10 exercises resistance band workout

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Kevin Mangelschots

Get your body in shape with these 10 killer resistance band exercises

10 exercises resistance band workout guidelines

Workout time:

Workouts per week:

Rest time between sets:

Training level:

Exercises performed:


Equipment:

Program goal:

10–20 minutes

2, preferably 3 times per week

30–60 seconds (beginner 60 sec vs intermediate 30 sec)

Beginner/intermediate

Squats, lunges, hip bridges with knee extensions, Push-ups, standing rows, lateral walks, front raises, side raises, resistance band sit-ups, running man

Resistance bands of different colors

Toning, diet, cardiovascular improvement, strength

The 10 exercises resistance band workout

A woman with a purple resistance band around her upper legs while sitting down.

We perform this routine 1 time.

If you want to switch the order of the exercises, you can. As long as every exercise is performed at the end of the workout.

  1. Squats x20
  2. Lunges x20 each leg
  3. Hip bridges with knee extensions x20 each leg
  4. Push-ups x20
  5. Standing rows x20
  6. Lateral walks x20 each leg
  7. Front raises x20 each arm
  8. Side raises x20 for each arm
  9. Resistance band sit-ups x20
  10. Running man x30 seconds

The 10 exercises resistance band workout explained

  • Squats

    Image of a man performing a back squat with a barbell.
    Image of a man performing a back squat with a barbell.

    Put the band beneath both of your feet and wrap the band around your hands a few times. Put your hands above your shoulders, kinda like you’re holding a barbell, and let the band rest on your shoulders.

    Stand with both your feet at shoulder width. Next, bend your knees while pushing them slightly outwards. Keep your back straight while doing this.

    Make sure to squat below parallel. (The full range of motion.) This means your hips should be lower than your knees. Now straighten your knees and make sure they keep pointing slightly outwards. Finally, fully extend your knees and hips.

  • Lunges

    A woman doing a lunge with a resistance band around her legs.

    Start by tying the resistance band together around your ankles.

    Next, place both feet next to each other. Lift your left foot and place it down in front of you, proceed to perform a controlled bend in your left knee as far as you can and return to the starting position.

    Following this, you proceed to do the same with the right leg. Alternate between the left and right leg.

    → Make sure to keep your entire front foot on the ground when you’re bending the front knee. This will help with balancing and reducing the stress placed on the knee.

  • Hip bridges with knee extensions

    A woman showing the wrong, and right hip bridging technique.

    The band should be tied together around the ankles.

    Next, lie down on the ground with your knees bent and feet together, resting flat on the ground.

    Relax your arms by resting them on the ground right beside your body. Create tension in your core and glutes, and lift your hips off the ground.

    Lift your hips high enough to create a straight line from your core to your knees. Then, straighten your right leg by extending your right knee and put your right foot back down.

    Following this, you do the same with the left foot. Lastly, lower your hips until your glutes touch the ground again in a controlled manner. 

  • Push-ups

    Picture of a man performing a push-up.

    The resistance band should go from behind your upper back, to the front of your body, with the band wrapped around your hands a few times to adjust tension and to make sure you won’t let go of it during the exercise.

    Start in a planking position with your hands positioned under your shoulders. Your body should be kept straight without bending your back.

    Lower your chest to the ground and rise back up again by extending your elbows. Your elbows should be kept closely against your body when performing the exercise. So don’t flare your elbows out.

    → If the push-ups are too challenging, then I suggest performing them with your knees resting on the ground. Keep your back straight to prevent back injuries, and don’t flare your elbows out.

  • Standing rows

    Start by tying the band around something solid in front of you. For example, around a table leg.

    Next, take the band with both hands at the edges and wrap the band around your hands a few times to adjust the tension and to make sure you won’t let go of it during the exercise.

    Pull the band towards your body, ending with both elbows bent at about 90° and tightly held against your body.

    Release slowly and straighten your arms by extending your elbows.

    → Bend your knees slightly and avoid raising your shoulders. Keep your elbows tucked against your body.

  • Lateral walks

    A woman with a resistance band around her lower legs.

    Tie the band around your ankles.

    Stand with your feet together, and your knees slightly bent.

    Take a step with your right foot to the right side. Proceed to lift the right foot and return it to the starting position, placing it beside the left foot. Next, do the same with the left foot.

  • Front raises

    Put your right foot slightly in front of your left foot, with your feet around shoulder width apart.

    Proceed to put the resistance band beneath your front foot. The band should be positioned in the middle beneath your foot. Proceed to wrap the band around your hands a few times, so you won’t let go of it during the exercise.

    Following this, raise your right arm straight in front of your right shoulder until you are at shoulder height.

    Proceed to lower the right arm in a controlled manner. Then do the same with the left arm.

    → Don’t go above shoulder height.

  • Side raises

    Put your right foot slightly in front of your left foot, with your feet around shoulder width apart.

    Proceed to put the resistance band beneath the foot in the front. The band should be positioned in the middle beneath your foot. Proceed to wrap the band around your hands a few times, so you won’t let go of it during the exercise.

