Exercises Resistance Bands – Which Exercises Will Buiild Muscle?

Resistance band exercises may seem like the kind of exercises that won’t help you get in shape and gain muscle.  You may think of them for weaklings,.. not men who are interested in building muscle.  THINK AGAIN.

You’re just not doing the RIGHT resistance band exercises.

Resistance bands may not weigh much, but unlike weights, they can create constant tension throughout a movement, recruiting more muscle fibers and accelerating growth. Plus, bands are portable, inexpensive, and you can do hundreds of exercises with them.

You can get a set at your local sporting goods store or here’s a great set you can get on Amazon.

 

TIPS

 Make sure you purchase an ‘athlete’ or professional level set of bands.  You want to be challenged.

Choosing the Right Band: A band’s resistance actually increases at the end of a move, so your band choice will not only depend on your fitness level, but the type of move you are performing.

Choose a band heavy enough to provide some resistance at the beginning of the exercise, but not too heavy so you’ll be able to move in correct form through a full range of motion.

Don’t allow the band to go completely slack between repetitions. Instead, keep some tension applied at all times.

As you get more advanced you can even use multiple bands together, all attached to the same handle. Each band has a different resistances so that you can adjust the level of resistance that is appropriate for your exercise. As you work out consistently, you will find that you will need to use higher and higher levels of resistance

 

SUGGESTED ROUTINE

Always stretch and warm up first, as you would before any exercise routine.

To start with I’d suggest picking 7 of the exercises from the list below and creating a circuit.  Do each exercise three (3) times.  Rest 30 seconds and then go on to the next one and perform three (3) sets of it.  This will get you a muscle workout as well as a mild cardio workout.  Perfect.

Next week, choose seven (7) more and do the same thing.  Variety will help in many ways – your muscles and you from getting bored.

OK, let’s get started:

 

TRICEPS EXTENSION

Secure the band low behind you and hold the handles with your hands behind your head, palms facing each other, elbows bent 90 degrees and upper arm straight up.

Pull the handles up by extending your arms completely and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your upper arms immobile throughout.

 

 

 

 

STATIONARY  LUNGE

Secure the band underneath one foot that is forward and crouch down with your other foot in line, but behind, and hold the handles with your hands on top of your shoulders, palms facing forward.

Push yourself up by extending your legs and allow yourself slowly back down after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

SHOULDER  ROTATION

Secure the band under an elevated foot while lying on your back and hold the handles with your hands above your shoulders, elbows bent at 90 degrees and palms facing forward.

Pull the handles in until your forearms join your upper arms in touching the ground and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your upper arm and the angle in your elbow still throughout.

 

 

 

OVERHEAD SHOULDER  PRESS

Secure the band underneath your feet and grab the handles with your hands over your shoulders, elbows bent and palms facing forward.

Push the handles straight up until your arms are close to being fully extended and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

FORWARD SHOULDER  PRESS

Secure the band underneath your feet and grab the handles with your hands over your shoulders, elbows bent and palms facing forward.

Pull the handles up and forward until your arms are close to being fully extended and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

CHEST PRESS

Secure a band at medium height behind you and grab one handle with your hand near your shoulder, palm facing down.

Pull the handle straight forward until your arm is extended and parallel to the floor and allow it to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

CRUNCH

Secure the band low, lie down on your back and hold the handles with your arms extended above your knees, palms facing down.

 

Roll your shoulder blades up from the floor while stretching the bands and slowly lower yourself back down after a short pause.

Keep your arms extended throughout.

 

FRONT DELTOID RAISE – ALTERNATING

Secure the band low in front of you and grab the handles with your hands in front of your thighs, palms facing down.

Pull one handle up at a time until your arm is parallel to the floor and allow it to slowly return while you pull up the other handle.

Keep your arms extended (or close to it) throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

FRONT  DELTOID  RAISE

Secure the band low behind you and grab the handles with your hands on each side of your thighs, palms facing each other.

Pull the handles up until your arms are parallel to the floor and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your arms extended (or close to it) throughout.

 

 

 

 

LATERAL  DELTOID  RAISE

Secure the band underneath your feet and grab the handles with your hands on each side of your thighs, palms facing each other.

Pull the handles out and up until your arms are parallel to the floor and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your arms extended (or close to it) throughout.

 

 

 

 

LEG  EXTENSION 

Lie on your back, one leg extended on the floor and the other in the air and secure the band to your foot that is in the air, knee bent at a 90-degree angle.

Pull the foot handles up by extending your leg and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your thighs perpendicular to the floor and immobile throughout.

 

 

PULLDOWN – ARMS  EXTENDED

Secure the band high, stand up and grab both handles with your hands in front of your head, arms extended and palms facing each other.

Pull the handles down toward each side of your body and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Breathe out while pulling and breathe in while returning to start.

 

 

 

 

TRUNK ROTATION

Secure the band at medium height, stand up and grab both handles with your hands, arms extended out in front of your abdomen.

Rotate your upper body towards your left and slowly return to your starting position before going to the right.

Keep your arms extended out in front of you throughout.

 

 

 

STANDING  ROW  –  ONE ARM

Secure the band low, stand up with your upper body bent forward and grab one handle with your hand, arm extended in front of your knee, palm facing down.

