Blast Your Whole Body With This Resistance Band Workout

Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how simple it can be to get a little fitter. You don’t need technological marvels strapped to every part of your body or racks straining under heavy weights on hand. You just need to push your body a little bit further than it’s used to being pushed, and one excellent way to do that is to pull a stretchy bit of elastic in several directions.

Resistance bands are cheap and effective for a variety of workouts – probably far more effective than you might think. While those looking to add serious bulk might not get all they need from resistance bands, they are a great tool for increasing strength and adding some muscle. You can also use them for fast-paced HIIT workouts if you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness and burn boatloads of calories.

Resistance bands are also the most portable form of fitness equipment. Pack them in your luggage and you can slip in a workout in a hotel room just as easily as you would in your own front room. And if you’re stuck for ideas for what to do in that workout, let us help you out. We asked Let’s Band master trainer Ben Fildes for a full-body resistance band workout and he duly obliged with the routine below. The whole workout should take no more than 15 minutes, but if you’re not tight for time carry on for another round or two, or add some extra sets.

The Types Of Resistance Bands You’ll Need For This Workout

Resistance bands all work in the same way but they’re not all the same. You can get looped bands or various sizes and strengths, or a straight band which has two ends. Often the latter will have handles to make them easier to hold. The colour of a band is usually a clue to how strong it is: blacks and blues tend to offer greater resistance than reds and greens, which in turn are tougher than yellows. However, this is not always the case, so do check you’re buying something that’s appropriate for your fitness level.

In the workout below, two types of bands are used. A small looped band is good for stepping into and placing just above or below your knees for moves like the glute bridge, while you’ll need a larger looped band that can go around your shoulders while you stand on it for exercises like squats.

You can find a great set of small looped bands for under £10, like this INMAKER kit, which also comes with a carry case. If you’re looking for larger looped bands, though, you’ll generally have to buy them individually. The AmazonBasics bands are a good option here if you’re keeping to a tight budget: the resistance level of each band is listed so you can be sure you’re spending your money on one that’s the right strength for you.

Full-Body Resistance Band Workout

1 One-arm biceps curl

Sets 1 Reps 12-15 each side

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with both feet on the resistance band. Grasp the band with one hand and hold it with your arm down at your side, palm facing forwards. Bend at the elbow and lift your arm toward your shoulders until you get a good biceps contraction. Then lower slowly back to the start. Do all your reps on one arm, then switch.

2 Flye

Sets 1 Reps 12-15

Hold the resistance band in both hands, arms stretched straight out to the sides at chest height, with the band going behind your back. Press the band straight out in front of you, bringing your hands together with your arms fully extended, keeping your elbows up throughout and squeezing your chest muscles as you press. Slowly return to the starting position.

3 Front squat

Sets 1 Reps 8-15

Stand on the resistance band with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and bring the top of the band up to rest on the front of your shoulders. Lower into a squat, with your chest up and your knees over your toes. Then push up to the starting position.

4 Side-lying hip abduction

Sets 1 Reps 10-12 each side

Lie on your side with your hips and knees bent at 90° and the resistance band looped just above your knees. Raise the upper leg to pull your knees apart while contracting your glutes for two to three seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Do all your reps on one side, then switch.

5 Glute bridge

Sets 1 Reps 10-15

Loop the resistance band just above your knees and lie on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees bent at 90°. Lift your toes off the floor, then raise your hips until you form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders, contracting your glutes throughout the entire movement. As you raise your hips open your knees slightly to press against the resistance band.

6 Splitter

Sets 1 Reps 8-10

Stand with your knees slightly bent and your feet shoulder-width apart. Grip a shoulder-width section of the resistance band with both hands in front of you at shoulder height. Keeping your arms straight, pull the band out and back until your shoulder blades contract. Slowly return to starting position.

7 Lateral walk

Sets 1 Reps 8-10 steps in each direction

Loop one resistance band just above your knees and another around your ankles. Drop into a half squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart to create tension in the bands. Then take a small step to the side, keeping tension in the bands as you move. Do all the steps in one direction, then switch.

8 Press-up

Sets 1 Reps 5-15

Get in a plank position, draping the resistance band across your upper back and holding the ends under your hands. Drop your chest down towards the floor, then contract your glutes and abs and push straight up until your arms are fully extended.

9 Squat to overhead press

Sets 1 Reps 8-10

Stand on the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Position your hands at shoulder level with your palms facing up, holding the resistance band. Drop into a squat, then push back up and fully extend your arms so you raise the resistance band overheard. Then lower slowly into another squat.

To find out more about resistance band training or to buy powerbands, visit letsbands.com

The Definitive Guide to Resistance Bands and Workout Bands

Resistance bands, also known as workout bands or exercise bands, are stretchable bands used for both physical therapy and general fitness.

