During times of lockdowns, we know it’s tough sometimes to be going out to the gym or to be buying dumbbells that cost too much. While you can enhance your fitness level at home with highly-guaranteed results by using a cheaper alternative exercise accessory such as the resistance bands. Just by doing some strength training workouts with a few steps to follow.
This blog will cover 10 full-body exercises utilizing the resistance bands and their potential benefits, including ones that target parts of the body such as your legs, back, shoulders, chest, and abs.
Why do you need a resistance band?
Aside from getting enough protein and proper recovery, one of the main things you need to build muscle with is resistance bands. Which progressively increases the force as the band expands and as you reach peak contraction during an exercise while making your muscles work harder.
That’s why resistance bands are a great way for building strength, and muscles, and make your workout more effective. This allows you to see fast results, as mentioned by Chris Heria, the trusted calisthenics and fitness instructor and the founder of the Thenx Youtube channel.
Things that most people like about resistance bands are that they’re small and easy to carry. You are completely free to take your workout with you anywhere without getting tired or having an extra heavyweight on your shoulder.
Now to the exciting part, let's discuss the 10 home workouts using the resistance band.
As a starting position, you need to step on the inside of the resistance band with your legs, squat down, start bringing it over the back of your head and then stand up, just like an exact barbell squat (and that’s a full rep).
It is always preferred to push with the back of your heels to help stand up and be back at the starting position and don’t forget to squeeze your butt at the top.
The squats usually have great results when it comes to this type of exercise because it contributes to strengthening your quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. Using a mini band for a squat also helps teach proper form, since it helps you push your knees out, as mentioned in Quantum Strength & Fitness.
Let's switch it up by going with the most common upper body exercise push-ups.
Doing push-ups is one of the main and important exercises to help emphasizes the chest in our body. For a better push-up workout, you are going to need a lighter band than the one already used in the squats. “Each resistance band has its own amount of resistance, so choose the one that’s gonna challenge you, but allow you to perform the exercise with a properly perfect form”, says Chris Heria.
So before starting the exercise, you need to apply some extra force with the resistance band to your push-up by giving it a little twist and then hold it to both sides of your hands. Keep it behind your back and always line it up right under your delts, and then start going to the ground.
Start by going all the way down to the ground and then up, and then repeat it several times. You are going to feel that the top of your contraction has the most amount of force on it. As you push up more and more, you will feel it is getting harder and harder with each rep.
Now let's move to another common upper body exercise that most people like to do, the shoulder press using resistance band training.
Band Shoulder Press
One of the most recommended types of exercise using a band set is the band shoulder press. The way to start this is to unwind the band in an open position and step in the middle of it standing up. Grab the bands with your hands so you are inside the loop, which means both sides should have a little less tension.
That is important because we are raising them overhead, so keeping the same position as the legs are close together and you can have your feet positioned apart a little more if you need more balance. Keeping yourself in the middle and pressing overhead 10 reps for the 3 entire sets, you can of course switch to slightly different angles with keeping the core tight.
One thing about this exercise is that these bands are going to rub against your arms, there is no way that you can avoid it but it’s definitely worth it because it works your muscles in a way that helps you raise your level of fitness.
One thing you can do to make this exercise less uncomfortable is by getting into a very wide position where the bands are almost behind you. Otherwise, if you press up they rub into the back of your shoulder causing less pain than before.
When you are done with upper body workouts, let's get back to the lower body. Another exercise that can help with the glutes and lower back is the deadlift row.
Band Deadlift Row
Immediately without taking any rest from the band shoulder press, you can switch to the deadlift row.
So with the deadlift row, the band is more likely to stay anchored under your feet, and around the shoulder width. To start this resistance band exercise, you have to lay the band on the ground. Try to grab them very close to your feet because you need a lot of tension on the band.
As a demonstration of one full rep, in the beginning, tension down, deadlift up and you are going to come down halfway row (Deadlift up→ down→ row→ down)
Band deadlift could be hard sometimes but can definitely have an enormous benefit in building your muscular strength and help you gain pure lean muscle mass.