Pull the handle back toward your abdomen and allow it to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your back straight and still throughout.

 

 

 

 

BENT OVER FLY

Secure the band beneath your feet, stand up with your body tilted forward and grab both handles, arms extend in front of your knees, palms facing each other.

Pull the handles out and up on each side of your body and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your back and arms straight throughout.

 

 

LYING BACK FLY

Secure the band beneath your foot held in the air and lie on your back. Hold the handles with your hands above your chest, arms extended and palms facing each other.

Pull the handles out to each side of your body and allow them to slowly return after a short pause

Keep your arms straight throughout.

 

 

 

STANDING BACK FLY

Secure the band at medium height, stand up and grab both handles with your hands, arms extended in front of your chest, palms facing each other.

Pull the handles back by moving your arms to each side of your body and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your back and arms straight throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BICEP PREACHER CURL

Secure the band at a medium height in front of you and hold the handles with your hands in front of your abdomen, arms extended.

Pull the handles towards your shoulders by curling your elbows and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your upper arms immobile throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

STANDING BICEP CURL

Secure the band underneath your foot and grab the handles with your hands in front of your thighs, arms extended and palms facing up.

Pull the handles towards your shoulders by curling your elbows and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your upper arms immobile throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

CALF  RAISE

Sit on a chair, place the heel of your foot on top of a small block and secure the band between your toes and that block.

Pull the toe area of your foot up by stretching the band and allow it to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your heel solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

CHEST  FLY

Secure a band at medium height on your side and grab one handle with your hand, arm extended out at shoulder height, palm facing forward.

Pull the handle in until it is in front of your chest and allow it to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your arm extended (or close to it) throughout.

 

 

 

SEATED ROW

Secure the band low, sit down with your legs extended and grab both handles on top of your knees, arms extended and palms facing each other.

Pull the handles back toward your abdomen and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your back straight and still throughout.

 

 

 

INCLINE  CHEST PRESS

Secure a band at medium height behind you and grab one handle with your hand near your shoulder, palm facing down.

Pull the handle forward and up until your arm is extended and the handle is at the same height as your head and allow it to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

DECLINE  CHEST  PRESS

Secure a band at medium height behind you and grab one handle with your hand near your shoulder, palm facing down.

Pull the handle forward and down until your arm is extended and the handle is at the same height as your navel and allow it to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

TRICEPS  EXTENSION

Secure the band high in front you and hold the handles with your hands in front of your abdomen, palms facing each other, elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.

Pull the handles down by extending your arms completely and allow them to slowly return after a short pause.

Keep your upper arms immobile throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TWISTING  CRUNCH –  KNEELING

Secure the band high, kneel down on the floor and hold one handle with your hand near your shoulder, elbow bent.

Tilt your body forward and rotate it while stretching the band towards your other side’s knee and slowly raise yourself back up after a short pause.

Keep the angle in your elbow constant throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

SQUAT

Secure the band underneath your feet, crouch down and hold the handles with your hands on each side of your shoulders, palms facing forward.

Push yourself up by extending your legs and allow yourself slowly back down after a short pause.

Keep your feet solidly in place throughout.

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY

As with any exercise routine, resistance bands will increase the strength of your muscles and stimulate growth. What they will also do is hit the full range of motion, working many parts of a lift and muscle often not worked by free weights.

So try a resistance band routine for a month and see how much you can increase your muscle mass.  You’ll be surprised.

Resistance bands probably should not take the place of free-weights or other strength training, but they’re terrific for traveling, when you’re injured or when you need a break from the gym

Comment below with your resistance band experiences and if you think this is a good idea.

About "W" Tucker 50 Articles
I've been a fitness enthusiast for many years and want to encourage guys over 40 to get and stay in shape. It makes life better, and makes you look and feel better.

4 Comments

  1. Hey Tucker,

    I love your illustrations. I have been trying to weigh the options of training with resistance bands or just lift weights.

    This was after my resistance band snapped and injured me. But now I have realized how important it is to do the exercises.

    As I feel the need to get nack to them, which specific resistance band do you use or would recommend I use?

    • Dave, sorry to hear you had a band fail and injure you.  I think the more heavy duty you can get them, the better.  I used to sell resistance bands on Amazon, so look for, not the cheapest ones, but ones that indicate they are for atheletes or are heavy duty.  

      They are a great workout, and I would recommend that you mix resistance band training with weight workouts.  I think you get benefits from both.  

  2. Great article!

    I have to admit that I was one of those people who thought you couldn’t get a good workout with resistance bands. Reading your article, I notice that you can get a good total body workout with them.

    One thing I like about them is the fact that resistance increases as you go through the motion. I used to think that was a bad thing, but I now believe in the concept because our muscles tend to be the weakest at their most extended and become stronger as they contract, so resistance bands can help ensure that you’re fully loading the muscle throughout the exercise. I think the fitness industry is catching onto this, as I see people using chains to create the same effect.

    Another thing I like about bands is the fact that you can throw them in a suitcase and take them wherever you go, so there’ no excuse not to exercise when travelling.

    Thanks for posting this, and have a great day!

    • Andy, thanks so much for the thoughtful comments.  

      Yes, I do think you can get a good workout with resistance bands, and they are so useful when traveling because you don’t have to go find a gym.   

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