Not matter where you are with your body and your fitness routine, there is a resistance band out there that is right for you. This article will discuss what resistance bands are, how they benefit the body, and their many functionalities in the athletic world.

The article will also describe the six main types of resistance bands and outline a series of popular exercises for resistance band users.

What is a resistance band?
The six types of resistance bands
The five colors of resistance bands
What are resistance bands used for?
The benefits of resistance bands
Resistance bands vs weight
Exercises to do with your resistance band
Picking the right resistance band
Which resistance band should you use for pull ups?
Which resistance band should you use for P90x?
Which resistance band should you use for T25?
What should you look for in a resistance band?
Safety and general tips for resistance bands
Purchasing a resistance band

What is a resistance band?

A resistance band is a lightweight elastic band used to induce muscular contraction. This contracting motion builds strength in the muscles as the user pulls against the band. Resistance bands have been around in some form or another since the early 20th century. At first, they were primarily used for rehabilitation. Those with damaged muscles would use the bands to recuperate their lost strength.

Today, resistance bands are used both by those undergoing physical therapy, and by anyone looking to strengthen their muscles. There are six primary types of resistance bands, and five standard colors for the bands that indicate how much resistance they provide.

What are the types of resistance bands?

Resistance bands vary not only in terms of color, but also in terms of size, shape, handles, and looped vs non-looped.

  1. Therapy band

A therapy band is almost always used for rehabilitation, as the name indicates. Therapy bands do not have handles and are gentle on the body. They have a flat surface rather than a tubular structure. Some work with therapy bands not only for physical rehabilitation, but also for mental rehabilitation.

In a nutshell:

  • Used for rehabilitation

  • Around 4 feet long

  • Flat surface

  1. Compact Resistance Bands / Tube Bands

Compact resistance bands consist of a longer-than-usual tube (around 4 feet) with two plastic handles on each end. They are sometimes referred to as “fit tube” resistance bands. They are varied in their use, and can be used to train the upper body, arms, and lower body.

In a nutshell:

  • Used to train upper body, arms, lower body

  • Around 4 feet long

  • Tube-shaped

  1. Fit loop bands / Mini Bands

Like the therapy band, the fit loop band has a flat, rather than tubular surface. It makes a continuous loop, as the title suggests. It is best used to strengthen the lower body, including the legs, hips, and buttocks.

In a nutshell:

  • Used to train lower body

  • Around 4 inches to 2 feet long

  • Flat surface

  1. Figure 8 bands

A figure 8 band consists of two plastic handles connected by a tube in a figure 8 shape. These bands tend to be on the shorter end. Their short length and double handles mean they are perfect for developing strength in the upper body, particularly in the arms.

In a nutshell:

  • Used to train the upper body

  • Around 20 inches long

  • Tube-shaped

  1. Ring resistance bands

A ring resistance band consists of a small, single ring with two handles attached to either side of it. The handles are soft, rather than hard plastic. These types of bands are best for working the lower body, but they require different exercises than the fit loop band or the compact resistance band.

In a nutshell:

  • Used to train the lower body

  • Around 1 foot long

  • Tube-shaped

  1. Lateral resistance bands

Rather than the typical handles, a lateral resistance band has velcro cuffs on either end. These cuffs are typically wrapped around each ankle, to help train the lower body, particularly the hips and the thighs.

In a nutshell:

  • Used to train the lower body

  • Around 1 foot long

  • Velcro cuffs, rather than handles

7. Pull up bands

Pull up bands, also known as a pull up assist bands, are special types of resistance bands designed to aid those attempting pull ups. Getting started doing pull ups is difficult for many people. Even experienced athletes can have a lot of trouble with this exercise. If your body doesn’t have enough strength to do one pull up, then it’s difficult to build those muscle groups and progress to doing reps.

With a pull up band, you can practice the motion of a pull up without straining your arms as much. It’s a great way to dive into an exercise that’s fantastic for your upper body. With band-assisted pull ups, you can strengthen your trapezius, biceps, rhomboids, and lats. You’ll see the pay off quickly with more muscle definition, and eventually you’ll be able to move to pull ups without a pull up band.

How to use a pull up band

Using a pull up band can be a little confusing at first, so we’ll break it down into exact steps.

  1. Start off with a little cardio (under 10 minutes is fine) to get warmed up. Your muscles will be more ready to work and less likely to get injured.

  1. Choose a pull up band. Pull up bands are extra long resistance bands that are often made to be one continuous loop. Like regular resistance bands, pull up bands are color coded based on the level of a resistance.

However, this is where it gets tricky. For pull up band exercises, you want to use a higher level of resistance if you are a beginner. Because the band bears the weight of your body, the high resistance bands bear more weight and give you more of an assist. If you are just starting out, choose the blue or black band. Depending on your weight, you may also want a heavier band to support your body, so always check the specific guide for any band you purchase.

