Resistance bands are sort of the new kid on the block so to speak.
Unlike stables like the big three of Squat, Bench, Deadlift which have long since earned the reputation as the very foundation of what bodybuilding/weight lifting revolves around; resistance bands are one of those things that can be considered kind of ‘trendy’ so to speak.
They’ve come up here and there in various forms throughout the course of modern fitness history, and they come and go as well. But recently, they have regained some renewed fervor regarding their efficacy and usefulness.
Many consider them to be a very useful addition/supplement to the ‘normal’ pattern of weights, barbells, dumbbells, bodyweight exercises, etc.
And at least part of this reason has to do with the ease of storage that a resistance band exhibits. It just a giant rubber band essentially after all right? So it’s not very difficult to store. Just tuck them in some corner or box or drawer or something and it’ll be like they’re out of sight and out of mind, and when it comes time to use them…just take them with you to the gym!
They can easily be carried around after all.
Resistance Band Primer
So other than how easy it is to deal with resistance bands there’s still other things we’d like to cover over before leaving you for the day.
Firstly, please note that not all resistance bands are created equally. In addition to coming in many different sizes and colors resistance bands also come with different levels of resistance.
However, the most common forms you’ll find are the ones with handles around them, ‘loop’ bands (these are the guys that just sort of look like oversized rubber bands), and therapy bands.
And while you might think that they are all just largely the same thing with only surface differences, you’d be wrong.
So with that being said let’s take a look at some of the different types of exercises that you can do with them.
Lower Body Resistance Band Exercises
In this first section right here we’ll cover the exercises that target the lower body.
It’s necessary to split things up like this because the vast complexity of movements can easily get confusing if we don’t do ‘chunk’ things down a little bit. You can also checkout this roundup of leg press machines.
So here’s the list:
- Front Squat – Place your band on the floor. Then stand on your band with your feet at desired widthness. Grasp both handles and bring the top of the band to just over the shoulder. Stand up straight with your chest out and spine straight; maintain proper posture here, because this will be your starting position. Now begin the movement by lowering your body as you would with a ‘normal’ Front Squat. Reach desired depth and then begin to push yourself back up towards the starting position. When you have returned to the starting position that is considered one rep. Perform as many reps as desired.
- Lateral Band Walk – Place your resistance band around your ankles. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, make sure that you can feel tension on the band. Crouch down into a ‘half-squat’ position. From this position perform the motion by shifting the full weight of your body to one side. Make sure that whichever side that you move towards you then proceed to step sideways with the opposite leg. This is otherwise known as the ‘lagging leg’ or known as ‘playing catch up’ with the ‘behind leg’. For example, if you had moved to the left then you would be sidestepping with your right leg, and if you had moved to the right then you would be sidestepping with your left leg. Continue to repeat this pattern until desired rep count is reached. Once that happens reverse the motion and move in the opposite direction with the opposite direction and side.
And that about wraps it up for the Lower Body stuff. There are far more exercises, but in order to not drag this article on for too long we must move onto the other muscle groups.
Back Resistance Band Exercises
Next up we have the Back exercises. Time to work on the posture and pulling muscles guys!
- Bent Over Row – Place the resistance band down on the ground as you would if you were doing the squat band exercise. Step over it with your feet. Stand with your feet at desired width. Bend slightly at the knees and simultaneously ensure that you have a hinge at the waist. Now bring your hips backwards. Now grasp the handles of your band and face your palms in whichever direction you desire. Then, with your elbows bent, pull your band up and back toward your hips. Be sure to go as far as your elbows allow you to go and really squeeze your shoulder blades together as tightly as possible. Slowly and in a controlled manner lower the band/handles back to the starting position. That is now one rep. Perform as many reps as desired.
Now in order to ensure upper body/torso muscular balance and not say…get lopsided muscles and posture we will be moving onto the chest next.
Chest Resistance Band Exercises
You might be thinking that we’re just going to resort to the good ole’ tried-and-true bench press, and you’d actually be wrong but right at the same time.
We are going to be doing a ‘bench press’ of sorts…except we’ll be standing up too!
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the…
- Standing Chest Press – Begin by ‘anchoring’ your resistance band on a sturdy support of some kind where you can reach your chest’s height. Now grab each handle with your back to the resistance band. Take a step or two forward and then position your hands at chest level. Raise up your elbows and with your palms facing down push the band straight out and in front of you until you reach a state of ‘full extension’ with your arums. Be extra sure to really squeeze chose chest muscles. Now in a slow and controlled motion return to the starting position by reversing the motion you just did. That is now one rep. Perform as many reps as desired.
OK that about covers it for now.
Good luck and have fun!