How To Use Resistance Bands For Working Out
I’d like to show you how to use resistance bands for working out your whole body.
In this guide I’ll introduce three of the most popular kinds of resistance bands for working out at home, in the gym or on the move.
For each band I’m going to show you 3 exercises for the each of 5 main areas of your body: Legs, Core, Chest, Back, Arms/Shoulders.
That’s 3 X 3 X 5 = 45 resistance band exercises!
At the end of this guide you’ll know exactly how to use resistance bands for working out every part of your body.
If you want to go into more depth and find out all the exercises you can do with a particular band, simply enter your email in the subscribe box on our homepage for free access to our PDF exercise eBook download page.
Check out this article to find out why it’s a great idea to use resistance bands for strength training workouts.
Best resistance bands for working out
The three resistance bands I’ve included in this guide are the best for working out your entire body. They’re easy for beginners who are just starting with strength training, or advanced athletes looking to perfect their game.
Although they’re called pull up bands, they’re definitely not just for doing pull ups. With a circumference of 208cm these latex resistance loops are the ideal length for working out your whole body. They can also be looped around objects to provide a fixed point of resistance.
The handles make these resistance bands comfortable for working out, and they include a useful door anchor. The anchor can be secured at any point along a door frame so you can perform strength exercises at various angles of resistance.
These mini resistance loops are used mainly for lower body exercises and building up your glute, hip and thigh muscles. But they also very effective for core and upper body exercises. They fit right in your pocket for workouts on the move.
How to use resistance bands for working out:
Pull Up Band (see full leg workout plan here)
#1 Squat Press
Loop the band around your feet and hands as shown here. Squat down, paying attention to correct form. Then drive yourself up through the heels, at the same time pushing up your arms until fully extended.
#2 Donkey Kick
Kneel on your hands and knees with the band looped around one foot and holding the other end. Kick your leg back and up towards the ceiling. Hold for a few seconds in the final position.
#3 Resisted Lunge
Stand on the middle of the band in a forward stance and hold onto the ends of the loop. Squat down into a lunge, keeping an upright posture and holding onto the band to add resistance to the movement.
Stand on the middle of the band and hold the handles at shoulder height. Do squats while keeping your hands firmly braced next to your shoulders.
#2 Lunge Lift
Stand with the band looped around one foot, holding the handles at your waist. Step forward into a lunge, at the same time bringing your arms forward and up over your head. Repeat with the other leg.
#3 Donkey Kick
Kneel on your hands and knees with the band hooked around one foot and securing the handles under your hands. Kick one leg back and up towards the ceiling. Hold for a moment, squeezing your glute muscles.
Mini Resistance Band (see full glute workout plan here)
#1 Leaning Glute Kickback
Stand with the band looped above your knees and lean forward, using a chair for support. Kick one leg backwards as high as possible and hold for a moment, squeezing your glutes.
#2 Kneeling Glute Kickback
Kneel on your hands and knees with the band looped around your feet. Kick one leg up as high as you can and hold briefly in the top position.
#3 Lying Hip Abduction
Lie on your side with the band around your ankles. Raise your upper body and rest on your elbows. Keeping both legs straight, lift the upper leg as high as possible.
Pull Up Band
#1 Kneeling Crunch
Secure the band high up and kneel, holding the band firmly either side of your head. Stretch the band by crunching your body downwards and squeezing your abdominal muscles.
#2 Side Bend
Loop the band around one foot and hold onto the other end at your side with some tension in the band. Bend to the side as far as possible without bending forward or back.
#3 Standing Twist
Fix the band around chest height and stand side-on holding it with both hands in front of you at arms length. Stretch the band by twisting your body to the side using your oblique muscles.
#1 Kneeling Superman
Kneel on hands and knees with the band looped around your foot. Raise your leg and the opposite arm together. Hold for a few seconds in the final position with your arm and leg fully extended.
#2 Low-High Woodchop
Fix the band down low and hold both handles at waist level. Twisting your body, move your arms upwards and to the other side as if you were swinging an axe upwards.
#3 High-Low Woodchop
Same as in the above exercise except now you bring your arms down in a chopping motion.
Mini Resistance Band (see full ab workout plan here)
#1 Lying Leg Raise
Lie down with the band looped around your ankles. Keeping your legs straight, lift one leg as high as possible while keeping the other pressed on the floor. To make the exercise more difficult, do the movement with the bottom leg slightly raised.
#2 Mountain Climbers
Get into a plank position with the band looped around both feet. Stretch the band by bringing one knee up to your chest. Then return and repeat with the other leg.
#3 Plank Kickback
Start in a plank position, resting on your elbows and with the band looped just above your knees. Lift one leg as high as possible and hold briefly. Then repeat with the other leg.
Pull Up Band (see full chest workout plan here)
#1 Resisted Push Ups
Sling the band around your back and get into a push up position. Do push ups as normal but with the added resistance from the band.