  1. Loop the band around the top of your pull up bar. Make sure it is secure. If your pull up band is not a continuous loop, you will need to tie it to the top of the bar.

  1. Step into the center at the bottom band. You can step in with both feet, or step in with one foot and cross the other foot behind it.

  1. Using an overhand grip, hold the pull up bar tightly. Your hands should be a little farther apart than the width of your shoulders. If you are having trouble reaching the bar, you can stand on a chair.

  1. Keep your whole body stiff and in place. In particular, you want to keep the center of your body rigid: focus on tightening your abs, pelvis, and glutes. Keep the center of your body in this tight position during the whole exercise.

  1. Keeping your elbows pointed towards the floor, pull your chin towards the bar. The goal is to get your chin slightly above the bar.

  1. Lower your body slowly until your arms straighten. Once they do, begin your next rep right away. The band will help you bounce back into it. Do around 5-8 reps before resting.

What do the resistance band colors mean?

Resistance bands come in different colors to indicate what level of resistance they provide. Some resistance bands feel much heavier than others. In general, the color code below applies to most resistance bands, regardless of the brand. However, some brands may have their own color code, especially for more unusual bands, such as therapy bands and fit loop bands.

  1. The red resistance band

This color of resistance band is the lightest and the stretchiest. It is perfect for those just starting to do resistance band training, but you’ll find that practitioners across the board still use it. That’s because the lightness of the band helps it target muscle groups that don’t need a lot of resistance to still be working. For example, you could use a red band to work your shin or shoulder muscles.

  • Resistance level: light

  • Suggested muscles: shin, shoulders

  1. The black resistance band

Black resistance bands are not quite as stretchy as the red bands, and overall, they provide a higher level of tension. This makes them a good middle-of-the-road choice, classified as “medium resistance”. You could use your black band after you feel you’ve graduated from your red band, or to target specific muscle groups that work great under medium resistance, like your triceps or biceps.

  • Resistance level: medium

  • Suggested muscles: triceps, biceps

  1. The purple resistance band

The medium-to-heavy green resistance band is the next level up from red. It should be used by those who have already built up a lot of muscle tone, or those looking to specifically focus on large muscle groups, rather than individual muscles. For example, you could use a green resistance band on your legs.

  • Resistance level: Medium-to-heavy

  • Suggested muscles: Legs, chest, and back

  1. The green resistance band

Green resistance bands are stiff and unyielding. Like the purple resistance bands, you should use these only with large muscle groups, or after you have practiced with stretchier bands.

  • Resistance level: heavy

  • Suggest muscles: legs, chest, and back

  1. The blue resistance band

Blue resistance bands are the most difficult bands to use. They are very stiff and do not stretch easily. You should make sure you have built up your strength before you attempt to work with these bands. Because they are so hard to stretch out, blue resistance bands are a great choice for doing partnered exercises, where both you and another are pulling against the band.

  • Resistance level: heavy

  • Suggested muscles: legs

Summary: Main pull up band colors

  • Yellow

  • Red

  • Green

  • Blue

  • Black

Summary: Main types of resistance bands

  • Therapy bands

  • Compact bands

  • Fit loop bands

  • Figure 8 bands

  • Ring bands

  • Lateral bands

  • Pull Up Bands

What are resistance bands used for?

There are two primary uses for resistance bands. 1.) For general fitness and 2.) for physical therapy. However many different types of athletes and practitioners fall under these two general branches.

Resistance bands for fitness

Sports-training

Many athletes use resistance bands to build the specific muscles they need to strengthen for their sport. For example, a martial artist might use a band to improve their grip and upper arm strength, making chokes and holds much easier to maintain. A skier might use a resistance band in the off-season to build muscle in the calves and thighs, letting them carve through the snow at the perfect angle, once the season begins.

Aesthetics

Resistance bands are one of the best ways to sculpt the body because they can target specific areas better than weights or weight machines can. If you are aiming for a certain look–toned arms, sculpted abs, etc. than a resistance band is one of the best ways to exercise.

Dance

Many dancers use resistance bands to both strengthen their calves, knees, and thighs, and to practice their balance. There are barre exercises for resistance bands that let ballerinas and other dancers work on building their leg muscles.

Intense fitness regimen

Many intense fitness regimens, such as P90x, require resistance bands as part of their training. This is not only because of the effectiveness of resistance bands, but also because their color-coding makes evaluation easy. Practitioners can move through the colors of bands with different exercises, and see hard evidence of the significant progress they’ve made. We will talk more about the best resistance bands for different types of fitness regimens below.

Resistance bands for physical therapy

Resistance bands are frequently used in physical therapy because of their specificity. Often, when a muscle is injured, other muscles will build up around it to make up for the loss. However, this can backfire, as the injured muscle is less likely to ever rebuild its full strength. Resistance bands help physical therapists ensure that the exact muscle is regaining strength, rather than just the muscles around it.

