Resistance Bands Workout Routine

I wish I had this resistance bands workout routine a long time ago. For years, I was turned off by exercising with resistance bands because I didn’t know if it was effective. Truthfully, I didn’t know how to use them. I wised up. And I hope you do too!

After quitting our jobs as engineers to travel South and Central America, our minimalist lifestyle forced us to learn how to use resistance bands. Since then, we have learned the most effective exercises with resistance bands and achieved amazing results. We have experienced the benefits of using resistance bands.

And, it turns out, they are just as effective as weights, and even safer. We’ve become passionate about building strength with resistance bands, which is why we’ve created this Resistance Bands Workout Routine. 

There are thousands of exercises with resistance bands. You might feel overwhelmed after a few Google searches. I did. These exercises with resistance bands are the most effective. Let’s pump some elastic!

resistance bands workout routine

Introduction

In all areas of life, we advocate for workouts that can be done anywhere. Given our lifestyle, having freedom from a gym or heavy equipment is the only thing that keeps us consistent. Resistance bands, and streamed workouts, allow us to work out anytime, anywhere. 

The Resistance Band Workout Routine is summarized in this article. We list our curated resistance band exercises for each muscle group and provide tips on how to use resistance bands successfully.

Resistance Bands Alone Are An Incomplete Workout Routine

We use resistance bands to supplement an optimized workout plan that includes cardio, flexibility, bodyweight strength training, and core exercises. We use Beachbody On Demand since the workouts are structured and designed by world renowned trainers and sports scientists.

If you use these streamed workouts, or would like to try them, we recommend following the LIIFT4 and P90X3 programs. Both are well-rounded workout routines that include exercises with resistance bands to follow along. These are the best workouts to do with resistance bands that we know of. 

Read more: Start your 14-day Beachbody On Demand free trial.

The Resistance Bands Exercise Routine Includes:

Total Body Exercises

First, the majority of the Resistance Band Workout Routine consists of resistance band exercises for upper body strength training, including resistance band arm, chest, and back exercises. 

Secondly, we don’t do ab exercises with resistance bands, but core strength is essential. There are a lot of resistance band exercises for abs, however, we prefer to use body weight, or, if needed, a 5-10 pound dumbbell or object. We incorporate ab exercises in the Resistance Band Workout Complete Routine, but you won’t use resistance bands. 

Lastly, since we are following other structured workout programs, there are only a few lower body exercises with resistance bands. We’ll cover major muscle groups, but you should be strengthening your lower body through your cardio, HIIT, and plyometric workouts as well.

The Downloadable Routine

If we were to include the full Resistance Band Workout Routine here, the 35 videos would make the page WAY too slow. So, the Resistance Band Workout Routine is available as a free, editable download and includes:

  • Videos of 35 leg, core, back, arm, shoulder, and chest exercises with resistance bands.
  • Professional written instruction to ensure proper form.
  • A weekly Resistance Band Workout Routine calendar so that you know what exercises to do and when. 
  • Access to all future revisions to the program.
  • Support. We’re always here to help with questions.

When you download the Resistance Band Workout Routine, you’ll have instant access to videos and pointers for all the resistance bands exercises. You can get started with the weekly workouts right away.

Disclaimer: We are engineers by trade, and, although we’re highly knowledgeable about fitness, we are not certified personal trainers. Therefore, this Resistance Band Workout Routine has been reviewed by multiple fitness professionals with a combined 45 years of experience as certified personal trainers. Their written instruction to ensure proper form are included in the downloadable workout routine.

Full Resistance Band Workout Routine

Download and instantly access the full workout calendar, complete with written and video guidance for each exercise.

 

  • Videos of 35 leg, core, back, arm, shoulder, and chest exercises with resistance bands.
  • Professional written instruction to ensure proper form.
  • A weekly Resistance Band Workout Routine calendar so you know what exercises to do and when.
  • Access to all future revisions to the program.
  • Support. We’re always here to help.

Resistance Bands Benefits

We have another article that covers the benefits of using resistance bands. So, if you’re not yet sold, read about the science behind resistance bands vs. weights.

In summation, there are numerous advantages for using resistance bands to strength train, outside of just cost and portability.

First, with resistance bands, you’re not limited to gravity forces in the vertical plane. Therefore, you can capitalize on multi-directional resistance, which is excellent functional training for activities like swinging a baseball bat in the horizontal plane.

Secondly, with bands, you can’t cheat. Tension forces cannot be influenced by momentum. Resistance bands force you to have better form. 

