When you’re just starting to workout one of the best places to start is with resistance band exercises.
Resistance bands are very inexpensive, and are incredibly safe when used properly, making them the perfect place for you to start your home workouts.
But because they’re so simple and basic looking, the question most people run into is:
“What do you actually DO with them?”
And that’s exactly what we’re going to show you in today’s Simple Guide To Resistance Bands For Beginners:
- How do resistance bands work?
- Why resistance bands are good to have
- Are resistance bands as good as weights?
- What resistance bands should I buy?
- Will resistance bands help me lose weight?
- Can resistance bands build muscle?
- Resistance band exercises for beginners
- Where can I buy resistance bands?
- Ready to get started with resistance bands? Next steps…
We’ve been setting up effective resistance band workouts for our members for 14 years. If you’d like some more personalized help, I highly recommend checking out our online coaching programs. Click the button to schedule a free Goal-Setting Discovery Call to get all the details on these life-changing programs:
Alright, buckle up because we’re diving deep into everything you need to know about resistance bands!
How Do Resistance Bands Work?
Similar to dumbbells or other weights, resistance bands work by adding resistance, or weight, to the exercises we’re using them for. This force applies more stress to the muscles and makes them stronger.
But different from dumbbells or other types of weight, as you stretch a resistance band the resistance actually gets heavier.
For example, if you’re doing a dumbbell chest press with 25 lbs dumbbells that weight doesn’t change during the exercise.
But if you’re doing a resistance band chest press, as you press your arm out the band gets tighter, which means there’s more force pushing back on you. This is why most resistance bands will show a range (i.e. 25-45 lbs) when they equate the band to weight in pounds.
Why Are Resistance Bands Good To Have
Some of the benefits of resistance bands that make them good to have include:
- They’re extremely safe when used properly
- Resistance bands are more affordable than dumbbells or other weights
- Very versatile, so you can use them for a lot of different exercises
- They don’t take up much space at home
- And you can toss them in a bag when traveling
All of those benefits make them the perfect workout tool when you’re just starting out, or beginning to build a home gym.
They’re also very versatile so you can use them for a lot of different exercises, very similar to how you might use dumbbells.
But don’t think these bad boys are just for beginners!
Resistance bands definitely have a place in training programs even at the highest level of fitness.
Take a look at any elite athlete’s training plan and you’ll always see some form of resistance band exercise in there. We also routinely program resistance band exercises for our more advanced online coaching members.
Are Resistance Bands As Good As Weights?
As with most questions like this, the answer is “it depends”.
Like we discussed above, resistance bands act slightly differently than dumbbells or other weights. This is why I typically suggest using both in your training plan if possible.
However, if you have to choose, and cost isn’t a factor, I do typically recommend a full set of dumbbells over resistance bands.
Increasing your weights as you get stronger with dumbbells is just a little bit easier than with resistance bands.
But if you’re not ready to invest in a full set of dumbbells, resistance bands are still an excellent option for the reasons in the previous section.
What Resistance Bands Should I Buy?
I know what you’re thinking…
“Ok Cam, I get it. Resistance bands are awesome. But when I walk into a store to buy some, there’s an entire wall of resistance bands and they all look different. So which resistance bands should I buy?!”
That’s a fair question, because you’re right, it can feel like there are A LOT of different types of resistance bands.
But the good news is that there are actually only 3 different types of resistance bands:
- Traditional Resistance Bands
- Superbands/Strength Bands and Monster/Power Bands
- Mini Bands
Typically when people talk about “resistance bands” they’re talking about either Traditional “Tube” Resistance Bands or Superband/Strength Bands.
Traditional Resistance Bands
These are the ones you’ve probably had lying around in your basement since the ‘80’s and the “Jane Fonda” era.
They’re usually a long tube band with handles on the ends. These are typically the cheapest type of band, and can be the most straight-forward to start using. All you do is grab the handles and push or pull.
Superbands (or Strength Bands) & Monster Bands (or Power Bands)
These are the looped resistance bands that look like giant rubber bands.
To make things more confusing for you, different companies will name these bands different names. But typically they fall into 2 categories:
- Superbands/Strength Bands
- Monster Bands/Power Bands
Superbands/Strength Bands are the most common, and what I typically recommend for most people.
Monster/Power Bands look exactly the same as Superbands/Strength Bands, but they’re a little bit thicker which makes them “heavier” in resistance, and a bit better suited for assisted pull-ups, and power development.
So if you’re only using bands for assisted pull-ups, or you’re an elite level athlete using them for power development, go with Monster/Power Bands.
If you’re a beginner just starting to strength train, or you’ll be using these for the majority of exercises in your workout plan, go with Superbands/Strength Bands.
And in the final category we have mini-bands, which are a relatively new addition to the resistance band family.
Mini-bands look like a smaller looped resistance band, usually around 12 inches long.
These are most often used wrapped around your thighs, ankles, or wrists to make various exercises more challenging.
So now that you know the 3 different types of resistance bands, which ones should you buy?
My personal preference is:
- Superbands/Strength Bands
- Traditional Tube Bands
Keep in mind, Superbands/Strength Bands and Traditional Tube Bands are very similar and can be used in very similar ways. These are typically what people mean when they say “resistance bands”.
Will Resistance Bands Help Me Lose Weight?
If you are, then YES, resistance bands may help you lose weight.
But if you’re not, then no, resistance bands probably won’t help you lose weight.
As we’ve talked about many, many times in other articles, to lose weight we need to control energy balance. This means we need to consume less energy (i.e. food) than we expend through various means.