They also let physical therapists choose highly specific levels of resistance for their patients. Users can start at very gentle levels, so as not to strain any injured muscles.

Summary: resistance band uses

  • Sports and dance training

  • Intense fitness programs

  • Aesthetics and muscle tone

  • Physical therapy/rehabilitation

The benefits of resistance bands

General benefits of resistance training

No workout routine is complete without some form of resistance training. Working your muscles against something else has numerous advantages for your body, and even some for your mind.

Resistance training helps improve weight loss

Even though resistance training won’t burn as many calories at once as aerobic exercise, it still has weight loss benefits. When you build muscle tone, your body’s metabolism receives a significant boost. This is because muscle tone at rest burns many more calories than fat at rest. So if your body has a lower fat percentage, it will burn a higher rate of resting calories.

Once you lose weight, several studies have shown that you’ll also have an easier time keeping it off if you practice resistance training two or three times a week.

Resistance training helps manage arthritis

Many physical therapists use resistance training to help treat arthritis. The additional muscle mass provides better control over your hands and reduces pain levels.

Resistance training helps prevent injury

Resistance training builds muscles and strengthens the overall density of the bone. This means that you are less likely to break or fracture something after a fall. Your bones will be stronger, and they will have more a protective cushion around them. You are also less likely to fall in the first place when you have stronger muscles.

Resistance training puts you in a better mood

When you work your muscles during resistance training, your brain releases more endorphins than usual. These endorphins not only cheer you up during your exercise, they have a lasting effect. With a regular resistance training regimen, you will sleep better and be less prone to depressive episodes.

Resistance training prevents deterioration

Once the body is fully developed, it starts losing around 1% of its strength each year, a statistic which goes for both bones and muscles. The best way to prevent this loss is to continue building bone and muscle density on a consistent basis, to make up for what is naturally lost.

Resistance bands vs weights

The above list addresses the general benefits of resistance training, which can be done with weights, resistance bands, the body alone, or through other methods. The following list discusses the advantages of using resistance bands rather than weights.

They are easy to travel with

Resistance bands are much easier to transport than weights. They are great for taking on vacations if you don’t want to miss your favorite workout routine. They are also much lighter — tucking one into your suitcase won’t get you flagged at the airport for having too much weight.

They are inexpensive

Resistance bands are one of the most cost-effective ways to get a full workout. Many resistance bands are priced at less than 10 dollars. Even higher quality, more expensive bands are usually less than 30 dollars. You can get a full set of resistance bands for much less than you would pay for a weight machine, while still engaging in many of the same exercises.

They are easy to store

No matter how many resistance bands you end up purchasing, you need almost no storage space for them. Each band can simply be rolled up and tucked away for maximum convenience.

They introduce variety

If you already love the weights or machines you work with, you might feel a resistance band is unnecessary. However, adding variety is very helpful to your workout. Your muscles become accustomed to the same types of movements, and adapt accordingly, so adding elements of variety can help you make sure you’re still challenging them.

You can use them to do exercises you already know

One of the coolest things about resistance bands is how you can add them to exercises you’re already familiar with. You can combine resistance bands with leg lifts for more of a challenge, for example, or use resistance bands to make your daily pushups truly intense.

They are versatile

Not only can you use resistance bands in the place of weights, you can use them with weights. This adds additional challenges of balance and coordination, for a genuinely rigorous workout.

They are great to use on your own

It’s very difficult to use advanced weights without the help of a partner. If you need to practice strength training alone, resistance bands are a great choice. You can use them safely even when you advance to the higher levels, and you won’t need to constantly depend on your workout buddy.

They offer more specificity

As we discussed in our section about physical therapy, few other tools can help you isolate target muscles the way that resistance bands do. If you have a particular focus, combine contractions with the right movement and see those muscles grow in no time.

Summary: Benefits of resistance training

  • Prevents injury, deterioration, and disease

  • Promotes weight loss

  • Improves posture and balance

  • Strengthens target muscle groups

Summary: Advantages of resistance bands

  • Easy to transport and store

  • Less expensive

  • Versatile, great for individual training

  • Can be combined with most exercises

Exercises to do with resistance bands

There are many types of exercises you can do with your resistance band. Some are gentle and mild, helping to familiarize the muscles with a certain movement, whereas others are quite intense.

One of the advantages of resistance bands is you can use them to add weight to popular exercises you may already be doing. When you add this level of resistance, you will see faster progress in building muscle tone.

  1. Front Squat

To do a front squat with your resistance band, stand on top of the middle of your resistance band. You will want your feet to be about a shoulder length apart. Hold the handles of the band, one in each hand, and bring them to the top of your shoulders. Then, squat down, letting the band contract. When you lift up from your squat, the band will expand with your movement, and add resistance to it.

