Best Resistance Band Exercises To Tone And Shape Those Muscles

Do you want to know what the best resistance band exercises for really working those muscles and building strength are?  Would you like to know how to incorporate them into your very own home workout which you can do anywhere?  If so, then this is the article for you.

So many people often worry and think it’s impossible to start building some muscle, increase their strength and just generally feel healthier and fitter without joining a gym.  Although I would always recommend joining a good gym if you can, its easy to forget that you don’t always need to be using the latest in gym technology or shifting around huge free weights, especially at the beginning of your fitness journey.

All it takes for physical changes to occur is to push your body that little bit harder than its already used to, and create a form of progressive overload to consistently see changes and results.

This is where resistance bands can play a huge role.  They are incredibly cheap to buy, they come in many different varieties enabling you to use them for pretty much every single movement you can think of, and you can purchase them at different tension levels, enabling you to progressively make things harder so progression doesn’t become stagnated.

Oh and one other major benefit of using resistance bands is, you can do all your training at home.  In fact, you can take these anywhere in the world as they are extremely portable.

Resistance bands, although great for strengthing your muscles, they can also be used as part of a HIIT fat burning session.

One more point before we move onto the exercises is that if you are looking to add some serious bulk and absolute strength, then my advice to you would be to join a gym as this will be impossible with just bands alone.  However, if this is you, don’t think you have to replace all your band work with free weights and machines, no no no.  Bands can still play an important role in your training.

Below I am going to take you through some of the best resistance band exercises for strengthening and toning your muscles.  Each exercise will be accompanied by a fully written and video tutorial.

Female doing one of the best resistance band exercises, the resistance band row.


The 15 Best Resistance Band Exercises

Glute And Thigh Activation Exercises (use these to warm and fire up the glutes before training your legs)


Glute Bridges

Main Muscle Being Worked – Glutes, Hamstrings and Abductors

Glue Bridges Technique

Loop style bands work best for this exercise.

  • Sit down on the floor and place a loop band around your thighs, just above the knees.
  • Lie back on to the floor, and bend your knees so your feet are flat on the ground.
  • Position your feet just in from hip-width.
  • Your feet should be roughly a foot and a half away from your bum.
  • Keep your arms down to your side and shoulders and head on the floor.
  • Now the first part of the movement will be to pull your knees slightly to the side against the resistance of the bands (external rotation and abduction of the hip).
  • From here squeeze your glutes and raise your bum high off the floor.
  • Squeeze your glutes hard for a few seconds whilst keeping your knees slightly pulled out against the resistance of the band.
  • Reverse the movement back down letting your knees come back in.
  • Repeat again for the next rep.


Front Squats

Main Muscle Being Worked – Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes and Lower back

Front Squat Technique

  • Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width whilst standing on the band.
  • Make sure the band is under the middle part of your foot.
  • One side at a time, bring the band up and over the arm so it rests on each shoulder.
  • Now bring your elbows up high so your upper arms are parallel to the floor and place your right hand on your left shoulder and your left hand on your right shoulder.
  • Keeping your chest up nice and high and elbow pointing forwards, start to squat down.
  • Once your thighs are parallel to the floor explode back up.


Back Step Lunges

Main Muscle Being Worked – Hamstrings, Quads and Glutes

Back step Lunges Technique

  • For best results use a band with handles.
  • Whilst holding the handles, place either your left or right foot on top of the band.
  • Make sure the band is even in length on both sides.
  • Bend down lower to the floor to remove the resistance of the bands, then whilst still holding the handles bring the bands behind your arms, and stand back up.
  • Make sure you are holding the handles at shoulder height and your palms are facing forward.
  • Bring your other foot to the side of the band (not on the band) so you are now standing with your feet side buy side.
  • Step back with your foot that’s not standing on the band and bend down until your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Make sure your torso stays nice and upright.
  • Now push up with your front leg, bringing your back leg to the start position.
  • Make sure your knee of the front foot does not go over your toes when lunging down.



Rota Cuff (Shoulder Stabilisation)

Main Muscle Being Worked – Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor


Press-Ups

Main Muscle Being Worked – Upper, mid and lower pectorals

Press-ups Technique

  • Take yourself down to the floor and lay on your stomach.
  • Bring the band around your upper back so the band is positioned behind your arms and goes under your armpits.
  • Now make sure your hands are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and place them down so the band goes between your thumb and index finger.
  • Brace your abdominals and squeeze your glutes nice and tight to create and nice strong stable base.
  • Keeping your chest up high, push your body away from the floor until your elbows are near a locked out position.
  • Really squeeze and tense your chest muscles whilst doing this.
  • Slowly lower yourself back down so your upper arms are slightly below parallel and your torso is just off the floor.


Chest Press

Main Muscle Being Worked – Upper, mid and lower pectorals

Chest Press Technique

Please note this exercise can be done using a door handle or placing the band around your back.  I am going to discuss the technique for the door handle version.

This exercise is best done using a resistance band with handles

  • Place the resistance band around the door handle
  • Position your body in between the handles so the band is now either side of your body.
  • Take a few small steps forwards so there is some tension on the band.
  • the further you step away from the door, the more tension there will be.
  • Place one foot in front of the other forming a scissor stance.  This will create a nice solid platform.
  • Bring each elbow up to the side, as if you were doing a lateral raise.
  • Make sure there is a 90-degree bend at each elbow and that your palms are facing down.
  • Brace your core keeping your torso upright, shoulder blades pinched back and chest nice and high.
  • Explode out and slightly inwards, making sure not to lock out your elbows.
  • Slowly come back to the starting position.

