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The Seven Most Effective Resistance Band Exercises For A Whole-Body Workout
You don’t need a gym filled with expensive machines to do a whole body workout. Whether you’re at home, traveling, or working out at the park or the beach, you can complete all the exercises you need using a single piece of equipment – a resistance band.
To get going, the first thing you need to do is choose a resistance band with the right resistance for your current strength. For the workout program listed below, we used a set of variable resistance bands from Victorem. Then simply follow the steps to give yourself an effective full-body workout.
You can vary the difficulty according to your ability level. For beginners, you should attempt to complete one set of each exercise (10 reps). Then, move up to two sets as you build strength, and three sets as you reach a more advanced level. Beyond that, you can increase the reps per set to fifteen or twenty.
1: Target the shoulders with rear deltoid flys.
Anchor your resistance band below the arches of your feet, placed shoulder-width apart. Then, taking hold of the band in both hands, lift your arms out and up to shoulder height. Make sure that your core is engaged as you lift, your back is straight, and your elbows are bent slightly, rather than locked straight. Return in a controlled manner to your starting position to complete one rep.
2: Target the hips and thighs with a lateral walk.
Place your feet a little more than hip-width apart, and wrap the resistance band around both of your ankles. Tense your glutes, and then lower your body into a quarter squat, and then gradually into a full squat. Take one giant step to your right with your right foot, taking care to maintain your balance. Follow with your left to complete one rep. Switch direction after you have completed your target reps and repeat the set leading with the left foot.
3: Target the back muscles with bent-over rows.
With your feet hip-width apart, anchor a resistance band under the arches, ensuring it is centered. Grip the band in both hands at the top of the loop (or at each end if you are using a straight band), pull your arms up towards your chest, bend your elbows, and engage your back muscles and biceps. Release the tension on the band gradually, and that’s one rep complete.
4: Target the glutes with glute kickbacks.
Start this exercise by positioning yourself on your hands and knees. You may want to use a gym mat if the floor is hard. Secure one end of your resistance band around the central part of your left foot, and firmly grasp the other end in your right hand. Lift your left leg gradually, extending at the hip joint, until your upper leg is parallel to your back, with your lower leg vertical. Return slowly to the starting position to complete one rep. When you’ve finished your set, switch hands and legs and repeat.
5: Target your hamstrings and quads with squat presses.
With your feet roughly hip-width apart, anchor the band beneath your arches, and grasp the upper part of it in both hands, about shoulder-width apart. Gradually pull your hands up to shoulder level, making sure your elbows remain tucked into your sides rather than splaying out. Now drop to a squat position, and then as you return to standing, continue the movement by pushing your hands up and above your head. Return to the starting position to finish the first rep.
6: Target the biceps with seated resistance band curls.
Begin this exercise by sitting on a chair or bench, with your feet placed wide apart. Anchor one end of the resistance band beneath your right foot and grip the opposite end in your left hand. Your left elbow should be resting comfortably on your right thigh, ensuring it won’t slip during the movement. With your core muscles fully engaged, and your back remaining straight, pull your hand up towards your shoulder and after pausing for a second, return it to the starting position to complete the rep. Switch arms for the second set.
7: Target the deltoids and triceps with lateral raises.
Stand straight with your core engaged, knees slightly bent, and your feet around hip-width apart. Anchor the bottom of your resistance band beneath your feet and grip the upper portion in both hands, leaving a couple of feet of the band between them. Now, with your arms straight, but not locked at the elbow, raise them up and out to the sides until you have reached shoulder height. Hold the position for a couple of seconds, then return them to the starting position in a gradual and controlled fashion. That completes a single rep.
Although these exercises may seem pretty simple, if you incorporate each of them into your workout, you’ll soon start seeing the results. If they seem too hard initially, you can either reduce the number of sets you attempt, or for more fine-tuning remove a couple of reps from each set until you can complete the sets, but still feel challenged. As the exercises get more comfortable, add sets or reps to maintain the difficulty level and ensure that you continue to make progress.
If you are looking for more exercise ideas check out our Move channel!