Resistance bands are a tried-and-true form of training for all levels — from the beginning exerciser to elite athletes. Due to the nature of elastic resistance, bands are ideal for developing strength in all muscle groups, including the stabilizers that help support joints and proper movement patterns. Bands also train muscles differently than traditional dumbbells or machines — as the resistance is greater at the end of the range of motion, thus increasing the load at the end of every movement. When it comes to load, the level of resistance is easy to adjust based on the thickness of the band and the distance the user stands from where the band is anchored. Best of all, bands are low cost and portable; perfect for use at home, outside or at any training facility.
For all these reasons, this two-week workout guide is something you can do over and over again.
Resistance bands come in all shapes and sizes, allowing for thousands of exercise options. We’ve narrowed it down to 12 exercises targeting all areas of the body. For this workout, you will need a variety of long bands (with handles) and circular mini-bands.
On strength-focused days the goal is slow, controlled reps with an emphasis on high resistance while ensuring proper form. On endurance days, an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) workout is performed. Complete 10 reps of each exercise and continue through, resting as needed, for the assigned amount of time. Continue to aim for quality movement patterns, and remember it’s OK to lower resistance when needed.
BANDED OVERHEAD PRESS
The move: Begin by placing both feet on your long band and hold the handles near your ears. Keeping your core braced, press the handles overhead and return them to your ears. The width of your stance makes it harder or easier.
The move: Place the long band across your shoulder blades and brace the ends of the band with your hands. Begin at the top of your pushup position. Keeping your body in a straight line, lower your chest to about 4 inches off of the ground, and return to the starting position. Increase or decrease the intensity by allowing more or less slack in the band.
The move: Grab a long band with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Keeping your arms straight and engaging behind your shoulder blades, pull your hands apart until your arms are at 180 degrees. Avoid lifting your shoulders or arching your back. The width of your grip determines the intensity.
BAND BENT-OVER ROW
The move: Loop the long band over the top of one foot and wrap it around at least once. Stand up tall to set your posture, then hinge at your hips to achieve a bent-over position maintaining a neutral spine. Engage behind your shoulder blades, pull your hands to your ribcage and return to the start position. Avoid slack in the band at any time.
The move: Place a thicker mini-band just above your knees. Press your knees over your middle toes and maintain this position (the band will try to pull them in). Keep your chest elevated and sink your hips down and back as low as you can safely go. Keeping pressure on the band, squeeze your glutes and stand back up to the starting position.
BAND HIP THRUST
The move: Begin with the miniband in the same position as the banded squats — just above your knees. Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet placed flat on the ground. Press your knees apart, creating tension on the miniband and aligning them directly over your middle toes. Squeezing your glutes, drive your hips up toward the sky, ending with a straight line from your knees to hips to shoulders. Gently lower your hips to the ground and repeat.
BAND ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
The move: Place a long band over the top of your feet and loop each side under each foot once. Begin in a standing position with proper posture and the band at full stretch. Keeping a neutral spine and only a slight knee bend, drive your hips back, lowering your hands just past your knees. Squeeze your glutes and drive your hips forward to come back to a standing position.
BAND LATERAL WALKS
The move: Place a miniband just above your knees. Similar to your banded squats, press your knees over your middle toes and resist the band as it tries to pull the knees in. Start in a quarter squat position and step into a wider stance leading with your left foot. Next, bring your right foot back to shoulder-width distance without dragging it on the ground. Ensure your toes stay pointed forward at all times and your posture remains upright. Take larger steps to work a little harder. Do these in each direction.
BAND PLANK WITH HEEL RAISES
The move: Place a miniband around your ankles and press into a strong plank position. Keep your feet apart to maintain constant tension on the band. Slightly lift and abduct (push away from the body) your right leg, return, then repeat on the left. Ensure there is no rotation or other movement with the plank.
SIDE PLANK AND SINGLE-ARM ROW
The move: Attach a long band about 1 foot off of the ground. Facing the anchor point of the band, place your right forearm on the ground, with your elbow directly under your right shoulder. Press into a strong side plank position, maintaining a straight line from ears to shoulders to hips to heels. Grab the end (or handle) of the long band with your left hand. Avoiding rotation or any slack in the band, pull the left hand to your ribcage and return. Repeat on the other side.
BAND TRUNK ROTATIONS
The move: Attach a long band to a stable object about shoulder height. Stand sideways to the band anchor point with your left shoulder closer to the anchor. Holding the band with both hands, step away from the anchor point until there is tension on the band. Bracing your core and keeping your body straight and strong, rotate toward the right like a cylinder. Pick up your left heel in a pivot for proper movement mechanics and to protect your knees. Avoiding slack on the band, return toward the anchor point and repeat.
Check out “Workout Routines” in the app to discover and log a wide variety of routines, or build your own routine with exercises that fit your goals.