Resistance bands provide the means to complete an effective workout. Don’t let their simple appearance fool you- resistance bands are no joke. Exercising with resistance bands challenge your muscles by creating resistance in multiple directions. Unlike free weights, resistance bands do not rely on gravity to provide resistance. This increases its potential for use in more functional movement patterns that mimic both everyday activities and sport-specific activities.
Free weights only provide resistance in a vertical plane due to gravity. Moving free weights in a horizontal plane creates no resistance. For example, hold a dumbbell in your left hand. Move your left hand from the left side to the right side of your body. There is no resistance on the muscle. With resistance bands, you will have that resistance. This shows that using resistance bands can work those muscles that you normally wouldn’t work when using free weights or machines. You are also providing continuous tension to the targeted muscle. This tension forces the body to stabilize and activate even more muscle. Let’s take the lateral shoulder raise as an example. There is no resistance being placed on the muscle when your arms are hanging down at your side with a dumbbell in each hand. When you raise the dumbbell, you begin to feel the resistance kick in. When you get to the top, the tension will again disappear as you lower your arms back down. When using resistance bands with this exercise, you can feel the tension all the way through. Jaret from Muscle Prodigy takes you through an awesome workout (shown below) that he got using resistance bands.
Jaret’s Preferred Resistance Band Workout
Try to do 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise to really get an awesome full body workout. You will continually feel the resistance and tension being placed on the muscles. This routine will work every muscle, including all the smaller muscles you normally wouldn’t train when using free weights or machines.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Loop the band around your feet and hold the handles with your arms extended and lower back engaged to create an arch. Your palms can either be down or up to further engage the biceps.
Pull the band towards you while keeping your elbows tucked in at your side until your hands come to your chest and your elbows are behind you.
Slowly release the bands to the starting position and repeat.
Attach a resistance band to a stationary object between waist and shoulder level. Stand with your back to the anchor.
Hold each end of the resistance band at the sides of the chest with elbows pointed straight out to your sides at around nipple level and the band running under each arm.
While holding your body still, press the bands forward until your arms are straight out in front of you, but make sure to keep a very slight bend in your elbows.
Release the bands back to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner and repeat.
Stand on the resistance band tube feet shoulder width apart and grasp the handle bars with both hands, keeping only a very slight band in your elbows.
Keeping your arms by your sides and your palms facing inward, slowly raise your arms outwards to your side until they come up to about ear length. Make sure to keep your elbow fixated throughout the whole movement.
Slowly bring the band back down.
Begin in the same way as with the regular hammer curls, standing on the center of an exercise band, feet shoulder width apart and arms down at your sides holding the band handles. Again, keep your palms facing your body and your elbows tucked into your sides throughout the entire exercise.
Start with one arm and curl your forearm up and across your body until your hand reaches the opposite shoulder.
Just as with the regular hammer curls, once you stop the upward movement, pause and flex your bicep an extra bit before slowly releasing to the starting position.
Alternate arms and repeat.
Bend forward slightly and stand on the resistance band tube with feet close together, holding the handles by your sides. Keep your upper arms parallel to the floor while your lower arms remain perpendicular to it.
Bend your arms in a 90 degree angle as you extend your arms back, keeping your elbows tucked to your sides.
Hold in the outer position for 1-2 seconds and repeat for your desired rep range.
Stand on the center of a resistance band with one foot and hold a handle in each hand at waist level with arms bent in at a 90° angle and palms upward toward the ceiling.
Take a large step back with your free leg and come to rest on the ball of the foot.
Squat down until your back knee almost touches the floor and the front leg forms a 90° angle.
Push back up with force, keeping your arms tight and in a fixated position so as to hold onto the bands with a tight grip.
Repeat until you complete your set. Change legs and perform the lunges from the opposite side.
Attach the resistance band around the bench lying on top of it.
With your knees bent and feet on top, contract your abs without using your arms.
Return to the starting position and repeat to complete a set.