In case you didn’t know, exercise resistance band workouts can be the most effective and least expensive way to get a full-body workout at home. I will be showing you how, in this best exercise bands workout for 2021.
Exercise Band Workouts – Getting Started
We will start out with resistance band benefits and potential negatives. There are thousands of different exercise band workout variations, but today we will be focusing on a straightforward 5-day workout plan.
Fortunately, with these bands, there isn’t much workout equipment necessary. You will need a few key band resistance sizes that work best for you. Resistance bands are the cheapest exercise equipment for the home that you will find, so it’s easy to grab a full set for under $100 and sometimes for half of that.
Best Exercise Band Set
I prefer resistance bands from Rogue Fitness Tube Bands and their Monster Bands because of the durability, the prices, and the return policy. There is also a nice all-in-one resistance band set that comes with a full resistance band system including all of the attachments and even a base. For this, see my BodyBoss Home Gym 2 review.
You will be able to get the most versatile and complete home gym workout with these bands alone. A few of these exercises do include using a couple pieces of home gym equipment such as a bench and parallel bars. If you don’t have these, it is easy to modify and I will show you how.
Are Resistance Bands More Effective Than Weights?
Resistance bands create a different kind of tension throughout your muscle fibers. Unlike weights, the amount of stress you put on the muscles is different throughout the entire motion.
The more you stretch the bands, the harder it is to stretch them any further near the end of your movement. With most exercises usually, your muscle is much stronger in the section where the band is harder to stretch. This can both be looked upon as a weakness and strength.
It can be a strength since the dynamic load increases where you are strongest, further pushing your muscle to the limits. It can be a weakness because this can lead to your muscles being less developed in terms of strength at the beginning of the motion.
Resistance bands pros
Before we get started with our best resistance band workout routines at home, here is just a sample of the many benefits you will receive when working out with exercise resistance bands.
- Put dynamic stress on your muscle fibers.
- Can assist you to recover from injury.
- Prevent injuries due to controlled motion.
- Extremely versatile. You can perform hundreds of exercises with one band.
- Cause muscles to grow denser instead of bulkier.
- Can serve as both assistance and load with some exercises. (Assisted pull-ups, push-ups, etc.)
- Bands workout well when incorporated into CrossFit workouts.
- You don’t need any other home gym equipment such as benches or dumbbell sets.
Resistance bands cons
- It can be difficult to bulk up using resistance bands only.
- It is hard to quantify your progress. With weights, you know exactly how much you can lift with each exercise, but with bands, this isn’t always the case.
Best Resistance Band Workout Routine at Home
Resistance bands are extremely versatile. With only one band you could perform hundreds of exercises. If you have two bands of equal strength, the possibilities are practically endless. I rarely travel anywhere without bringing in two 80 lbs resistance bands with me.
If you’ve been working out by doing bodyweight exercises for a while, you would get to a point where you can do more than 30 push-ups and more than 15 pull-ups per set. At this point, your body would no longer find a stimulus to grow. Even if you aren’t there yet, bands could facilitate your progress.
I’ll share with you one of my past resistance bands workout routines which had the purpose of me gaining lean weight and increasing strength. The days in this schedule are situated like this in order for me to be able to train back, biceps, and triceps two times in one week.
