Are you curious about resistance bands workouts? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we explore everything you should know about working out with resistance bands. We even include a few different resistance band workouts for different muscle groups so you can get started right away.
So, let’s dive into the world of resistance bands and propel you that much closer to your fitness and body goals.
What Are Resistance Bands?
Resistance bands are a fitness and rehab tool consisting of a long, elastic material. There are various types of resistance bands, including ones with varying degrees of resistance. Some may come with handles, while others may form a complete loop.
Types of Resistance Bands
Resistance bands come in all shapes and forms, giving way to various uses and exercises. The main types of resistance bands include:
- Flat loop bands: These are flat, wide bands that form a loop. They’re commonly used for leg and hip exercises.
- Tube bands with handles: These are tubular and often come with plastic or foam handles at each end. They’re versatile and can mimic many gym machine exercises.
- Therapy bands: These are flat and don’t loop. They’re often used for rehabilitation exercises.
- Figure-eight bands: Shaped like an eight and have handles, these are used for specific exercises, such as those for the arms and chest.
- Ring resistance bands: These are circular bands with soft handles and are used for lower body exercises, especially around the ankles.
The type you select often depends on how you intend to use a resistance band. In other words, it usually comes down to the exercises with resistance bands you want to perform.
Resistance Band Workouts for Different Muscle Groups
Can you get a full workout with resistance bands? Yes. From upper body workouts with resistance bands to resistance bands exercise for legs, below we review different movements you can perform to strengthen different areas of the body.
Chest Workouts Using Resistance Bands
Resistance bands exercises for the chest muscles include:
1. Resistance band push-up
Start by placing the band under your armpits and around your back. Assume the standard push-up position while keeping each end of the band firmly in each hand. Perform a regular push-up, allowing the band to add a bit of extra resistance.
2. Band chest press
Anchor the band on a sturdy object or doorknob at chest height. Facing backwards, hold the end of the band in each hand, and bend your arms at shoulder height to 90 degrees. Press your arms forward while squeezing your chest, then return to start.
3. Band chest fly
It might work best to use two resistance bands for this one, securing each to a sturdy object to your sides. Alternatively, a band looped around your shoulder may also work. Holding the end of the band in each hand, start at chest height with your palms facing forward, then bring your hands together in front of you. Pause, then return to start.
You can also opt to perform the chest press from sitting or lying face up. Alternatively, one-arm chest press exercises are also easy to perform with resistance bands and may help maintain form better.
Shoulder Workouts with Resistance Bands
Ready to work your shoulders? Here are a few movements with bands you can try:
1. Band shoulder press
Stand on the middle of the band, holding each end in each hand. Start with your hands at shoulder height, then press your arms up. Pause, then return to start.
2. Lateral raise
Stand on the middle of the band with one foot. Hold the ends of the bands at your side, then slowly raise your arms out to the side until they are parallel with the ground. Pause, then slowly lower.
3. Front raise
Stand on the middle of the band with one foot. Hold the ends of the bands at your front, then slowly raise your arms until they are parallel with the ground. Pause, then slowly lower.
Resistance Band Workouts for Arms – Triceps
Triceps are another major upper body muscle located on the back of the arms. For working these with a resistance band, start with these exercises:
1. Tricep kickback
Stand over the centre of the band, bending slightly forward at your hips. Hold the end of the band with your palms inward and your arms bent at 90 degrees alongside your body. Slowly extend your arm backwards so that your elbow is straight. Pause, then return back to start.
2. Overhead tricep extensions
Stand on one end of the band, then grab the handle or ends with both hands. Extend your arm over your head, then bend your elbows so your hands are behind your head. Slowly extend your arms again and then lower back down behind your head.
3. Tricep pushdown
Anchor the band to a high point above your head. Start by holding the band in both hands with your arms bent to 90 degrees. To perform this exercise, extend your arms by pushing down, then slowly return to the bent position.
Resistance Band Workouts for Arms – Biceps
Workouts using resistance bands can also incorporate the biceps. Here is an ultra-easy one to try!