  1. Lateral walk

To do a lateral walk, use either a ring band or a lateral band. You want either your legs between the band at your ankles, or the cuffs attached at the ankles. At first, bring your feet about a shoulder width apart and come into a slight squat. Then, sidestep to your right, stretching the band and creating tension. Take several steps to the right this way. Repeat the process, this time stepping to your left instead.

  1. Bent-over rowing

Stand in the center of your band. Bend over slightly at your hips, but keep your knees bent so that your back remains flat. Grab the handles of your band on either side, and then contract your elbows so that your hands come all the way up to your waist. You should feel your shoulder blades coming together as you bend your elbows.

  1. Lying down pull

For this exercise, start in a lying down position with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Anchor your band at a position a short length away from you and above you, such as a bed frame leg. Take the band with a handle in each hand, and pull it slowly over your head and torso, so that the handles come close to your hips.

  1. Pushup

A resistance band push up is most easily done with a band that doesn’t have handles. Place the center area of the band on top of your shoulders. Then grab each of the ends of the band and tuck them under your palms. Come up into a pushup position, letting the band stretch upwards. As you come down into your pushup, it will contract again.

  1. Lateral raise

Bring your feet apart, with one in front of the other. Place the center of the band under your forward foot. Take one of the handles in each hand, keeping your palms facing inwards towards your body. Then, raise both handles at the same time, until your arms are spread out fully in both directions.

  1. Standing bicep curl

Stand in the center of your band, taking a handle in each hand. Wrap your fingers around each of the handles so that your palms are facing forward. Then, bring the handles up towards your chest in a curling motion. Your hands should come close to your shoulders each time.

  1. Kneeling crunch

Anchor your band in a place high above you. Start in a kneeling position, facing away from the anchor. Take hold of each side of the band and bring your forearms in front of your chest. Then begin crunching your chest towards your hips. The band will stretch as you do so.

  1. Standing chest press

For this exercise, your band should be anchored at about chest height. Begin by standing with your back facing away from the band. Take a handle in each hand and bring your hands up to your shoulders with your elbows bent. Step one foot slightly in front of the other to maintain your balance. Then, thrust your hands straight out in front of you, letting your elbows straighten as well.

Picking the right resistance bands

Picking the right resistance band depends on your skill level, current muscle tone, and the types of exercises you would like to do. Remember, you don’t need to purchase just one resistance band. A whole set might be better for those who are committed to resistance training and want to try a variety of different exercises that can work the entire body.

Which resistance band should you use for pull ups?

The best type of resistance band for pull ups is actually a pull up assist band, which is not included in the main types of resistance bands. It is especially long and does not have handles. Users can stand on the band and tie or loop the opposite end on their pull up bar.

Which resistance band should you use for P90x?

The best type of resistance band for P90x is probably the compact resistance band, also known as the fit tube resistance band. You may want to purchase two resistance bands if you are doing P90x, rather than having to switch around during some exercises. You should also note that you can replace most of the exercises done with dumbbells with resistance bands.

Which resistance band should you use for Focus T25?

You can use several different types of resistance bands for Focus T25, but your best choice may be, again, a compact resistance band. This is because most resistance training in T25 requires either dumbbells or resistance bands. For the types of curling and pressing you are doing, you will want something with handles to grip, so you can mimic the right motions.

Summary:

  • Best resistance band for pull ups: extra-long pull up band

  • Best resistance band for P90x: compact resistance band

  • Best resistance band for Focus T25: compact resistance band

What you should look for in a resistance band?

Beyond type and color, there are several other things that you can look for in a resistance band. All of these factors will help you pick the right resistance band for you and your workout.

Length:

Resistance bands come in varied lengths. Some are small and cannot even stretch past an arms length. Others, like pull up bands, are quite extensive. If you are unsure about which length to go with, lean towards longer options. You can usually tie, wrap, or even cut longer bands if necessary, whereas it is difficult to modify short bands in any way.

Materials:

Although most resistance bands are made of some kind of rubber-like tubing, the materials used can actually vary greatly. Depending on the material, a resistance band will be more likely to overstretch or tear. Sticking with a genuine rubber latex blend is usually a good call.

Handles:

Not only should you choose whether you want handles, you should also decide what kind of handles you prefer. If you are doing a lot of exercises that mimic dumbbells, then you will probably want handles in the first place. Then you should decide how a.) soft and b.) grippable those handles should be. If you haven’t worked with resistance bands before, go with softer handles, or you are likely to develop some serious callouses.

Summary: What to look for in a resistance band

  • Length

  • Materials

  • Handles (soft vs. hard, etc.)

Safety and general tips for resistance bands

Although resistance bands are typically less dangerous to use than weights, you should still practice caution, as you should with any form of exercise. When you are careful with your bands, you are much less prone to injury, and you can progress much faster in your fitness goals.