Beginner Through Advanced Resistance Bands Workouts
|Day 1/5||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 1/5||Day 6||Day 7|
|Back and Biceps||Chest and Triceps||Legs and cardio||Shoulders and Triceps||Back and Biceps||Rest||Rest|
5-day Exercise Bands Workout
As you can clearly see on this 5-day resistance band workout, day 1 and day 5 are the same. You can always replace some of the exercises in one of these two days if you feel like your body needs a particular movement in order to strengthen its position. Here is the resistance band workout routine chart:
|Day 1/5||Sets||Day 2||Sets||Day 3||Sets||Day 4|
|Resistance bands assisted pull-ups (warm-up)||2x Max||Push-ups (Warm-up)||2×20||Air Squats (Warm-up)||2×30||Warm-up your shoulders with shoulders push-ups and stretching||2×10|
|Pull-ups||3x Max (10-15)||Resistance bands Push-ups||3×8-10||Resistance Bands Squats||3×12||Resistance bands Shoulder press||4×10|
|Resistance bands Lat pulldown||4×10||Resistance bands incline push-ups||3×8-10||Resistance Bands Lunges||3×16||Resistance Bands Front raises||3×10|
|Resistance bands Bent over Rows||3×10||Resistance bands dips||3×10||Resistance Bands Bulgarian Squats||3×8 per leg||Resistance Bands Lateral Raises||3×10|
|Resistance bands Good Mornings||3×10||Resistance bands crossover (or flyes)||3×10||Resistance Bands Calf raises||3×20||Pull Aparts||3×10|
|Resistance Bands Biceps Curls||3×10||Resistance bands Triceps pushdown||4×10||Resistance Bands Punches||2×20||Resistance bands Triceps Push-ups||3×10|
|Resistance Bands Biceps Scott Curls||3×10||Resistance bands Triceps pull up||4×10||Abs Leg raises||4×10||Resistance bands Triceps pushdown||3×10|
Day 1 and 5 – Back and Biceps
On this day, you should start by warming up all your joints and muscle fibers by doing as many assisted pull-ups as you can. I usually do two sets of thirty, which greatly pumps up blood in your back and biceps without damaging your joints.
Typically the tension of bands is estimated at 2.5 times the stretch. I usually use 80 lbs, resistance bands. The number of reps you do here will greatly depend on your resistance bands and fitness level.
Pull-Ups – If you are unable to perform pull-ups because you are not strong enough, replace them with assisted pull-ups. If you lack a bar to perform them, replace them with resistance bands wide grip lat pull-down, or reverse grip lat pulldowns.
Resistance Bands Lat Pulldown – Here you can use either one or two bands. Perform the exercise slowly with equal speed both when stretching the bands and when easing them down. This exercise would greatly increase the density of your back muscles.
Resistance Bands Bent Over Rows – Bent over rows focus on where pull-ups don’t. This exercise increases the mass and strength of your inner back muscles, as well as your lower back.
Resistance Bands Good Mornings – Good mornings could be performed first, but in case you are doing pull-ups, you should start with the pull-ups. This is another key exercise for a strong lower back and a solid core
Resistance Bands Biceps Curls – Step on your band with both feet shoulder-width apart and enjoy the stretch. This exercise builds solid biceps peaks, and when paired with pull-ups, you would get a strong enough grip.
Resistance Bands Biceps Preacher Bench Curls – Perform the preacher curls on a bench. There are two ways of doing these. One of them is to step on the band, and then drive the band over the bench, with you propping your elbows on the backrest. The other one is to strap the band on one of the boards of the bench and do the same.
Day 2 – Chest and Triceps
Start with standard push-ups to warm up, then proceed with the resistance band chest workouts to build up your chest and tricep strength.
Resistance Bands Push-Ups – Strap one or two bands on your back, depending on your strength and perform as many clean reps as you can until failure.
Do that 3 sets. Aim for repetitions between 8 and 10. If you can do more, get a band with higher resistance levels.
Resistance Bands Incline Push-Ups– Strap the same band, but perform the push-ups slightly faster. You would start feeling an insane burn at this point. Don’t give up, the workout has just begun.
Resistance Bands Chest Dip – In this case, you would need a good parallel bar, which has another perpendicular bar in the lower section.
If you don’t have a perpendicular bar, you can use a big rock or stone that you can place below, so that you can attach the bands. Strap the band across your neck on your traps and perform the exercise.
Resistance Bands Crossover of Flyes – You can choose to perform either of these based on the equipment you have or your preference. I usually go for crossover, since I have more than one band and I have a lot of bars to attach them to. If you lack bars to attach multiple bands to, go for a resistance bands chest flyes and use your back as the fundament for the bands.
Resistance Bands Triceps Pushdown – Attach your chosen band at the bar and press it down with both hands until your elbows almost close. Loosen up and repeat.
Resistance Bands Triceps Pull Up – Step on the band, pull it with both hands behind your back, and stretch it above your head, repeat.