For a better and more efficient bicep curl, it’s preferred to begin the exercise by putting your feet on top of the resistance band, make sure it’s nice and tight, then start using your hands to lift them off the ground, just like a normal curl as if you were doing it with dumbbells. Although you can feel it get a bit harder and heavier each time you lift it, make sure you are doing it right.
If using one resistance band is not enough then you can layer the levels of resistance by using multiple grade bands. This way as you progress and when your strength increases, you can increase the resistance without doing too many reps.
For the opposite muscle of the biceps, the triceps can have multiple ways of working out with a resistance band. In this case, we will be choosing the triceps kickback exercise.
When it comes to the triceps kickbacks, bend your knees, try to keep your back flat, bring your arm all the way up until you reach a 90-degree angle with your left foot, and go straight back, then you can switch the leg off and do the exact same thing again.
As with other variations for this exercise you can tie it to a handle and start doing the same exercise in the upright position. A word of warning, you will see a lot of videos posted online since this exercise needs the resistance band to be anchored to a weight. Sometimes, if you don't anchor it properly it can inflict some serious damage to your body from the bands.
Close Knuckle Pushup
After that, you can do the close-knuckle pushups for 12 reps for 4 sets. Start by grabbing tightly and wrapping them around your upper back.
And as a tip from the MiDASMVMT, you can create tension in the band by grabbing onto points that create the most resistance for your body. Also, you want to make sure that you are pushing from your knuckles and then keep them close together to emphasize the triceps. Those tips are so important to complete this exercise in the correct form, so you can have better and faster results.
When it comes to working out the shoulder muscle group, lateral raises are the best for these. As you may know, the shoulder has 3 different parts (the front, middle, and rear)
And with this exercise, we will be covering the middle one which is the lateral deltoid. So for a better tip from the Bodylastics youtube channel, you can take the gripping part of the exercise so you can really isolate the muscle of your shoulder.
At first, you have to give it enough slack that you feel most comfortable with. Try to keep your arm tight, your shoulders more engaged and retracted. With a tight grip on your hand, try to pull all the way up and all the way down 10 reps for 3 full sets. And of course, the same thing can be applied to your delts as well if you were to pull right up in front.
For the next workout, we will discuss how to use the resistance band for exercising the back muscle groups.
Seated lat pulldown
Seated lat pulldowns on a resistance band are one of the best exercises for targeting muscle growth in your lats. In comparison to traditional pulldowns, seated lat pulldowns will focus exclusively on your lats so that your biceps or triceps can have some rest time.
- The first step is you need to sit on the ground with an upright posture.
- Attaching the resistance bands in a door frame or an anchor above door height.
- Grab the bands with your hands with the motion of pulling down.
- Your shoulders need to come down and then the elbows come down after them.
So that it can help you squeeze at the bottom “ this is why I like resistance bands, it’s because I can feel a lot of contraction in my lats than I do even with a pull-down machine”. Said James Grage, the youtube bodybuilder, and fitness instructor.
Seated in & outs
The last muscle group is the abdominal muscle. We recommend using the resistance band exercise seated in and outs. For this kind of exercise, it is most effective if you loop the resistance band around something that is stable and secure.
- You have to lay down on the ground first or sit in a chair.
- Then put the resistance band around your feet, and you wanna bring your knees into your chest as tight as you can all the way back out.
- If you feel your abs hurt, that is the desired goal for this exercise.
And that basically covers a full-body workout using the resistance bands. However, don't think that only using resistance bands are good for muscle building. In fact, the best way is to actually train with heavier weights and you can only do that with a gym membership or if you own a full rack home gym.
Use this guide to better yourself in situations when you are limited in resources, in small spaces, at home, hotel room, or when traveling. You can still do some good workouts utilizing a resistance band.
Thank you for spending time reading our blog, we hope that we contributed to resolving some of the problems that you face in your daily workout routine.
If you are interested in more of our blog content, feel free to suggest any fitness topic you would use to write about next time, and don’t hesitate to send an email or contact us through our social media pages.