What Is The Best Workout With Resistance Bands?

What is the best workout with resistance bands? Find out from our forum members think about resistance band training.
Q

What Is The Best Workout With Resistance Bands?

Resistance bands can be fun and very convenient when on vacation.

What is the best workout with resistance bands? Be as descriptive as possible (include sets, reps, etc).

What kind of benefits can you expect from the use of resistance bands and are they really worth the money? Be as descriptive as possible.

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The Winners:

  1. Tarkana
  2. mivi320

1st Place Tarkana

The Best Resistance Band Routine

Most people who lift weights will tout the greatness of free-weights as the best mass builder. While free weights are great, resistance bands can have their place as well. In the past, resistance bands have gotten a bad name as they became seen as only for middle-aged women doing some aerobic workout with 5 pounds of resistance.

Some distinct differences in resistance bands can make them useful to anyone, especially those who will be away from any gym for a while.

The Differences

There are several advantages to using resistance bands. The first and most obvious advantage is how much easier they will fit into your luggage compared with free weights. There is also a mechanical advantage in resistance bands that resistance is maintained through every part of the motion while many similar free weight exercises are actually non performing work during parts of the lift when movement isn't against gravity at a large enough angle.

With your resistance band training, every part of both the concentric and eccentric part of the exercise has resistance, resulting in better range of motion strength and more complete stimulation. The downside to resistance bands are that you can't really perform near maximum lifts and the limitation of exercises (the latter of which I will try to help overcome).

Using Resistance Bands

When using resistance bands for your workout, the factor you should be thinking about is picking a band with a resistance appropriate to your strength and the exercise you are doing. When performing the exercise, the band should be secured in a way so the length is appropriate to give resistance even at the bottom of the exercise.

Chest

EXERCISE 1 Bench Press

>For this you will need a bench of some sort with a leg you can lift. Secure the band under the leg nearest your head, lie down on the bench and press up like you would a barbell bench press.

EXERCISE 2 Crossover

Secure band around a stationary post (a poll or something of the like), step back enough to begin tension. Stand facing away from post with arms raised to sides, palms forward. Keeping your arms straight, bring them across your chest.

EXERCISE 3 Curls

Stand on band with leg width appropriate so tension will start with arms straight down. Holding handles palms up, curl as you would dumbbells.

EXERCISE 4 Triceps Extensions

Stand on band with leg width set so tension begins at height of your hand with arms behind your back (over your head) and elbows flexed. Extend your arms as you would with Triceps extensions.

EXERCISE 5 Skull-Crushers

Set up the band as you did with bench press. Point your elbows forward and up, and perform skull-crushers as you would with a barbell.

Shoulders

shoulder press

EXERCISE 1 Shoulder Press

Stand on band so that tension starts with hands by your shoulders. Hold handles palms forward with bottom part of handle on backside of your hand. Press upward as you would a dumbbell press.

EXERCISE 2 Lateral Raises

Stand on band so tension begins with arms at sides. Keeping your arms straight, raise you arms out to your sides so they are parallel with the floor.

EXERCISE 3 Upright Rows

Stand on band so tension begins with arms at sides. Pull upwards as you would with a barbell upright row.

Upper Back

EXERCISE 1 Row

upright row

Fix band around a stationary post (or feet). Stand back so tension begins with arms raised in front of you. Keeping feet planted (or sitting), pull back as you would with a cable row.

EXERCISE 2 Back Flyes

Fix band around a stationary post. Stand back so tension begins with arms raised in front of you. Keeping your arms straight and feet planted, move your arms back so they are extended to your sides.

Lower Back

EXERCISE 1 Good-Mornings

Stand on band so tension starts with hands clasped behind neck. Keeping legs straight or slightly bent, stand up straight, raising back as in a normal good-morning.

Quads

EXERCISE 1 Squats

squats

Stand on bands so tension begins with hands by shoulders and in a squatted position. Stand up; keeping hands by shoulders, performing as you would a barbell squat.

Calves

EXERCISE 1 Calf Raises

Stand on band so tension begins with hands by shoulders and standing straight up. (Make sure you are standing on the band with your toes). Keeping hands by your shoulder, stand up on your toes as you would with a barbell calf raise.

Abs

EXERCISE 1 Weighted Sit-Ups

If you have a decline bench, you can fix the band around the base of the bench and perform weighted decline sit-ups on that. Otherwise, fix the band around a stationary post and lie on the floor facing away from the post. Holding you hands by your head, perform sit-ups or crunches.

The Routine

Using the exercises given above, you can set up a workout routine as you wish. With resistance band-based workouts, the best would most likely be 3 full-body workouts or a 2-day split with Day A on Monday and Thursday and Day B on Tuesday and Friday.

