Beginner Total Body Resistance Band Workout

If you've got a resistance band, you may wonder exactly what to do with it and whether it's an effective tool for strengthening your body.

The band is great for adding a different type of resistance than you get from dumbbells. Because there's tension on the band throughout the entire movement, you'll fire up different muscle fibers, always a great idea when you're building strength.

With these exercises, you'll hit all the major muscle groups using the resistance band to build strength and endurance in your entire body.

One thing to keep in mind is that some exercises will require different levels of tension. For example, you may be able to use a heavier band for exercises like chest presses or biceps curls. For that reason, having a variety of bands will allow you to get the most out of this workout.

Another thing to note is that you may need to adjust your hand position or the position of your body to get the most tension out of each move. If anything feels too easy, try using a heavier band with more tension.

Precautions

See your doc if you have any medical issues or conditions.

Equipment

At least one resistance band. It's great to have a variety of bands if you can so you can switch them up as needed.

How To:

  • Beginners: Perform each exercise for 1 set of about 12-16 reps.
  • Intermediate: Do two sets of 16 reps using a variety of bands.
  • Advanced:  Do three or more sets of 16 reps using a variety of bands.
  • Make sure you warm up with about 5 minutes of cardio before doing this workout.

1
One Arm Chest Press

The one arm chest press is perfect for working not only the chest muscles but the core as well since you have to hold your body steady as you move your arm through the exercise.

How To

Wrap the band around a sturdy object behind you and loop one handle through the other.

Hold the end in the left hand and step away from the anchor point until there's tension on the band.

Begin the movement with the left arm bent, ​the band coming under the arm and the elbow bent at 90 degrees, palm facing down.

Squeeze the chest to press the left arm out in front of you. Come back to start and repeat for 16 reps on each side.

You can also do this exercise in a superset with the one arm fly exercise, alternating each exercise.

2
One Arm Rotating Chest Fly

The one arm rotating chest fly is another great move targeting the outer part of the chest as well as the core.

How To

Wrap the band around a sturdy object behind you and loop one handle through the other.

Stand with the left side facing the anchor point, arms straight out to the sides and feet about hip-distance apart and hold the handle in the left hand.

Stand far enough away that there's tension on the band. Rotate the left hand towards the right hand, keeping the arms very straight.

Try to touch the left fingers to the right, feeling the exercise in the left side of the chest, shoulder, and arm. 

Release and repeat for all reps on the left side and then switch sides.  16 reps and switch sides. Your feet should pivot with you as you rotate through the movement.

3
Lat Pulls with Resistance Bands

Lat pulls are another great exercise, this one working the lats, the muscles on either side of the back. You really have to focus on this one to make it work.

How To

Stand or sit and hold a band in both hands above your head.

Start with your hands a few inches apart - You may need to adjust them to change the tension.

Keeping the left hand in place, squeeze the back to pull the right elbow down towards the ribcage.

Return to start and repeat for 16 reps before switching sides.

4
Upper Back Squeeze

The upper back squeeze exercise is perfect for working the posture muscles of the upper back. You'll need to adjust the distance of your hands to make this one 

How To

Standing or sitting, hold ​the band in the middle, arms straight out in front of you, hands a few inches apart.

Squeeze the shoulder blades together and open the arms out to either side, pulling the band apart and squeezing your shoulder blades.

Return to start and repeat, keeping tension on the band the entire time. Repeat for 16 reps.

5
One Arm Rear Flies

One arm rear flies are the perfect move for working both the back of the shoulders as well as the muscles between the shoulder blades.

How To

On hands and knees, hold one side of the band in the right hand and grab the other end with the left hand. Keep the right hand in place as you lift the left arm straight up to shoulder level leading with the elbow and squeezing the back and shoulder. Adjust hand placement to increase or decrease tension.  Repeat for 16 reps on each side.

6
Overhead Press

The overhead press is one of the tougher exercises and you'll want to be careful with the band here. Taking your band past it's furthest tension point can put stress on the band and cause it to snap.

If your band is tight, try doing this one arm at a time with the band secured under one foot.

How To

Place band under both feet if you have an easier band, one foot if it's tighter.

Hold the handles in both hands and begin the move with the arms bent in 'goal post', wrists straight and abs in. Contract the shoulders to straighten arms up and lower back down. Complete 16 reps.

7
One Arm Triceps Extensions

This simple triceps extension is perfect for working the muscles in the back of the arms. Be sure to keep the shoulders down throughout the movement and concentrate on squeezing the triceps muscles.

How To

Hold the band in both hands at shoulder level with right arm bent so that it's in front of the chest, left arm straight out.

Keeping the left arm straight to hold tension on the hand, contract the triceps to straighten the right arm. Return to start and repeat before switching sides. Complete 16 reps on each side.

8
Band Biceps Curls

Biceps curls are a classic arm exercise and the band as a little more depth to the exercise. You really have to use your stabilizer muscles to keep the arm steady as you curl the band up and down.

How To

Stand on the band and hold handles with palms facing out. Keeping abs in and knees slightly bent, bend arms and bring palms toward shoulders in a bicep curl. Position feet wider for more tension. Return to start and repeat for 16 reps.

9
Side Step Squat

Side steps squats are great for the glutes, the outer thighs, and the quads. Remember, when you squat, send the hips behind you so the knees don't go forward.

How To

Stand on the band with feet together, keeping tension on the band by holding a half-bicep curl.

Step to the right as far as you can and lower into a squat.

Step the left foot in and continue stepping to the right with a squat for the length of the room before switching sides.

Continue pulling on the band to add tension. 

10
Band Lunges

The band makes an excellent tool for adding resistance to traditional lunges. You'll also get a little isolation work on the biceps as a bonus.

How To

Stand with right leg forward, left leg back and band positioned under right leg.

Keeping tension on the band by bending elbows, lower into a lunge until both knees are at 90 degrees, front knee behind the toe. Return to start and repeat for 16 reps on each side.

You may need to adjust the tension on the band, holding it closer to your foot, for example, to keep the intensity up.

11
Criss Cross Outer Thigh

The criss cross outer thigh is an excellent move for targeting the glutes, hips and, of course, the outer thighs. You might want to use a band with heavier tension for this exercise.

How To

Lie down with the legs up, band looped around the feet.

Criss cross the band for added tension and pull the elbows down to the floor. Keep the elbows down and the upper body relaxed as you open the feet, concentrating on squeezing the outer thighs. Come back to start and repeat for 16 reps.

12
Butt Blaster

The butt blaster is just what it sounds like, a tough move targeting your rear. Getting into the right position can be tricky and you'll want to make sure the band is secure around your foot so the band doesn't snap back.

How To

Get on your hands and knees and wrap a resistance band around the right foot.

Hold the handles in each hand and begin the move with the right knee bent and flex the foot while extending the right leg straight back, squeezing the glutes.

 Repeat for 16 reps on each side.  Make sure you keep your foot flexed to avoid the band snapping back.

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