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Why Resistance Bands are the Perfect Strength Training Tool

No matter what your fitness goals are, resistance bands should be a part of your workout routine. Not only do they come in a variety of sizes, lengths, and strengths, but they’re very portable and easy to store – making them ideal for home and travel workouts.

While you’ll find a variety of bands on the market today (tube bands, therapy bands, etc.), I prefer the continuous loop bands — like the RBT Quantum Bands  — that look like giant rubber bands. These bands tend to be stronger because of their layered construction (many tube bands are molded and can easily tear or break down with heavy use) and, when used appropriately, will hold up to some of the toughest workouts!

How to do Resistance Band Strength Training

So what exactly can you do with these giant rubber bands?

A lot more than you might think!

Give the following workouts a shot and you’ll quickly understand just how fun, dynamic and beneficial a resistance band workout can be. All you’ll need is a little space and a set of Quantum bands that provide a nice range of resistance. The workouts below can all be done with a set of red (15-35 lbs. of resistance), black (35-75 lbs.) and purple (50-100 lbs.) bands.


Band Upper Body Workout

For those who just want to get in a great upper body workout, here’s a fast-paced band attached workout that will have you feeling it!

Upper Body Resistance Band Workout

Complete the following 6 exercise circuit utilizing 30 seconds of work for each exercise and 15 seconds of rest between exercises. Or you can also perform 10-15 repetitions of each exercise followed by approximately 15 seconds of rest. Rest 1-2 minutes after you complete a full circuit. Complete 3-4 full circuits.

Note: Click any of the exercises to download a how-to video.

Chest Press

Horizontal Row

Horizontal Shoulder Press

Face Pulls

Tricep Extension

Palloff Press (Right & Left)


The Single Band Workout

Single band workouts are ideal for those with limited space or those looking for an effective workout at home or while traveling.

Complete the following 10 exercise circuit utilizing 30 seconds of work for each exercise and 15 seconds of rest between exercises. Or you can also perform 10-15 repetitions of each exercise followed by approximately 15 seconds of rest. Rest 1-2 minutes after you complete a full circuit. Complete 3 full circuits.

Note: Click any of the exercises to download a how-to video.

High Pull or High Pull w/ Lateral Step

Shoulder Press or Push Press

Step Back Lunge – Right Leg or Split Squat – Right Leg

Step Back Lunge – Left Leg or Split Squat – Left Leg

Seated Row or 1 Arm Split Row (Right & Left)

Push-Ups or Chest Press

Squats

Bicep Curls or Bicep Curl w/ Lateral Step

Overhead Tricep Extensions

Plank or Side Planks (Right & Left)

Plank Resistance Band Exercise


Band Attached Workout

Another fun and challenging way to train with bands is by utilizing a band attached set-up. This easily allows the exerciser to get in and out of the band and utilize a wide variety of push/pull/explosive type exercises. Bands can easily be looped around a smooth surface (we use handicap bars attached to the wall in our gym) for a quick set-up. Just be sure that the bands are on a smooth surface otherwise they can be damaged if secured to rough or sharp-edged surfaces. We also sometime attach 2 bands (just make sure they are the same color/resistance) which makes for a longer attachment and is easier to get in and out of.

Complete the following 12 exercise circuit utilizing 20 seconds of work for each exercise and 10-15 seconds of rest between exercises. Or you can also perform 10-15 repetitions of each exercise followed by approximately 15 seconds of rest. Rest 1-2 minutes after you complete a full circuit. Complete 2-3 full circuits.

Note: Click any of the exercises to download a how-to video.

Chest Press

Horizontal Row or Split Row (Right & Left)

Scissors

Horizontal Shoulder Press

Face Pulls

High Knee Run

Tricep Extensions

Palloff Press

Broad Jumps

Lateral Lunges (Right & Left)

Step In Lunges

Lateral Shuffles (Right & Left)


Training Tips:

Choose Your Bands Wisely

Unfortunately, because “it’s only a band,” people often assume that they need to use a strong band for every exercise. On top of that, many try to use them at too fast of a tempo. Like with any training tool, success comes with repetition and band training is no different.

It is pretty important that you start off with the correct size bands and the correct exercises for a few different reasons:

  1. You want a band you can maintain tension on the system at all times. This will maximize the benefit of using bands as resistance.
  2. You want to make sure the eccentric phase is not creating a sling shot effect that could cause injury to the joint or muscles. Having too strong of band and going at too fast of a tempo can lead to this. An example would be the shoulder press and letting the band “snap” back down into the starting position after you press it overhead.
  3. Depending on the exercise, you want to be able to train at a good pace when needed and not be inhibited by band’s resistance which is what happens when tension is way too high. On the flip side, too small of band will result in people over stretching the band to get more resistance which will eventually damage the band.
  4. If you are a beginner, a lighter resistance band will allow you to learn the movements better. Fortunately with the Quantum Bands, each band provides approximately 30 pounds of resistance variability making it very adaptable to most strength levels.

 


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About the writer: Ken Grall is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and owns and operates an Edge Fitness in Madison, Wisconsin. Learn more about Ken.

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