Lastly, resistance bands deliver a variable force. As the band lengthens, the force increases. For example, with free weights, at the top of a bicep curl your muscles relax as the weight falls toward your shoulder. With resistance bands, your muscles experience the highest tension at the top of a bicep curl. Resistance bands make your muscles work harder. 

Resistance Bands. How To Use Them?

Before we jump into the Resistance Band Workout Routine, let’s talk about how to work out smart with resistance bands. Resistance bands are incredibly effective, but, you have to follow these tips to maximize your gains.

1. Buy 3-4 bands for a range of resistance.

If you don’t know how much weight resistance bands you need, check our resistance band recommendations. At a minimum you need two, but, ideally three bands of light, medium, and heavy resistance.

If you’re working out as a couple, you might need 4-5 different bands. You would not use the same resistance band for arms as you would for squats.

2. Mark the center of the band.

Marking the center with a marker will allow you to have equal resistance on both sides consistently. Tracking progress with resistance bands is harder than free weights. When you mark the center, you can increase resistance by moving your feet (in the case of squats and bicep curls for example) further from the center line.

In the Resistance Band Workout Routine, your feet might be 4 inches from center during bicep curls in week 1. By week 2, you can target 6 inches.

3. Be patient.

It takes some time to learn how to use resistance bands to achieve muscle failure for each muscle group. If you are a beginner starting the Resistance Band Workout Routine, give yourself a month to learn how to use them effectively.

For example, if your resistance band is too long, you will learn to make a loop and shorten it. Or, if you have too much tension, you can adjust from square feet to a staggered feet stance, with only one foot on the band. 

4. Slow down and fight the resistance.

The more slowly and in control you are, the stronger your muscles become. By doing the resistance band exercises slowly, you will consistently achieve muscle failure.

5. Transition quickly.

When you eliminate breaks and move from one exercise to the next, the Resistance Bands Workout Routine seconds as a cardio workout routine. No chitchat, checking your phone or looking in the mirror between moves. Stay focused!

6. Safety.

Make sure you check your bands regularly for damage or voids. Yes, resistance bands can break (fortunately this doesn’t come from experience). Resistance bands are safe, but if one becomes damaged you need to replace it so that it doesn’t snap.

Which Resistance Bands Are Best?

These are the resistance bands we use and recommend. They are widely accepted as the industry leader. SPRI resistance bands are the brand that the best gyms buy. That speaks volumes since they wouldn’t buy a brand that is known to snap in the customer’s face.

Also, quick clarification on terminology. Resistance bands and resistance tubes are similar but different. Technically, resistance bands are flat and looped (like an enlarged rubber band). Whereas resistance tubes have handles. In this resistance band workout routine, we only use resistance tubes, however, we refer to them as resistance bands. 

Which SPRI resistance bands do I need?

Alex is 5’4″ and weighs 110 pounds. She mostly uses Very LightLight, and Medium. For reference, she typically bicep curls, shoulder presses, squats, and bent-over-rows 10 lb., 12 lb., 25 lb., and 20 lb. dumbbells.

Ryan is 6’1″ and weighs 175 pounds. He mostly uses MediumHeavy, and Ultra Heavy. For reference, he typically bicep curls, shoulder pressed, squats, and bent-over-rows 20 lb., 25 lb., 50 lb., and 40 lb. dumbbells.

exercises with resistance bands (a snapshot)

Below are a few of the moves that we highlight in the Resistance Bands Workout Routine. Remember, to gain access to the workout calendar, tracking sheet, all 35 moves, and instructions on proper form, you need to download the full Resistance Bands Workout Routine.

Lower Body

To properly strengthen leg muscles with resistance bands, it’s critical that you have heavy or ultra heavy weight bands. Otherwise, you won’t be able to achieve muscle failure. Below are a few moves to give you an idea of what awaits in our Resistance Bands Workout Routine guide.

Squats

Using resistance bands for squats is a highly effective leg exercise. You can do sumo squats or standard squats with resistance bands. Both exercises are an excellent leg and butt workout.

Squats with resistance bands. An excellent glute workout.

Deadlifts

Another effective leg and butt workout with resistance bands. Deadlifts with resistance bands are safer than with weights in our experience. You’ll likely need heavy weight resistance bands.

Deadlifts with resistance bands.

Lunges

An excellent resistance band quad exercise is a reverse lunge. Lunges with resistance bands are my favorite because they point out any leg strength imbalances. To further isolate your quads and challenge your balance, put your back leg up on a chair for resistance band Bulgarian split squats. 

Lunges with resistance bands. An excellent quad strengthening resistance band workout.

Lateral Walks

This is our go-to hip strengthening exercise with resistance bands. There are numerous hip strengthening moves incorporated into our Beachbody On Demand workouts in static and dynamic ways.