#2 Incline Chest Press
Step on the band with your back foot and keep the leg straight. Hold the band in front of you with your front leg bent. Push the band forward and up in a pressing motion.
#3 Single Arm Chest Fly
Fix the band to an object at waist height (a door handle works well) and stand side-on with the band taut. Using your chest muscles and keeping your arm fairly straight, pull the band horizontally across until your hand is at your center-line.
#1 Chest Press
Secure the door anchor somewhere between waist and head height. Stand facing away from the door in a forward stance and push the handles forward to exercise your chest.
#2 Chest Fly
Keeping the band fixed at the same point, this time keep your arms straight and you stretch the band by moving them to the side in a flying motion.
#3 Push Up
Same as with with using pull up bands, sling the band around your back to perform resisted push ups. You might need to experiment with different ways to hold secure the handles underneath your hands.
Mini Resistance Band
#1 Plank Walk
Loop the band around your forearms and get into a plank position. Walk your hands forward and then back again in a continuous cycle. You can also do this in a side-to-side motion.
#2 Push Up
Doing push ups with a mini band won’t increase the pushing difficulty, but by adding concentric resistance it will force you to use more muscles in your arms and shoulders. Just loop the taut band around your forearms and do push ups as normal.
#3 Chest Opener
Hold your arms in front of you with the band around your wrists. Pull the band apart by bringing your hands out and back. Focus on opening and squeezing your chest muscles.
Pull Up Band (see full back workout plan here)
#1 Bent Over Row
Stand on the middle of the band and hold the loops at either end. Keeping a straight back, pull the band up and squeeze your shoulder blades together in the final position.
#2 Band Pull Aparts
Stand straight holding the band at arms length in front of you. Pull the band as wide apart as possible, keeping an upright posture. You should feel the exercise focused on your upper back and shoulders
#3 Single Arm Row
Step into either end of the loop with your front leg bent and back leg straight. Grasp the middle of the band and look forward, keeping your entire back slightly arched. Pull the band upward to perform one handed rows, same as you would with a dumbbell.
#1 Bent Over Row
As with the pull up bands, stand on the middle of the band, but cross the band so you’re pulling with opposite hands as shown here. If the band is too long you can stand with feet further apart.
#2 Standing Row
Fix the door anchor at chest height and stand facing the door. Hold the handles in front of you at arms length with some tension in the band. Pull the handles back either to the side of your body or high up towards your face, as shown.
#3 Reverse Fly
Stand on the center of the band, bending forward at the waist but with a straight back. Keeping your arms straight, elbows unlocked, stretch the band by lifting your arms back and squeezing your shoulder blades together.
Mini Resistance Band
#1 Seated Row
Sit with legs straight in front of you and the band looped around your feet. Hold the other end and pull it in to your belly, keeping your back straight.
Stand inside the loop and grasp the other end, bending at the waist and knees. Be sure to keep your lower back slightly arched. Now drive yourself up into a standing position, stretching the band taut.
#3 Archers Pull
Stand in a forward stance and hold the band with one arm straight in front of you at shoulder height. Keeping the front arm straight, your other arm draws the band back to your ear, with the elbow up, in the same way as you would draw a bow to shoot an arrow.
ARM & SHOULDER EXERCISES
#1 Shoulder Press
Stand in one end of the loop and hold on to the other end with both hands in front of you. Bring the loop over your head and press upwards with palms facing up. Maintain an upright posture.
#2 Bicep Curls
Step on one end of the loop and hold onto the other end with one hand. Or you can step with both feet and then use both hands together. Pull the band, curling your arm upwards to work your biceps.
#3 Tricep extension
Step on one end of the loop and hold the other with one hand behind your head and your elbow pointing up. Extend your arm, stretching the band upwards using your tricep muscle.
#1 Bicep Curls
Step on the middle of the band and pull the handles upward to do bicep curls, same as above.
#2 Tricep Extension
Fix the door anchor high up and stand facing the door, holding the handles in front of you with palms facing down. Push the handles downwards using your tricep muscles.
#3 Lateral Raise
Stand in the middle of the band, holding the handles at your sides. Keeping your arms straight, lift them laterally out to the side and stretch the band up. You should feel the exercise in the sides of your shoulders.
Mini Resistance Band
#1 Outward Shoulder Rotator
Loop the band around your wrists, holding your forearms in front of you. Pull the band apart horizontally by rotating at the shoulder. Be sure to keep your elbows close to your sides.
#2 Tricep Extension
Hold one end of the loop at your chest and brace it firmly there. With the other hand, pull the band downwards using your tricep muscle.
#3 Bicep Curls
Seated on a low chair or stool, loop the band around your foot and hold the other end with your elbow resting on your knee. Do bicep curls by pulling the band upwards with one hand.