As a certified personal trainer, many of my clients ask me for specific workouts they can do at home with limited equipment on the days they don’t have time for the gym.
The great thing is that with just a few resistance bands and a yoga mat, you’ll be able to train your entire body. But you have to be careful to choose the right exercises to target major muscles and build up strength and a leaner appearance.
So, I got together with five other fitness coaches and a few clients to come up with an ideal plan.
- You can do a full-body workout that includes everything from a banded squat to an overhead press in your own time at home.
- The great thing about a resistance band workout is that you can do a few sets, even if you just have 20 minutes to spare.
- Most people are surprised by how much lean muscle mass they can build up with heavy resistance bands and no free weights in sight.
7 Full-Body Resistance Band Exercises
Here is a full-body workout we tested with clients. Depending on how much time you have available, you can do anything from one set with eight reps each in about 15 minutes to three full sets at 12 reps in about an hour.
1. Resistance Squats
The first resistance band workout is a simple squat:
- Your starting position is standing tall with both feet on the center of the band.
- Hold a handle in each hand and pull it up to your shoulders.
- Keep your core engaged and lower your buttocks down as far as possible before pushing back up.
With all lower body exercises, it’s important to focus on good form rather than rush things. That will give you more time under tension for better results .
“Research shows that increasing your muscles’ time under tension can increase metabolic response.”
- Jennifer Mathe, MS, CSCS
2. Seated Rows
For this one, you need to attach the resistance band to a door hook and sit down on your exercise mat. You also need to:
- Make sure there is enough tension when you have your arms fully extended, holding on to the handles.
- Pull the handles to your chest and feel the strain build up between your shoulder blades.
Also, keep your core braced and maintain good posture to avoid injuries .
3. Biceps Curls
Now it’s time to shift attention to your upper arms:
- Stand on the resistance band with your feet hip-width apart.
- Hold a handle in each hand with palms facing forward.
You can now either do a full set with each hand or alternate between both arms with each rep.
4. Triceps Extensions
The starting position for this is to stand on the resistance band with your left foot and grab hold of the handles. Then:
- Pull your left hand up over your head until your arm is straight.
- Then, slowly bend your elbow, allowing your hand to lower behind your back and push it back up.
You should immediately feel the tension in your upper arm.
5. Banded Deadlift
Stand with your feet shoulder-width on a looped resistance band. Then:
- With your knees slightly bent, reach down for the resistance band handles.
- Now raise your upper body up again and feel the tension increase on the bands.
You should notice the strain in your core and hip flexors.
6. Chest Press
Now let’s do some work on your upper body muscle group:
- Attach the band to a door hook and place your right foot slightly in front of the left.
- Slightly bend the knees for stability and hold a handle in each hand next to your shoulders.
- With your elbows bent in the starting setup, push your hands forward.
- Hold your arms extended for a second and return back to the starting point.
7. Shoulder Press
And for the last one:
- Stand on the band with both feet and raise the handles to shoulder level.
- This will create tension right from the start to better train your shoulder muscle groups.
- Push both hands up above your head and hold your arms straight for a second before slowly lowering down again.
And make sure you keep your body straight throughout the movement.
Advantages Of Using Resistance Bands
The main advantage of a full-body resistance band workout is that you can target multiple muscle groups through compound exercises .
What these allow you to do is efficiently target more muscles in less time.
That means that even 20 minutes of working on functional strength will provide a lot more benefits than 20 minutes of isolation exercises.
The other advantage is that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to buy a full set of dumbbells.
- Best Resistance Band Chest Exercises
- Best Resistance Band Back Exercises
- Full-Body Resistance Band & Bodyweight Circuit Workout
Are There Downsides?
Yes, there are some downsides to using bands rather than free weights. First of all, with bands, you get increasing and decreasing tension through an exercise movement.
With free weights or cable machines, you get a completely consistent strain, which can be easier to manage.
The other thing I would say is that the resistance of bands will gradually reduce. That makes it difficult to keep track of what bands to use for your specific fitness goals.
Ultimately, most people will do well starting off with bands at home and then gradually investing in a set of dumbbells or some adjustable ones.
Can You Build Muscle With Power Bands?
Yes, you can build muscle with power bands. Similar to using weights, it all comes down to getting the right level of tension and strain on muscles and then repeating the movement to achieve hypertrophy.
How Long Does It Take To See Results From Resistance Bands?
It can take as little as a few weeks to see results from resistance bands. It all depends on how often and for how long you train. And the more you increase the tension and lower your reps, the better the results should be.
Maximize Your Power Band Workouts At Home
The above full-body workouts will have a significant impact on your fitness levels and strength. And if you do them even for just 20 minutes three times a week, you’ll start seeing some great results.
The other thing I would recommend is taking some post-workout proteins on the more intense days.
We have tested dozens of products and come up with a great list of recommendations:
Check out our test results and see how much of a difference they can make for your fitness goals.
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