Example 1: Monday/Wednesday/Friday
  • 3 x 8 Bench Press
  • 1 x 10 Cross-over
  • 3 x 10 Rows
  • 1 x 15 Back Flyes
  • 3 x 15 Squats
  • 2 x 10 Curls
  • 2 x 8 Skull-Crushers
  • 2 x 10 Triceps Extensions
  • 2 x 8 Shoulder Press
  • 2 x 8 Lateral Raises
  • 1 x 10 Up-right Rows
  • 3 x 8 Good-Mornings
  • 3 x 10 Calf Raises
  • 3 x 20 Weighted Crunches


Example 2: Monday/Thursday
  • 4 x 8 Bench Press
  • 2 x 10 Cross-over
  • 3 x 15 Squats
  • 2 x 10 Squats
  • 2 x 8 Skull-Crushers
  • 3 x 10 Triceps Extensions
  • 5 x 10 Calf Raises
  • 2 x 20 Weighted Crunches


Example 3: Tuesday/Friday
  • 4 x 10 Rows
  • 2 x 15 Back Flyes
  • 3 x 8 Shoulder Press
  • 3 x 8 Lateral Raises
  • 1 x 10 Up-right Rows
  • 4 x 8 Good-Mornings
  • 3 x 10 Curls
  • 2 x 20 Weighted Crunches


Follow the basic structure of a normal workout. Warm-up, use an appropriate weight and keep about a one minute rest between sets. The routine can be tailored to fit your schedule and training preferences, changing the sets and frequency as you please. I wouldn't alter the rep range too much as resistance bands aren't as optimal for very low rep sets, and rep ranges much higher are less effective.

Benefits & Worth

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 (i.e. free weight curls and triceps extensions aren't working during the whole motion).

This in turn will increase flexibility and applicable strength and more muscle stimulation. So it becomes quite obvious that for anyone who needs a way to work out on vacation, periodically can't get to the gym, or wants something extra to add to the workout, resistance bands are well worth it. And at such a low cost, there's little reason not to invest in them.

2nd Place mivi320

Going on vacation ... need a convenient way to get a good workout in? Or do you want to take a new approach to resistance training, and ditch the dumbbells? Look no further than training with resistance bands!

Resistance bands have been around for some time now, but many fitness fanatics and bodybuilders are a bit hesitant to actually using them. If you happen to be one of those exercisers who refrains from using these useful bands in your training, it's time to take a new approach!

What Makes Resistance Bands Different From Free Weights?

Unlike free weights, resistance bands provide the exerciser with constant tension on the muscle - which is not possible with the use of dumbbells or barbells. This allows the exerciser to really focus on both the concentric (lifting portion) and eccentric (lowering portion) of the movement.

The working muscle actually shortens during the concentric phase of a movement and lengthens during the eccentric phase of a particular movement. Most lifters completely neglect the eccentric phase of a particular movement.

For example, while most lifters are performing a standard barbell curl, they often lift the weight up explosively and lower it back down at an incredibly fast rate.

Last time I checked, weight training is supposed to stimulate the muscle and recruit as much muscle fibers as possible. Don't expect much from lifting in that manner.

However, with the use of resistance bands, the muscle is provided with constant tension and the concentric phase and eccentric phase of the movement is much more controlled. This results in a completely new challenge for the muscles, which in turn forces the muscles to adapt.

Which Type Of Resistance Band Is For Me?

Choosing which type of resistance band is quite simple. If you're an experienced lifter, then a thicker band is the one for you. The reason being is that the thicker the band, the more resistance there will be. If you're a beginner or intermediate lifter, then a band that provides you with less resistance is suitable for you.

I recommend purchasing a combination of thicker bands and bands that offer less resistance, as certain exercises require more resistance than others.

I recommend purchasing Harbinger's resistance bands, as they are reasonable and adjustable. The great thing about these bands is that are available in several resistance levels - heavy, medium, light and super heavy resistance. These bands are available in Bodybuilding.com's cyberstore.

Workout

This is a full body workout with the use of resistance bands only. It can be used for one workout while on vacation or can be established as an actual routine. I suggest using a 3-day split with this routine. Below is a general outline of the workout if you plan on implementing this workout into an actual routine.

Option 1

  • Monday - Resistance band workout
  • Tuesday - Off
  • Wednesday - Resistance band workout
  • Thursday - Off
  • Friday - Resistance band workout
  • Saturday & Sunday - Off

Option 2

  • Monday - Off
  • Tuesday - Resistance band workout
  • Wednesday - Off
  • Thursday - Resistance band workout
  • Friday - Resistance band workout
  • Saturday - Resistance band workout
  • Sunday - Off

Regardless of what option is more suitable for you or if you only plan to use this workout once while on vacation, the structure of the workout remains the same.

The Workout

  • Squats 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Overhead Press 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Standing side raise 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Standing low row 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Band kickback 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Standing arm curl 3 sets of 15 reps


  • Be sure to properly warm-up before beginning this or any workout.
  • Rest 30-90 seconds between each set.
  • Perform each exercise in a slow and controlled fashion.
  • Perform each exercise with a resistance level suitable for you. Once the particular exercise becomes less difficult, then it's time to add more resistance by using a thicker band.
  • Remember to stay hydrated during the workout, as even the slightest bit of dehydration can impair your performance dramatically!

Benefits

Resistance bands will strengthen and elongate the muscle fibers. They also increase your flexibility tremendously. Resistance bands will stimulate the muscles in a manner that is impossible to do with the use of free weights by allowing you to perform much more controlled movements, keep constant tension on the muscles, and really emphasize on the concentric and eccentric portions of the movement.

With the recommended short rest periods in between sets, expect your endurance and stamina to increase - which in turn will improve your cardiovascular health!

Resistance bands are certainly worth the money. When the gym is closed or while you're on vacation, or you just can't get a workout in for whatever reason, resistance bands offer an alternative way to train the muscles!

Whenever I go on vacation, I always bring along my resistance bands so I can get a good workout in. The price of the bands is reasonable as well, so I see no reason why you wouldn't want to purchase some bands if you're always on the road or if you're looking for a new way to stimulate the muscle fibers!


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RockyKO

Thanks for the article. I'm off on holiday soon and this has inspired me to keep training whilst away.

Jun 25, 2014 10:07am | report
 
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