The band bicep curl starts by standing on the band with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Hold the ends of the band in each hand, then curl your arms up so that your hand just touches your shoulders. Slowly lower back down. Try doing 10 to 15 repetitions for two to three sets.
Resistance Band Workout for Abs
1. Resistance band crunch
Anchor the band to a low spot behind you. Sitting on the floor, loop the band around the front of your shoulders. Keeping your feet firmly planted, perform a crunch by pulling your torso up against the band’s resistance. Slowly lower back down.
2. Russian twists
Wrap the band around your feet and hold the ends in your hands in front of you. Rotate your torso to one side, pause, and then rotate to the opposite side.
3. Band bicycle crunches
Lying on your back, wrap the band around your feet. Then, perform a bicycling crunch by bringing your opposite elbow to your opposite knee and extending your other leg. (You’ll feel resistance when extending your leg.) Continue to alternate sides until you’ve completed your set.
Resistance Bands Workouts for Back
Back workouts for resistance bands include many different movements. Some easy ones to get started with include
1. Seated rows
Wrap the resistance band around a secure object in front of you, such as a doorknob. Hold each end in each hand. Start sitting with your arms extended in front of you and slight tension in the band. Slowly bend your elbows alongside your body and pull the band back while pinching your shoulder blades down and back. Stop when your elbows are just past your torso, then slowly return to start.
2. Lat pull-down
Anchor the band overhead, such as in a door. Kneel and grab each end of the band in each hand. Pull the band down toward your face while also separating the hands and squeezing your shoulders. Pause, then return to the top.
3. Pull apart
Start with your arms straight in front of you at shoulder height and each end of the band in each hand with your palms facing down. Slowly pull the band apart, pause, and then return to start.
Resistance Band Workouts for Legs
Resistance bands for legs offer a great tool to work some of the biggest muscles in the body. Here are a few exercises you can do:
1. Band squats
Stand on the band with your feet hip-width apart. Hold each end of the band in each hand, creating tension when you’re squatted down. Starting from this squat position, push through your heels and into standing.
2. Leg raises
Wrap the band around both legs and lie face-up on the floor or mat. Slowly raise one leg and slowly lower. Alternate sides.
3. Band lunges
Step one foot on the center of the band while holding the ends in both hands. Step back with your opposite foot, keeping the tension in the band. Pause, then return to start.
Resistance Bands Workouts for Glutes
A glute band exercise routine should include the following moves for maximal efficiency and strength:
1. Glute bridges
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat. Loop a band around your thighs, just above your knees. Slowly lift your hips and glutes, pushing against the band’s resistance. Pause, then lower back down.
2. Band deadlifts
Stand on the centre of the band with your feet hip-width apart. Hold the band’s ends or handles with your arms extended in front of you. Hinge at the hips, keeping a neutral spine, then return to a standing position, pulling the band upward. Squeeze your glutes at the top!
Lie on your side with legs bent at a 90-degree angle and a looped band around your thighs. Keeping your feet together, lift the top knee, working against the band’s resistance. Lower the knee back down. Switch sides after completing the set.
Resistance Band Workout Plan for Beginners
Resistance Band Workout FAQs:
Do Resistance Bands Build Muscle?
Yes, resistance bands can help build muscle. As you progress, you can swap out your resistance bands for harder ones.
How Long Does It Take to See Results from Resistance Bands?
Depending on what type of results you’re looking for, most notice improvements within four to six weeks of consistent band use.
Are Resistance Bands Better Than Weights for Weight Loss?
Both resistance bands and weights are effective tools for weight loss. Overall, this may come down to a personal preference as to which is “better.” Resistance bands are portable and convenient, making them ideal if you travel a lot. However, weights offer more opportunity for progressive overload but often require a hefty investment in equipment or a gym membership.
What Do Resistance Bands Do for Your Body?
Resistance bands can build muscle, strength, and endurance, as well as improve flexibility and mobility. However, consistent use is crucial to experience results.
How Long Should a Resistance Band Workout Be?
This varies depending on your goal and lifestyle. For general strengthening, we recommend at least 30 to 60 minutes.