Therefore, we don’t focus on a lot of resistance bands exercises to strengthen our hips. If hip strengthening is an area you need to focus on, we recommend you explore a variety of moves like clamshells and fire hydrants

Lateral walks with resistance bands for hip strengthening. Alex said I look like a stiff old man…

Core

We don’t use resistance bands for ab exercises. Maybe if we were trying to win a physique competition with our six packs? For us, body weight core exercises keep our abs in great shape. We’ll include our favorites in the Resistance Bands Workout Complete Routine available for download.

The lower back is also part of our core. But, again, we strengthen our lower back with body weight. So, we’ll incorporate Supermans into the workout routine.

Upper Body

Upper body exercises are where the resistance bands shine. You can get a great arm, shoulder, and back workout with resistance bands. The goal is to always achieve muscle failure. Let’s start with resistance band arm exercises.

Biceps

Resistance bands for biceps are effective for all parts of the muscle. The Resistance Band Workout Routine includes wide, hammer, top, bottom, preacher, and full curls. Your biceps will be torched!

Bicep curls with resistance bands. An excellent resistance band arm workout.

Triceps

Resistance bands are also an excellent form of resistance for triceps. The resistance band triceps workout includes the overhead fly, single overhead fly, kickbacks, and tricep push-ups with or without resistance.

Resistance bands are highly effective for strengthening the triceps. Here are tricep kickbacks with resistance bands.

Pull-ups

We admit, it’s more effective to use an actual pull-up bar, but the closest thing we have to that most days is the neighborhood jungle gym. So, we use resistance bands and a door attachment (included with SPRI bands) to do our pull-ups.

If you can’t do any pull-ups, starting with resistance bands is a perfect solution! In the Resistance Band Workout Routine, we’ll cover wide, close, vaulter, standard pull-ups, as well as chin-ups with resistance bands.

Using resistance bands and a door attachment for pull-ups.

Chest

Resistance band exercises for chest are more difficult. The good news, you can get a great chest workout using just body weight. What’s more, is that you can add tension using resistance bands. The Resistance Band Workout Routine includes a wide push-up, chest fly using the door attachment, and decline push-up with (Ryan) or without (Alex) resistance.

Decline push-ups are an effective resistance bands exercise for chest.

Back

Resistance band exercises are highly effective for strengthening your back. In the Resistance Band Workout Routines you’ll do a resistance band bent-over row, wide row, lat pull, and reverse fly. These resistance band exercises will also help with your posture.

Lat pulls. An excellent resistance band exercise for your back.

Shoulders

Your shoulders are going to be on fire with these resistance band shoulder exercises. There are many variations in the Resistance Bands Workout Routine that strengthen all of the shoulder muscles.

The shoulder exercises included in the workout routine include the overhead press, front raise, wide raise, side raise, upright row, swimmer, and monkey pump.

Resistance band shoulder exercises.

Rotator Cuff

Resistance band exercises for strengthening the rotator cuff are especially useful. These are muscles that are often forgotten, which is why rotator cuff injuries can happen so suddenly. There are four rotator cuff exercises that we’ll focus on with resistance bands.

Keep in mind that you are supporting your rotator cuffs by strengthening your shoulders as well. I have dislocated shoulders multiple times and experienced recurring rotator cuff injuries. As long as I keep doing these moves consistently, I don’t have pain.

Rotator cuff strengthening with resistance bands.

downloadable resistance band workout routine

If we were to include the complete Resistance Band Workout Routine here, the 35 videos would make the page WAY too slow. So, the Resistance Band Workout Routine is available as a free download that includes:

  • Videos of 35 leg, core, back, arm, shoulder, and chest exercises with resistance bands.
  • Professional written instruction to ensure proper form.
  • A weekly Resistance Band Workout Routine calendar so you know what exercises to do and when.
  • Access to all future revisions to the program.
  • Support. We’re always here to help.

When you download the Resistance Band Workout Routine, you’ll have instant access to videos and pointers for all the resistance bands exercises. You can get started with the weekly workouts right away, as long as you already have the right bands.

Full Resistance Band Workout Routine

Download and instantly access the full workout calendar, complete with written and video guidance for each exercise.

 

  • Videos of 35 leg, core, back, arm, shoulder, and chest exercises with resistance bands.
  • Professional written instruction to ensure proper form.
  • A weekly Resistance Band Workout Routine calendar so you know what exercises to do and when.
  • Access to all future revisions to the program.
  • Support. We’re always here to help.

Hey we're Ryan and Alex

The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “happiness engineers.” After eight years working as corporates engineers internationally, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — leading couples to engineer their best lives. The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship, as a couple.

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