Workouts

The Best Resistance Band Routine

In the past, resistance bands have gotten a bad name in gym circuits through their association with middle-aged women doing aerobics with 5 pounds of resistance—not that there's anything wrong with that—but the truth is that bands can be worked for serious strength training, too.

Advantages Of Resistance Bands

The mechanical advantage to resistance bands is priceless, as true resistance is maintained through every part of a motion.

While resistance training, the muscles are prevented from "maxing out," but are nevertheless fully activated throughout both the concentric (lifting) part and eccentric (lowering) part of an exercise. This leads to better range of motion, overall strength, total burn, and even cardio if you go for long sets with little rest or try supersetting.

Plus, resistance bands are easy to store and convenient to travel with!

Using The Right Resistance Bands

Resistance bands should be chosen based on your existing strength in the muscle groups being targeted. When performing the exercise, the band should be secured so that the length of the band is adjusted to give resistance even at the bottom of the exercise. You can vary the resistance by holding the band at various lengths.

 

 

Chest Exercises With Resistance Bands

Exercise 1: Bench Press

For this, you will need a bench of some sort. Secure the band under a rear leg of the bench, nearest your head. Lie down on the bench and press up like you would during a barbell bench press.

Exercise 2: Cross-Over

Secure the band around a stationary post. Stand facing away from the post with arms raised to sides, palms forward. Then, step forward for tension. Keeping your arms straight, bring them across your chest as with a standard cable cross-over.

Exercise 3: Curl

Stand on the band with both legs, feet shoulder-width apart or closer. Holding the handles palms up, curl as you would with dumbbells.

Exercise 4: Triceps Extension

Again, stand on the band with both legs, feet shoulder-width apart or closer. Holding the handles with your arms overhead and elbows bent (hands are now behind your head), extend your arms as you would with a regular triceps extension.

Exercise 5: Skullcrusher

Set up the band as you did with the bench press. Point your elbows forward and up, and perform skullcrushers as you would with a barbell.

Shoulder Exercises With Resistance Bands

Exercise 1: Shoulder Press

Stand on the band with your feet together. Hold handles at shoulder height with palms facing up. Press upward as you would during a dumbbell press.

Exercise 2: Lateral Raise

Stand on the band so tension begins with your arms at your sides. Keeping your arms straight, raise your arms out to your sides until they are parallel with the floor.

Exercise 3: Upright Row

Stand on the band so tension begins with your arms at your sides. Pull upward, toward your collar bone area, as you would with a barbell upright row.

Upper-Back Exercises With Resistance Bands

Exercise 1: Row

Fix the band around a stationary post (or your feet). Sitting down with your feet extended in front of you, pull back as you would with a cable row.

Exercise 2: Back Fly

Fix the band around a stationary post. Stand back so tension begins with your arms raised in front of you. Keeping your arms straight and feet planted, fly your hands backward so that they are fully extended out. Your body should be T-shaped.

Lower-Back Exercise With Resistance Bands

Exercise 1: Good Morning

Stand on the band and hold the handles with your hands clasped behind your neck. Keeping your legs straight or slightly bent, slowly lean forward at the waist until your torso is parallel to the ground. In a controlled manner, straighten back up again.

Quad Exercise With Resistance Bands

Exercise 1: Squat

Stand on the bands in a squat position with the handles by your shoulders. Squat in a controlled manner, just as you'd perform a barbell squat.

Calf Exercise With Resistance Bands

Exercise 1: Calf Raise

Stand on the band with your toes, keeping your hands by your shoulders. Rise onto your toes as you would with a barbell calf raise.

Ab Exercise With Resistance Bands

Exercise 1: Weighted Sit-Up

If you have a decline bench, you can fix the band around the base of the bench and perform decline sit-ups while holding onto the handles. Otherwise, fix the band around a stationary post and lie on the floor facing away from the post. Holding the handles by your head, perform sit-ups or crunches.

The Routine

Using the exercises given above, you can set up a workout routine like the ones below:

Example 1: Monday/Wednesday/Friday
  • Bench press 3 sets of 8 reps
  • Cross-over 1 set of 10 reps
  • Row 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Back fly 1 set of 15 reps
  • Squat 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Curl 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Skullcrusher 2 sets of 8 reps
  • Triceps extension 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Shoulder press 2 sets of 8 reps
  • Lateral raise 2 sets of 8 reps
  • Upright row 1 set of 10 reps
  • Good morning 3 sets of 8 reps
  • Calf raise 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Weighted sit-up 3 sets of 20 reps
Example 2: Monday/Thursday
  • Bench press 4 sets of 8 reps
  • Cross-over 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Squat 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Squat 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Skullcrusher 2 sets of 8 reps
  • Triceps extension 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Calf raise 5 sets of 10 reps
  • Weighted sit-up 2 sets of 20 reps
Example 3: Tuesday/Friday
  • Row 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Back fly 2 sets of 15 reps
  • Shoulder press 3 sets of 8 reps
  • Lateral raise 3 sets of 8 reps
  • Upright row 1 set of 10 reps
  • Good morning 4 sets of 8 reps
  • Curl 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Weighted sit-up 2 sets of 20 reps

Warm-up using an appropriate tension, and keep about a one-minute rest between sets. The routine can be tailored to fit your schedule and training preferences, changing the sets and frequency as you please.

I wouldn't alter the rep range too much, though, as resistance bands aren't as optimal for very low rep sets, and much higher rep ranges are less effective.

Benefits Of Resistance Band Training

As with any exercise routine, resistance bands will increase the strength of your muscles and stimulate growth. What they will also do is hit the full range of motion, working many parts of a muscle often underworked when using free weights.

For anyone who needs a way to work out on vacation, periodically can't get to the gym, or wants something extra to add to their regular workout, resistance bands are well worth their extremely low cost!

Source - Bodybuilding.com