Shoulder Press

Main Muscle Being Worked – Deltoids

Shoulder Press Technique

Like the chest press, the shoulder press is best done using bands with handles

  • Place one foot on top of the band.  Make sure the middle of your foot is on top of the band.
  • Place the foot not on top of the band behind, creating a strong scissor stance.
  • Stand up tall and bring your elbows up so the band is in front of your arms, and your upper arm is parallel to the floor.
  • Your palms should be facing forward at this point.
  • Brace your core, pinch your shoulder blades back, push your chest up high and push the bands up vertically whilst slightly coming inwards at the top.
  • Make sure you do not fully lock out your elbows at the top of the movement.
  • Slowly lower the bands back down into the starting position.


Chest Flyes

Main Muscle Being Worked – Upper, mid and lower pectorals

Chest Flyes Technique

This exercise is best done using bands with handles.

This exercise can be more difficult to do at home, due to the band needing to wrap around a pole like object.  I personally use my stair bannister for this.

  • Place the band around a strong pole-like object.
  • Position your body in between the handles so each side of the band is now on the outside of your body.
  • Take a step forward to create tension through the band.
  • You should now be in a scissor stance
  • Gripping hold of the handles, straight your arms out making sure there is still a slight bend at your elbows.
  • Bring your hands up so they are just below shoulder height.
  • Keep your torso upright, brace your abs, and push your chest high.
  • Keeping the same angle at your elbows, slowly bring your hands back in a horizontal motion.
  • Only go to a point where your hands are in line with your shoulders,  This will reduce any unnecessary strain.
  • Now explode back to the start position bring your hands right together whilst really squeezing the chest muscles.


Upright Rows

Main Muscle Being Worked –  Trapezius, Deltoids

Upright Rows Technique

  • Place both feet shoulder-width and step on to the band.
  • Make sure the band is under the middle of both feet.
  • Grip the handles just in from shoulder width, with your palms facing towards you.
  • Make sure you brace your core, pinch your shoulder blades back and together and keep your chest pushed up high.
  • You are now going to pull the band upwards leading with your elbows.
  • Make sure you do not turn this into a reverse bicep curl.
  • Your hands should now roughly be in line with the mid part of each pectoral muscle.
  • From here slowly lower the band back down the start position.


Seated Rows

Main Muscle Being Worked – latissimus dorsi, mid trapezius, rhomboids

Seated Rows Technique

  • Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and feet together.
  • wrap the band around the middle of your feet.
  • Now grip each side of the band with your palms facing inwards.
  • The lower down on the band your grip the more tension there will be.
  • Keep your torso upright.
  • Before pulling the elbows back, its really important to first make sure you pinch your shoulders blades together at the beginning of each rep.
  • Once in this position, pull back with your elbows until your hands are just in front of your sides.  Bands with higher resistances will make it harder to pull your elbows back.  Make sure you pick a band with a resistance that allows you to do the full range of motion.
  • Simply reverse the movement taking your hands back to the start position into a fully stretched out position.
  • REMEMBER to make sure your shoulder blades and pinched back before moving on to the next rep.


Bent Over Rows

Main Muscle Being Worked – latissimus dorsi, mid trapezius, rhomboids

Bent Over Rows Technique

  • Stand on the exercise band with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • You will want to crisscross the bands then grip the handles so that your palms are facing inwards.
  • With a slight bend at the knees, lean forward from the hips, trying to get your upper body as near to parallel to the ground as possible.
  • You want to make sure you keep your chest high and a strong neutral spine whilst in the bent-over position.
  • If you find your back round then simply bring yourself up a little higher.
  • From this position as with the seated row, you will want to make sure your shoulder blades are pinched back and then pull with your elbows until your hands are into your sides.
  • If you want to target the traps a bit more, pull your hands higher up nearer to your chest.
  • Reverse the movement back down.


Band Splitter (Upper Back)

Main Muscle Being Worked – mid trapezius, rhomboids

Band Splitter Technique

  • Grip a band evenly on each side and bring your hands up and out in front of you to chest height.
  • Your arms should be fully extended with a slight bend at your elbow.
  • Before starting the movement really try to make sure your shoulder blades are pinched back and together.
  • From this point you want to pull your hands to the side, maintaining the same height with your hands and bend at your elbow.
  • Really make sure your squeeze those shoulder blades together.
  • Whilst keeping your shoulder blades squeezed together, slowly reverse the movement until your hands are back in the starting position.



Bicep Curls

Main Muscle Being Worked – Biceps

Bicep Curls Technique

  • Place both feet on to a band shoulder-width apart.
  • Grip the handles of the band so that your palms are facing up.
  • Keep your torso upright, shoulder blades squeezed back and chest up high.
  • Make sure your elbows are directly to the side of your body.
  • Now keeping your elbows tucked into your sides and your upper up stable, pull the bands up curling your hands in towards your shoulders.
  • Make sure you really squeeze your biceps during the movement and especially at the top.
  • Reverse the movement back down until your arms are fully stretched.


Overhead Single Arm Tricep Extensions

Main Muscle Being Worked – Triceps

Overhead Single Arm Tricep Extensions Technique

  • Place one foot on top of the band.
  • Whilst holding onto the handles of the band, step forward and through with the other foot so that the band is now positioned behind your forward leg.
  • Now take the band on the side of your forward leg above your head keeping your elbow next to the side of your head.
  • Position your hand behind your head roughly starting with a 90-degree angle at your elbow.
  • Your palm should be facing inwards.
  • Keeping your elbow next to your head, and upper arm fully locked in place, extend your arm now bringing your hand above your head.  Reall focus on squeezing the tricep at this point.
  • Reverse the movement nice a slowly so your hand goes back into the start position behind your head.



Thank you for stopping by and checking out my article here at BFG Muscle.  I hope you found it helpful and will now feel confident when using resistance bands.  If you have any questions then please feel free to leave them below and I will get back to you ASAP.


 

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