  1. Keep your body in alignment

Some resistance exercises may including crouching, but you should never be hunched over in an unsustainable position, even if it lends your body more strength. Instead, maintain a healthy degree of alignment. Keep your knees slightly bent when you work, rather than locking them. Keep your shoulders and your hips lined up with each other, and let your spine keep its natural curve.

  1. Try exercising without the band

If you are engaging in an exercise that you haven’t tried before, practice it first without using the band. This will allow you to get a feel for the proper movement without putting stress on your muscles. Once you are comfortable with the exercise and confident in what you are doing, start adding resistance.

  1. Don’t forget to breathe

Often in any kind of resistance/strength training, there is a temptation to hold your breath asyou tense your muscles. Resist this urge and breathe easily and steadily. When the levels of resistance become more challenging, exhale rather than inhaling or holding the breath in.

  1. Do not lock your joints

If you find that your joints are locking when the band expands, then you are probably using too much resistance. You should always have a slight bend in your joints, even when the resistance band itself is fully extended. Otherwise, you resist over-extending your muscles and injuring them.

  1. Take your time

Do not progress too quickly to more difficult bands. Instead, take your time and make sure you have mastered a band color completely before you decide to tackle the next level. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to do around 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions of an exercise before you decide to try it with a different band.

  1. Don’t release a tense/extended resistance band

When you let go of a resistance band that is already extended, it will snap back towards you. This has the potential to injure you, and at the very least, it’s not any fun getting smacked in the face with a handle. Always wait until you have released the tension on your band to let it go.

  1. Don’t stretch the band too far

Stretching a band beyond its capacity greatly increases the likelihood it will tear or break. Try to never extend a band more than 2 ½ times its own length.

  1. Inspect your band before you use it

Each time before you begin your workout, give your band a thorough inspection. Check it for any tears or frays that may lead to greater damage during your workout. You never want your band to break unexpectedly while you are putting tension on it.

  1. Don’t store your band in sunny or humid areas

You should clean the handles of your band off when you use it. Beyond that, you should avoid storing it in areas where the rubber is more prone to expanding or growing bacteria. Storing your band in a cool, dry place will ensure it lasts a long time.

Summary: Safety and General tips

  • Always maintain good alignment

  • Try exercises out first without the band

  • Don’t hold your breath or lock your joints

  • Don’t move too fast or overextend the band

  • Check the band before you use it

  • Store your band in a cool, dry place

Purchasing a resistance band

Purchasing a resistance band is a great choice for anyone looking to build muscle tone for almost any reason. It is a low-risk investment, since resistance bands are inexpensive and can be used anywhere.

If you are unsure which resistance band to purchase, we recommend either purchasing a full set so that you can progress with the band, or starting out with a yellow or red resistance band with handles. The handles will help you mimic exercises you may have already done with dumbbells or other weights, but you will be able to more precisely target specific muscle groups.

About our resistance bands

At WODfitters, we offer a variety of resistance bands made from top quality materials. Our exercise resistance bands have soft, grippable handles and are made from a durable rubber latex blend. Our therapy bands are smooth and sleek and great for anyone looking to rebuild lost muscle.

We also manufacturer looped bands if you want to work your upper body specifically, or extra-long pull up bands if you are looking to add some extra “oomph” to your pull up game. Whatever band you are looking for, WODfitters can promise a finished product that’s well-designed, highly reliable, and customized for your needs.

EXERCISE BANK

Now, let’s take a look at the exercise bank we have for each category. For each workout, you’ll pick any three exercises from each bank. Complete 3 sets (of 12-15 reps) of each exercise you choose. Mix it up each time and give different exercises a try!

LOWER BODY EXERCISE BANK

Band Positioning: Around the ankles

How to put the band on: Step your feet into the center of the band, and use your hands to roll the band up over the ankles. Make sure it’s open as thick as possible without any curling so that it doesn’t feel uncomfortable on your skin if you’re wearing capris or shorts.

Standing Side Taps

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With the band around your ankles, pull your naval in towards your spine and bend your knees so that your booty is reaching back. Place your feet open just as wide as your shoulders. This is a modified squat position and you’ll stay here for the exercise! Tap your right foot out to the right, feeling the tension on the band, and then bring it back to center so that the feet are just as wide as the shoulders. Then tap the left foot to the left and feel the tension on the band, and then bring it back to center. Repeat this for 10 taps to each side. This works the gluteus medius (the muscle on the outside of the hip) and also the thighs. It’s also a bit of a cardio move since you’re tapping from one side to the other without a break.

Standing Reverse Taps

From the same position as the standing side steps, this time instead of stepping to the side, you’ll step back with each foot and tap. You’ll feel the tension on the stationary leg as well, making this a total leg and glute workout move.