    Following this, raise your right arm to the side of your body until you are at shoulder height.

    Proceed to lower the right arm in a controlled manner, and do the same with the left arm.

    → Don’t go above shoulder height and make sure your arm doesn’t go behind your body.

  • Resistance band sit-ups

    Start by tying the band around something solid behind you. For example, around a table leg.

    Next, take the band with both hands at the edges and wrap the band a few times to adjust the tension and to make sure you won’t let go of it during the exercise. Hold your hands in front of your upper chest.

    Lie flat on your back with both feet resting on the ground. Your knees should be bent as well. Place both hands in front of your body around your upper chest and come upwards with your torso.

    → Be careful not to rise upwards too much. If you come too high from the ground with your torso, then your back will start to bend.

    This places stress on the back discs, potentially leading to an injury. Also, don’t put your hands behind your head, as some people will start pulling their heads when performing the upward motion.

  • Running man

    Tie the band around your ankles. Stand with your feet around shoulder width.

    Stay on the balls of your feet and proceed to jump with your right foot forward and your left foot backward. Keep switching between which foot you put forward. Your arm that comes forward is always crossed with the foot that is coming forward. This means if you jump your left foot to the front, your right arm comes forward.

    → Stay on the balls of your feet to remain mobile, and remember to use your arms as a way to stay balanced while performing the exercise.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What’s the function of resistance bands when working out?

Resistance bands are elastic bands that, as the name suggests, add resistance to an exercise.

This added resistance makes you work harder, thus helping you grow stronger. Resistance bands can be used as a way to incorporate light strength training into your workout routines.

I like to use resistance bands when I’m performing high-intensity interval training workouts. Because it is way more challenging and taxing on my body.

A resistance band is so small and light, which means you can carry it with you everywhere. There’s a large variety of exercises that can be performed with it. This is one of the many advantages, which we will discuss down below.

Benefits of using resistance bands during workouts

The word “benefits” made with wooden tiles.

  • You can carry it anywhere

    Because of the small size and light weight of the resistance bands, you can take it wherever you want.

    Meaning you can work out at any place you desire. Whether it’s at home or on vacation.

    This might be the largest benefit that working out with resistance bands provides. Working out with weights requires you to go to the gym or have a home gym or, at the very least, dumbbells.

  • Low cost

    A resistance band on average costs about 10–20 euros.

    This makes it an excellent training tool for people on a budget or people who can’t spare the money to go to the gym.

  • Adds assistance

    Resistance bands can help you make certain exercises easier, depending on where you attach the resistance band.

    This makes it suitable for beginners or for people who struggle with exercising because of weight issues.

    For example: If you attach a resistance band to a table in front of you, and you hold it while performing a sit-up, then the band will help pull you up by supporting your weight.

    For those looking to train their upper body with dumbbells rather than resistance bands, the following upper-body dumbbell workout at home can do just that.

  • Stretching

    A young woman stretching dynamically in a cave.

    It can help you stretch and increase your range of motion (ROM).

    If you gradually move the band away from your body, then the stretch becomes deeper.

  • Increasing strength

    The word ‘resistance band’ basically explains it.

    It creates an increased amount of tension in our muscles by adding resistance.

    This makes the exercises harder, which in turn leads to an increase in strength.

  • Suited for all ages

    You can choose how much resistance or assistance you add to each exercise.

    This makes for a tool that’s suited for people of all ages.

    Resistance bands don’t apply the same pressure as weights do, making them safer on the joints and a very useful tool when rehabilitating from injuries.

How to determine the amount of resistance by looking at the color of the resistance band

Picture of a yellow, red, green, blue, and black Tunturi resistance band on a white background.
Picture of a yellow, red, green, blue, and black Tunturi resistance band.

How much resistance the band gives almost always depends on the color of the resistance band.

Depending on your fitness level, it is generally advised to start with a lighter color resistance band and gradually work your way up to a band that gives more resistance.

Often, the bands with a darker color give more resistance, though this is not the case with every brand of resistance bands.

Most resistance bands have the following classification of resistance:

  • Light resistance

    This band offers a resistance of 3–6 pounds.

  • Medium resistance

    This band offers a resistance of 8–10 pounds.

  • Heavy resistance

    This band offers a resistance of 10–15 pounds.

  • Heaviest/Extra-heavy resistance

    This band offers a resistance of 16 or more pounds.

Conclusion

Image of the word, “conclusions” written on a black backboard with white chalk.

Resistance bands are easy-to-use and lightweight, which makes for an incredibly versatile and fun training tool.

The resistance can be altered in mere moments by adjusting the tightness of the resistance band. This makes it an effective training tool that can be used by people of all ages.

A possible disadvantage that I personally find is that it’s not suited for people who’s primary goal is strength. As it doesn’t provide enough resistance to keep up with your strength gains.

This dumbbell workout at home can offer solace for those who don’t like using resistance bands to work out.