Energy Intake < Energy Expenditure = Weight Loss
Energy Intake > Energy Expenditure = Weight Gain
Energy Intake = Energy Expenditure = Maintenance
So while resistance band workouts can absolutely help increase energy expenditure through exercise, you can’t out-train a poor diet. If you want to lose weight you’ll have to be eating a healthy diet geared towards controlling energy intake.
Fortunately this is something we help our members with every day inside our online coaching programs.
If you’d like to learn more about our sustainable weight loss and wellness coaching, click the button below to schedule a free Goal-Setting Clarity Call:
Will Resistance Bands Help Me Build Muscle?
This one is a little more straight forward, because YES resistance bands can absolutely help you build muscle and get stronger.
In order to build muscle and get stronger we need to apply increasing demand on the muscle. This is called “progressive overload”. And when we do this consistently over time, the result is bigger, stronger muscles.
So like we talked about earlier, resistance bands are just another tool we can use to add resistance to exercises and increase the demand on the muscles. This is similar to dumbbells, kettlebells, or other weights.
The key though is that you can’t keep using the same resistance forever and expect to get stronger. Remember, we need to INCREASE the demand on the muscles consistently over time. This means we need to gradually use heavier weights for the exercises we’re doing.
This is a little bit trickier with resistance bands compared to dumbbells or other weights, but still possible with a properly designed training plan.
So if you’re using resistance bands to get stronger and build muscle, make sure you have a wide selection of resistances so that you can increase the weight as needed.
Resistance Band Exercises For Beginners
Now that you know all of the benefits of resistance bands, why they’re awesome (especially for beginners), and how they can help you, let’s talk about what you can actually do with them.
Resistance Band Exercises For Legs & Glutes
When it comes to leg and glute exercises we’re talking about these movement patterns:
- Bend/Hip Hinge/Deadlift
So basically any exercise that falls into those categories, you can simply use a resistance band to increase the challenge.
Here are a few examples…
Resistance Band Squat
Resistance Band Deadlift
Resistance Band Staggered Stance Deadlift
Resistance Band Good-Morning
Resistance Band Split Squat
Resistance Band Hip Thrust
Resistance Band Exercises For Arms
When it comes to resistance band arm exercises we could talk about any “push” or “pull” movement, or isolation exercises like bicep curls and tricep presses.
We’ll cover the “push” and “pull” exercises below in the Chest and Back sections. So here are a few examples of biceps and triceps resistance band exercises.
Resistance Band Biceps Curl
Resistance Band Hollow-Body Biceps Curl
Resistance Band Triceps Pressdown
Resistance Band Exercises For Chest
When it comes to resistance band exercises for your chest, we’re primarily focused on the “push” movement pattern. Specifically a horizontal push, like push ups.
Here are a few examples.
Resistance Band Chest Press
Resistance Band Single Arm Chest Press
Resistance Band Push Ups
Resistance Band Chest Fly
Resistance Band Exercises For Back
When it comes to resistance band exercises for your back, we’re focused on the “pull” movement pattern. This could be horizontal pulling (i.e. row), or vertical pulling (i.e. chin ups).
Here are a few resistance band examples.
Resistance Band Row
Resistance Band Alternating Bent Over Row
Resistance Band Lat Pulldown
Resistance Band Assisted Chin Up
Resistance Band Exercises For Shoulders
When it comes to resistance band exercises for your shoulders we’re primarily talking about a vertical push movement pattern. But we could also slide some shoulder isolation exercises in here as well.
Here are a few examples.
Resistance Band Shoulder Press
Resistance Band Single Arm Shoulder Press
Resistance Band Lateral Raise
Resistance Band Upright Row
Resistance Band Front Raise
Resistance Band Reverse Fly
Resistance Band Exercises For Abs & Core
And finally, when it comes to resistance band exercises for your abs and core, we’re focused on rotation and anti-rotation exercises.
Here are a few examples.
Resistance Band Horizontal Chop
Resistance Band Low-High Chop
Resistance Band High-Low Chop
Resistance Band Anti-Rotational Press
Where Can I Buy Resistance Bands
So now that you’re all fired about all the fun stuff you can do with resistance bands, I guess you need to know where to buy them.
Fortunately resistance bands are quite easy to find. Walk into any sporting goods store and you’ll likely find some.
I like supporting local businesses, so search for local fitness equipment stores in your area.
And if all else fails, there’s always Amazon.
Ready To Get Started With Resistance Band Workouts? Here’s Your Next Step…
This Simple Guide To Resistance Bands For Beginners has no doubt given you a lot of information to get you rolling with your resistance band workouts.
But if you’d like some more personalized help putting all of this together into a structured plan that works for you, your goals, and your lifestyle – we’re here to help.
Every day we help members inside our online coaching programs become the strongest, healthiest, most confident version of themselves.
Click the button below to schedule a free Goal-Setting Discovery Call and we can see if you might be a good fit for one of our world-class online fitness & nutrition coaching programs:
During your call we’ll go over:
- Where you’re at right now in terms of health, fitness, or weight loss
- Where you’d like to be in the next 12 months for health, fitness, or weight loss
- Any obstacles or challenges standing in your way, and how to overcome them
Then if it makes sense we can discuss how to enroll in the program that is the best fit for you right now.
But if not at least you’ll know exactly what you need to do moving forward to make progress towards your biggest health, fitness, or weight loss goals!
Click the button to schedule your free call and get started today:
Rise up stronger & live awesome,