Standing Adductor Lift

Standing straight up with your abs drawn in, lift the right leg out to the side, and then bring it back in. The tension that the band adds can be felt on the eccentric and concentric movement — as you push the leg out and as you pull the leg back to center. This is primarily working the gluteus medius, and also the stabilizing muscles of the legs and the standing leg that’s balancing you. Repeat this 10 times and then switch to the left side.

Band Positioning: Around lower knee

How to: Step inside the band with both feet, and wiggle the band with your fingers up around your shin bones directly underneath your knee. You can leave about 2-3 fingers’ width space from your knee down to the top of the band for reference.

Standing Banded Squat

Step the feet out as wide as the hips, pull the naval in, and bend at the knees to sit back with your glutes. Act like you’re sitting back into a chair, and then drill down through the heels to stand back up. The band helps activate the glutes with the tension around the legs, and also helps stabilize your body for a more properly formed squat. Repeat this 10 times.

Standing Lateral Band Walk

Step into the band with both feet, and pull the feet as wide as the hips to create tension on the band. Lower down into a half squat position while pulling your naval in towards your spine, and pressing down through the heels of your feet. Then shift your weight over to your left side, and step sideways to the right. Bring your left foot slightly in, keeping tension on the band, and continuing to side step to the right like this for 10 steps. Then repeat to the left.

The next two lower body exercises are performed on your hands and knees.

Band Positioning: Around stationary foot, and on top of moving leg

How to: This is tricky, so if you find it challenging to get the band on properly (let alone do the exercise!) you’re not alone. The best way to do this is to squat down and step your right foot a little more forward than your left. Wrap the band around the front of your right shoe, and then while holding the band, lower onto your right knee and wrap the band around the left shoe as well.

Donkey Kicks

From your hands and knees, pull your naval in towards your spine. Make sure your hands are underneath your shoulders with your fingers spread wide and pressing down through your fingers and your hands. Open your knees just as wide as the hips, and make sure the knees are under the hips. Then, press the right leg up so that it’s in a 90 degree angle, and then press up through the foot to work the glute and hamstring of the right leg. You’ll also be stabilizing with the left leg and working the left glute.

Band Positioning: above knees

Fire Hydrant

From your hands and knees, pull your naval in towards your spine. Get into the same positioning as above, and instead of reaching your leg back behind you, reach the right leg out to the side. This is a motion similar to a dog peeing on a fire hydrant! Open the right leg out to the right side, and then bring it back towards center. Repeat this 10 times, and then switch to the left leg.

The next exercises are performed lying down on your side.

Band Positioning: Around upper thighs

Banded Clam Shell

Lying down on your right side, prop yourself up with your right forearm on the ground on a 90 degree angle. Bring the legs slightly forward of your hips, and pull your naval in towards your spine. Then, bend the knees so that your legs are at a 90 degree angle also. Keep your feet pressing together as you open your top knee up away from your bottom knee as if you’re opening up a clam shell. Repeat this 10 times, and then switch sides or move onto the next exercise.

Band Positioning: Around your ankles

Side Lying Banded Leg Lifts

Lying down on your right side with the band around your ankles, press your right forearm into the ground at a 90 degree angle. Bring the legs slightly forward of your hips and pull your naval in towards your spine. Then pull the left leg straight up away from the right leg, and lower it back down. Maintain tension on the band throughout the whole exercise. Repeat for 10 repetitions and then switch sides or continue on to the next exercise.

Band Positioning: Lying on your right side, step onto the band with your left foot and wrap the band around the right shoe.

Side Lying Inner Thigh Banded Leg Lifts

Lying down on your right side with your left leg behind you and your feet in the strap, pulse the right leg up 10 times. This is working the inner thigh!

UPPER BODY EXERCISE BANK

Band Positioning: Around the forearms

Rear Delt Pull

Bend the elbows at a 90 degree angle so that your arms are paralelle to the ground. Reach the arms forward and then bend the elbows and bring the arms towards your chest as you squeeze your upper back. This works the medial deltoid, rear deltoid, scapula, and biceps. Repeat 10 times.

Banded Open & Close

Bend at the elbows and bring your arms up into a goal post position at chest level. Open and close the arms (reference photo) to work the upper arms and upper back. Repeat 10 times.

Band Positioning: Hold the band with your left hand on your chest, and your right hand holding onto the band below.

Tricep Extension with Band

Using your left hand, press the band to your chest. Use the right hand to press down against the band into a tricep extension, and then come back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times and then switch sides.

Band Positioning: Standing on your knees, step the right foot forward into a modified lunge position, and then wrap the band underneath the right knee.

Bicep Curl 1 with Band

Put the right hand through the band in an open-face position to start. Then, pull the right hand with the band up towards the shoulder into a bicep curl, and release down. Repeat 10 times and then switch sides.

