Resistance bands are gaining in popularity because the bands are cheap, versatile, and can be easily packed away for traveling or storage (just don’t store them too long, you have to actually use them). You can do exercises for every body part with resistance bands, and in many cases you need less ancillary equipment because you’re not relying on gravity to provide resistance to your movement.
Band exercises can be kind of freaky if you’re used to working out with weights because they have a different feel. Just try and do some dumbbell bench presses while you’re standing up, and you’ll see how using bands for resistance can open up a whole new world of possibilities.
One of the bands biggest detriments is that they don’t give enough resistance for really heavy workouts. For most people this won’t be an issue. For those of you that squat 455 for reps or rip out sets of incline dumbbell bench presses with 100’s, you’ll find this is a legitimate issue. For the rest of us pencil necks, we can use the bands to really kick our ass.
Here are some of the top resistance band exercises. They’re pretty similar to the top dumbbell and machine exercises.
Top 10 Resistance Band Exercises – Number 10
Crunches – Yes these will help make your abs look great. No, they won’t help your burn very much fat so you can actually see your great looking abs. What they will help do is strengthen your body core so you’re stronger, more stable, and less injury prone when doing other exercises.
Top 10 Resistance Band Exercises – Number 9
Curls – these are the classic bicep exercise, and you can do them very well with bands. Even guys sportin’ 18s will find they can get a great biceps workout in by using bands. You can hit them from many different angles, and the bands will provide more than enough resistance. For fat loss purposes, biceps work isn’t all that useful, because it doesn’t involve many different muscle groups, thus very much muscle mass. Compound movements are better than isolation movements when you’re trying to burn fat and increase your metabolic rate. To make your arms look great, curls are fine though.
Note in the picture why it’s a great idea to get a set of handles with your resistance bands when you get them. It makes many exercise much easier to do, especially when you move to stronger bands.
Top 10 Resistance Band Exercises – Number 8
Triceps pressdowns – What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If you’re going to work the front of your arms, you’ll look pretty stupid if you neglect the back. Triceps pressdowns are one of the classic triceps movements. Bands are great for these. Do them using separate bands for each arm, and don’t let your hands touch until you’ve reached the point of failure. After failure, let your hands touch and do a few more reps to boost intensity. You can also do the opposite of pressdowns and do overhead triceps presses for some variation.
Triceps work is more useful for fat loss than biceps exercises because the triceps groups is larger than the biceps. In addition, strong triceps muscles can really help you lockout larger weights during chest and shoulder work.
Top 10 Resistance Band Exercises – Number 7
Lateral raises –This is another great exercise to perform when using bands. You can get enough resistance for just about any strength level, and you can do the movement at a variety of angles to stress different sections of the deltoids. A great exercise for getting the “padded shoulders” look.
Top 10 Resistance Band Exercises – Number 6
Upright rows – These are one of my all time favorite shoulder exercises. They are fantastic for deltoid development and also hit your biceps and forearms pretty well too. You’ll also find you can get traps like a linebacker from doing these. All in all, upright rows are one of the not to be missed.
Top 10 Resistance Band Exercises – Number 5
Overhead presses – This is one of the greatest shoulder and general upper body movements ever. Overhead presses strongly stress the deltoids, triceps, and traps. They also hit the intercostals, serratus, and upper chest to an extent. You can really change what heads of the deltoids they work by changing the angle that you do them. You can also perform them either behind or in front of the neck. The bands will provide more than enough resistance for just about anyone but the strongest among us.
Top 10 Resistance Band Exercises – Number 4
Pulldowns – A fantastic developer for the lats, and a strong stressor of the biceps and forearms, these are a “must do” for that wide V-back look. Many people can’t do even a single pull up with their own body weight, so using the comparatively lighter resistance of bands is just what the doctor ordered. You can do them with a wide grip or narrow, depending on what muscle groups you’re trying to emphasize, and how you have the bands anchored.
Top 10 Resistance Band Exercises – Number 3
Squats – Squats would be higher on the list, because as a fat burning and general muscle developing movement, they really have no peer. The downside to doing squats with bands as your source of resistance is that you’ll be doing some pretty lightweight squats. For beginners that’s no big deal, but as you get more advanced and your legs get stronger, you’ll quickly find yourself doing sets of 25 – 30 reps. While that sort of burn is fantastic for releasing HGH, it is a pretty high rep count for everything else.
Top 10 Resistance Band Exercises – Number 2
Seated rows – As an overall back developer, these are a classic. For your lats, rear delts, biceps and trapezius seated rows are a great exercise. You can change angles of your arms and back to change the emphasis. Since they involve a large number of different muscle groups, some of which are quite large, these are a great fat burning exercise and metabolic enhancer. Ever see any fat guys on rowing on the crew?
Top 10 Resistance Band Exercises – Number 1
Bench Press – The great thing about doing bench presses with resistance bands is that you don’t need the bench. Technically I don’t know what means, but the movement is the same and it works the same muscle groups; the pectorals, triceps, and deltoids, primarily. This is one of the best all around upper body exercises, especially when it comes to hitting many muscle groups with one exercise. Note in the pic that you can do these while standing if you use bands. However, if you use too much weight (or maybe that’s just enough), you’ll need to stand against something in order to stay stable when pushing against the resistance. You can change the angle you’re doing these at very easily, so you can do decline bench or incline bench with a simple position adjustment.
These are some of my favorite exercises to do when using bands. I’m still partial to dumbbells, but packing a set of adjustable 90’s on the plane is just a bit much.
Until next time……Lose Your Belly Fat!