Best full body resistance band workouts

Best full body resistance band workouts
  • PublishedApril 22, 2020

Full-body resistance band workout: most times you have failed to exercise because of either lack of time or inconvenience. Some of you lack funds to sustain daily workouts at the gym. With resistance bands workouts, all your concerns have been catered for.

Resistance bands allow you a variety of workouts with ease. They are light in weight, inexpensive and easy to transport. When used appropriately, they help in muscle toning, building, and weight loss.

Full-body resistance band workouts include;  Lat pull down, side-lying hip abduction, squat to overhead presses, lateral work, splinter, resisted push-up, face pull, resistance band upright row, resistance glute kickback, and resistance band bends over raw.

But what are resistance bands?

According to Wikipedia, a resistance band is an elastic band used for strength training. They are also commonly used in physical therapy, specifically by convalescents of muscular injuries, including cardiac rehab patients to allow the slow rebuilding of strength.

How do resistance band work?

Resistance bands provide varying resistance levels depending on thickness and how much you can stretch or pull them. Thinner bands provide less resistance, and on the other hand, thicker bands are pretty hard to stretch and therefore offer greater resistance.

The more you stretch the band, the more resistance you get. If your target less resistance, then keep the band slightly relaxed. And if you are aiming at a greater challenge, keep the band stretched.

What are the different full-body resistance band workouts?

1. Resistance band upright row

This targets the muscles which make up the front and side of the shoulders. These are called the trapezius and rhomboids.

How it’s performed
  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart on the resistance band
  • Keeping your arms in front of the body, hold one end in each hand
  • Cross the band in front of your body to add some slack
  • Slowly lift your hands to the shoulder such that your elbows or forearms are parallel to your body.
  • Squeeze the shoulder bones to touch each other for a while and then slowly lower the hands to the start position
  • Repeat for about 45 seconds.

2. Resistance band bend over row

This targets the back muscles

How it’s done
  • Stand with feet on the resistance band, hip-width apart.
  • Keeping your arms in front of the body, hold one end in each hand
  • Bend the knees and hinge forward keeping your back flat and hands under your shoulder
  • Pull the band towards your chest
  • Slowly lower the hands back to the start position
  • Repeat the exercise for about one minute.

3. Resistance band glute kickback

This targets the glute muscles

The workout
  • Bent with the knees and palms on the ground
  • Loop the middle of the band around the right food and each band ended in the either hands
  • Lift the right leg, extending it straight and out against the resistance band
  • Slowly bring back the leg to the start position
  • Repeat for some considerable time

4. Face pull

This targets the rear shoulder, rhomboids and external rotators to keep them strong and conditioned

  • Loop a resistance band at a firm point head height high.
  • Facing the anchor point, get hold of the ends of the band with both your hands
  • Extend behind so that the band is taut and arms outstretched
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades and pull the band through your hands
  • Pause for some few seconds and slowly release the tension to extend the arms back to the start position

5. Resisted push-up

It improves total body stability and strength. It targets the shoulder and the chest.

  • Loop the resistance band over your back and the ends of the band looped around each hand
  • Lie to the floor in a high plank position forming a straight line from head to heels.
  • Perform push-ups close to the floor as possible
  • Hold the pose for a few seconds, then press through the hands to extend the arms and get back to high plank.

 6. Splinter

This targets upper body muscles

How it’s performed
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and knees a little bent
  • Grip a shoulder-width section of the resistance band with both hands in front at shoulder height
  • Keep your arms straight and pull the band out and back until the shoulder blades contact.
  • Slowly return to the starting position

7. Lateral walk

full body resistance workouts
Photo by Gabriel Alenius on Unsplash

This is one of the best ways to work the glutes, hips, and thighs. It stabilizes the hips and knees to prevent injury.

The workout
  • Loop two resistance bands one around the ankles and another just above the knees
  • With the feet shoulder-width apart, assume a half squat position to create tension in the bands.
  • Take small steps to the side one at a time keeping the tension in the bands as you move
  • Repeat the steps but this time on the opposite side.

8. Squat to overhead presses

full body resistance band workouts
Photo by Geert Pieters on Unsplash

This resistance band works out targets the quadriceps and shoulder. It also involves the abs, glutes, hip flexor, hamstrings, and the neck

The workout
  • Stand on the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Hold the resistance band at shoulder level with the palms facing up.
  • Assume a squat position, then push back up and extend the arms to raise the resistance band overhead
  • Slowly lower into the start position and repeat

9. Side-lying hip abduction

This is meant to activate the gluteus medius plus some little activation of tensor fascial late and anterior hip flexors

The workout
  • Like on your side with hips and knees bent 90 degrees and the resistance band looped above the knees.
  • Raise the upper leg to pull your knees apart while contracting your glutes for 3 to 5 seconds
  • Slowly return to the start position and switch position to engage the other side of your body

10. Lat pulls down with resistance band.

This is a compound exercise which means that it works several joints at once. It targets muscles like the latissimus dorsi, the biceps, and muscles of the forearm.

