservice@gaiam.com and they’ll help you with your resistance cord problem :)

    Kind regards,

    Gaiam Content and Social Media Coordinator

    Valerie Gleaton | March 18th, 2013 | Comment Permalink
  7. Hi there, the whole thing is going nicely here and ofcourse every
    one is sharing data, that’s really good, keep up writing.

    Bing | March 15th, 2016 | Comment Permalink

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