Band Positioning: Around forearms

Bicep Curl 2 with Band

Hold the bands on outside of your forearms with the palms face up and your elbows hugging in towards your side body. Then, curl the hands up towards your shoulders into a bicep curl, and lower back down. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder Press with Band

From the same positioning as above, curl the arms up into a bicep curl and use this as your starting position. Then press arms up over head with abduction against the bands, and then lower down to the start position. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder Side Raise with Band

Band Positioning:Around forearms

Start with your arms parallel to your body, elbows bent at a 90-degree angle (to create two goal posts in front of your abdomen) with palms facing each other. This is your starting position. Then pull the arms out to the side and up like wings as high as your shoulders with elbows still bent (you should have created a straight line from your shoulder to your elbow). Lower back down.

Bentover Row with Band

Band Positioning: Step on the band with the right foot and lower down onto your left knee. Then, lean forward, hold onto band with the right hand.

For this exercise, pull the band up by hugging your elbow into your side and squeezing the right shoulder blade in towards the center of your spine, and then release the arm down. Continue pulling up and then releasing down for 10 repetitions, and then switch sides.

ABDOMINALS EXERCISE BANK

Band Positioning: Placing the band below the knees is easier, and placing the band above the knees outside of the thighs is more challenging.

Banded Bridge

Lying down on your back, bend your knees with your feet on the ground as wide as your hips. Bring the band around your upper thighs. Take a deep breath in, and then exhale as you pull your naval in towards your spine, and tilt your pelvis so that your hips are coming close to your ribs. Slowly roll up into a bridge position, pressing against the band and opening the legs wide. As you come up into the bridge position with your back off of the ground, hold it at the top. Then, pulse the legs and the band out to the sides for 10 counts. Slowly lower the back down onto the ground vertebra by vertebrea and then repeat for 10 times.

Banded Lower & Lift

Lying down on your back, wrap the band around your upper thighs. Pull your naval in towards your spine and reach the legs straight up towards the ceiling. Open the feet wide enough to put tension on the band, and then lower the legs down as far as you can without lifting your back off the ground. Then bring the legs back up to center. Repeat for 10 repetitions.

Banded Toe Taps

Lying down on your back, bend your knees with your feet on the ground as wide as your hips. Bring the band around your upper thighs. Take a deep breath in, and then exhale as you pull your naval in towards your spine, and tilt your pelvis so that your hips are coming close to your ribs. Bring the knees up into a tabletop position at a 90 degree angle. Open the legs to put tension on the band, and lower the feet towards the ground. Keep the knees bent. Then bring the knees back up to the starting position, and repeat for 10 times.

Band Positioning: On top of the left shoe and on the bottom of the right shoe

Banded Criss-Cross with band around top of shoes

With the band wrapped around your shoes, lie down on your back and bend the knees up into a tabletop position. Place your hands behind your head. Exhale and curl up into a crunch position. Extend the left leg and curl up towards the right knee, and then switch. Bicycle the legs and criss cross your chest to work the internal and external obliques. Repeat 10 times to each side.

ADVANCED PLANK SEQUENCE

Pick one of these at a time to try, or do them all at once when you feel physically ready. These are pretty challenging moves.

Band Positioning: Around the outer wrists

How to: On your hands and knees, put your hands through the band and place it on the outsides of your wrists.

Plank Push-Ups with Banded Arms

Come up onto your toes into a plank position. Press down firmly with your hands and make sure your shoulders are over your wrists. Pull your naval in towards your spine, and keep your back flat. From here, step your right hand out to the right, pulling on the band, then lower down into a push-up. For a modification, this can be done on your knees. Then, walk the hand back to center, and walk the left hand out to the left, lower down into a push up, and come back to center. Repeat this for 5 push-ups on each side. This works your core, chest, back, and upper arms.

Band Positioning: Around the ankles

How to: Sitting down on the floor, wrap the band around your ankles and then press back onto your hands and knees.

Plank Jumps with Banded Ankles

Press up into a plank position from your hands and knees. Pull your abs in tight, and then jump both of your feet out and then back in to center. Keep tension on the band even as you come back to center so that the band stays taught around your ankles. This works your core, shoulders, arms, gluteus medius, thighs, and hamstrings.

Modification: Plank Modified Jumps with Banded Ankles

Instead of jumping the feet away from each other and then back in, simply tap with right foot out to the right and back to center, and then tap with the left foot out to the left and back to center.

Plank Banded Booty Lifts

Come into plank position with your shoulders over your wrists and your feet as wide as your hips. Keep your right leg straight as you lift it up a few inches off the ground, and then place it back down. Repeat on the left side. This will really burn the hamstrings and the glutes! Repeat each side 10 times.

TRY THESE FITNESS ROUTINES

  • Back to basics: Your one-month treadmill workout
  • 10 core exercises that are better for your back (and body) than crunches
  • A 10-minute cardio workout you can do at home
  • 5 exercises that will strengthen your back and reduce pain
  • 5 complex exercises that will give you a full-body workout

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Resistance band workout charts

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