The workout
  • Loop the band above you or over the bar.
  • Stand up-right and hold each end of the resistance band slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Pull the band down to the chest height, squeezing the shoulder blades to contract back muscles.
  • Release and repeat

We also wrote an article about the best exercises for fat burning for women which may be important to you.

Can you build muscle mass with resistance bands?

Having looked at the full-body resistance band workouts, let us now look at muscle mass with resistance bands.

When we talk of resistance bands, most of you think of stretching, warming up and physical therapy. But resistance bands can tone your body and get you ripped as well.

Resistance bands bring about a stimulus or tension in the muscles. Due to muscle overload, muscle fiber experiences small tears. It is from the muscle tears where new muscle tissue starts to grow hence the building of muscle mass.

Is it ok to use resistance bands every day?

Since resistance training puts pressure on the muscles leading to tears in the muscle fiber, the muscles need some time to rest i.e. a day or two to heal. It is therefore not advisable to work out the same types of muscles every day.

What are some of the types of resistance bands?

Resistance bands come in different colors and thickness which represent their purpose in terms of the resistance offered. below are some of the types of resistance bands.

1. Resistance bands with handles

These handled bands are more like jump ropes made out of cylindrical rubber, with handles made of nylon or plastic on each end. They are mainly used for working out and building muscle strength and size

2. Therapy flat resistance bands

These are thin, wide, flat and don’t form loops. Therapy bands are often used in physical therapy or sports therapy for general strength training.

3. Loop bands

These bands are more like therapy bands but smaller and form closed loops. They are good at strengthening the legs and gluteus muscles.

4. Leg and arm tube resistance bands.

These types of resistance bands have closed-loop tube bands and come in many varieties. They are specific and limited to particular exercise examples include figure 8 resistance bands, leg bands with ankle cuffs and more.

5. Power and mobility bands

These resilient bands are 100% natural rubber with up to 5 color-coded resistance levels. They are aimed at increasing strength, flexibility, and mobility. This improves your natural body movement since the bands move with your muscles

 What are the benefits of using resistance bands?

The benefits of using resistance bands include;

1. Fewer chances of injury

Resistance bands provide the same or even greater muscle activity with weight training but with less force or stress on the joints. Your muscles are therefore assured of more stimuli with less chance of injury.

2. Resistance bands are inexpensive

With resistance bands, you don’t need so many of them for effective workouts and on top of that resistance; bands save you time and money for accessing expensive machines and weights.

3. perfect for travel

Most times we find it hard to do our routine exercises when we travel. But with resistance bands, you can even be able to work from your hotel room or outdoor without heavy equipment. It is small and portable; you just pack it in your luggage bag.

4. Perfect for rehabilitation

Resistance bands improve the strength, size, and function of muscles for people undergoing rehabilitation as well as the old aged.

5. Resistance bands provide a wide range of exercise options

With dumbbells or weights, the body is limited to certain positions and movements. However, with resistance bands, you can move both in the vertical and horizontal planes. For example, in the standing position, one can do a chest press and back row using resistance bands.

6. Resistance bands can combine with other workout equipment

Even though resistance bands can be used independently, they easily combine with other exercise equipment. Combining resistance bands and dumbbells can give you better results.

7. Don’t take a lot of space

This can be stored in the closet or under the bed, which may not be the case with equipment like treadmill, stationary bike and more.

What are the disadvantages of using resistance bands?

Everything with an advantage has a disadvantage. below are some of the shortcomings of using resistance bands.

1. Insufficient resistance

If you are a bodybuilder, resistance bands may not provide the necessary resistance you need as opposed to the heavyweights in the gym and the weight machines.

2. Quantification

Although resistance bands are color-coded to show the strength and resistance, it is difficult to quantify how hard one is pulling during a given workout.

 3. Motivation

As we all know, one can best be motivated by looking at their performance record, this is not the case with resistance bands. This is mainly because quantification and comparability are not easy when it comes to resistance bands.

 4. Comparability

One of the major challenges with resistance bands is that you cannot compare day to day performance revels. When you look at dumbbells or gym machines, for example, one can see how he or she is improving day in day out.

Resistance bands vs weights which is better?



full body resistance band workouts

Even though free weights offer the same resistance or work the same way as full body resistance band workouts, free weights have certain draw-backs which we think place them behind resistance bands. These include;

1. Resistance bands are almost weightless. This makes them portable or convenient to transport to any place where you may want to work. Unlike free weights, they are bulky and not easy to move with.

2.With resistance bands, almost all muscle groups can be targeted by merely changing the position of the resistance band. This, however, is not the case with free weights where you have to move the body to get the position such that the weights are gravity-dependent.

3. Lastly, resistance bands provide constant tension all through the workouts regardless of the speed of the workout. However, with free weights tension vary even with the speed of the workout.

All the above concerns give resistance bands an upper hand, even though all the regimens provide the same resistance.

Bottom line

Full body resistance band work workouts are the same as free weights. I.e. they provide the same amount of resistance as free weights would do.

Do not carry out band workout on consecutive days. This allows your muscles to rest and heal from the teas in the fiber after intensive workouts.

Check the bands often for cracks and replace them in case of damage to reduce risks of injuries.


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