Day 3 – Legs and Cardio
If you have strong legs and simply doing squats doesn’t work for you anymore, resistance bands are a smart way to further increase the difficulty of your workout.
Air Squats are a good way of warming up before actually increasing the stress with resistance bands on your squats.
Resistance Bands Squats – Wrap one or two resistance bands across the back of your neck and step on it on the ground. Squat as you normally would. This puts great stress on your glutes and hamstrings.
Resistance Bands Lunges – In order to perform this exercise, you would need two resistance bands, strapped over your neck and under both feet. It might feel funny at first but it develops core muscles and glutes like few other exercises.
Resistance Bands Bulgarian Squats – This is the most hardcore exercise of the bunch, not only are you squatting on one leg, but you would also have to stress it even further with a resistance band.
Calf Raises – Step on a slightly elevated surface like a book or a stone if you aren’t at the gym. You can choose whether or not you want a resistance band to further increase the tension.
Resistance Bands Punches – This is an amazing shoulder and core exercise, that I usually love doing post-workout for a cardio burn and abs. Place two resistance bands on a vertical bar, stand next to it, with the bands behind you and place them in your fists. Start punching with them as you would normally see a boxer do.
Abs Leg raises – This has nothing to do with resistance bands, but it’s always a great idea to throw in a little abs into every workout.
Day 4 – Shoulders and Triceps
Warm up your shoulders as much as possible, since if you injure them, you might end up unable to perform any exercises whatsoever. I usually go for a short jog before I perform any shoulder exercises, as that is the best way to warm up.
Resistance bands Shoulder Press – This is a great compound exercise, as it stresses the entirety of your shoulders. Your back, chest, triceps, biceps, and core muscles act as stabilizing muscles throughout the movement.
Pull aparts. – Simply grab the band and pull it apart in opposite directions (Left and right). This exercise focuses on the growth of your back shoulders and back muscles.
Resistance Bands Front Raises – This exercise emphasizes the growth and strength of your front deltoid muscles. It might be unpleasant and hard at first, but eventually, you would end up enjoying it.
Resistance Bands Lateral Raises – Lateral raises feel a bit awkward when done with bands instead of weights, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them as there is no better exercise to train the middle portion of your shoulders.
Resistance Band Exercises for Women
There is little difference in resistance band exercises for men and women. Typically, most female athletes would use resistance bands for assistance in exercises like pull-ups, dips, and push-ups, whereas men would use them to increase stress and workload.
There are many great resistance band products for women that are optimized primarily for doing leg exercises like air squats, lateral-band steps, single-leg stands, clamshells, runner’s extensions, and monster walks.
On the other hand, resistance band exercises for men usually use heavier resistance bands in order to build more muscle mass.
Resistance Band Exercises for Seniors
Seniors often use resistance bands to recover from injuries. Resistance bands rotator exercises are used most often. Such exercises for the mobility of joints and overall strength increase are:
- Bent over row with light resistance (Or seated row, if they are experiencing lower back pain)
- Chest pull
- Hip abduction with resistance bands
- Standing hip extensions
Resistance Bands Exercises for Beginners
Typically, most beginners would use resistance bands to assist them with pull-ups, push-ups, or dips, but there are many other exercises that they can perform. Your beginner resistance band workout routine depends on the stretch level difficulty of the bands. The easiest resistance band exercises to perform for beginners for each part of the body are as follows:
- Chest – Resistance bands flyes
- Biceps – Bicep Curls
- Triceps – Tricep Extensions
- Shoulders – Upright Rows
- Legs – Squats
Best Exercise Bands Workout Conclusion
Whether its a 5 day or condensing this into a 3 day resistance band workout schedule, be prepared to get toned and get strong. Although exercise band workouts are not ideal for attaining peak muscle mass, they are still effective for muscle growth and functional strength.
These band workout examples are made to be modified to your custom program. You will want to make changes based on your time commitment, fitness level, and fitness goals. Remember, there are many exercise band benefits to be had whether you are young or old, male or female, beginner or pro.