Break Away from The Barbell with These 3 Resistance Band Workouts

Give your joints a break and Incorporate these three band workouts into your routine to add excitement to your boring iron workout.

A major advantage of training with resistance bands is they don’t rely on gravity for resistance, so you can perform a variety of exercises at different angles to challenge your muscle in all different directions for total muscle development. Plus, incorporating band workouts into your routine allows you to adds variety to your routine and gives your joints a break from the constant pounding of the barbell.

Are resistance bands a replacement for barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells? No but used with these tools bands are great for adding volume and intensity to your workout without crushing you. Before we get into the three trainings, here are three benefits of adding resistance bands to your workouts.

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Muscle Recruitment

The beauty of bands is they don’t rely on gravity for resistance, so they can perform a variety of exercises from all different angles. You can anchor bands from anything solid to hit all your muscles from a variety of angles for better muscle-building potential.

Improve the Strength Curve

The strength curve is the muscular force generated at each point throughout an exercise’s range of motion. Because of joint angles, the resistance is not always constant. For example, during a dumbbell bench press more force is needed during the first third of the movement than at lockout.

The resistance band opposes this strength curve. When the band is not stretched, less force is needed to get it moving but when you’re locking out, more force is required, therefore improving your strength where you need it most, at lockout.

Band Workouts are Easier on Your Joints

When you’re lifting barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, or anything else, they’re putting a certain amount of stress on your joints. But when the bands are not stretched, they put minimal stress on your joints, which is great if you suffer from achy joints or want to add volume without compromising recovery.

Wrapping Up

Barbells are great for adding mass and strength but it’s great to switch up your training to avoid overuse injuries and for better muscle development. Bands add volume and intensity to your training in a joint friendly manner and can be used anywhere. What are you waiting for? Your gains await.


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Join the Band Workouts

What you’ll notice about these workouts is the higher volume and intensity because they’re geared toward muscle building. And if you’re training with bands alone, then you’re better suited for the higher rep training in these workouts.

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1. Chest and Triceps

You can either perform this a giant circuit doing one exercise after the other or do straight sets of each exercise before moving on to the next one. This will train the chest, shoulders, and triceps without a barbell in sight.

Band Press: 3 x 10-12 reps

  • To warm up the pecs, just wrap the band around your back and push forward.

Band Pushup: 3 x AMRAP

  • Wrap the band around your back, underneath your arms and try to get between 10 and 20 reps per set.

Single-Arm Fly: 3 x 10-12 reps

  • Anchor the band to something around chest height and pull it across your body until you feel a contraction in your chest.

Front Raise / Overhead Press Superset: 3 x 10-15 reps

  • After 10 to 15 reps of the band front raise go straight into the band overhead press.

Triceps Kickback: 3 x 10-15 reps

  • Anchor the band at elbow height, bend over a little and push your hands down and back like a dumbbell kickback.

Overhead Triceps: 3 x 15-20 reps

  • Just loop the band over the top of an open door or anchor to a chin up bar and perform overhead triceps extensions like you would on a cable machine,

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2. Back and Shoulders

Again, do this as a giant circuit or perform them in straight sets all the way through resting 30-60 seconds between sets.

Close-grip Pulldown: 4 x 15-20 reps

  • Anchor the band up high and pulldown with straight arms to engage the lats and to get the shoulders ready for action.

Seated Band Row: 4 x 12 reps

  • Anchor the band at around chest height and pull your wrists towards your ribs, keeping your shoulders down and chest up.

Bentover Row: 4 x 10-15 reps

  • You can step on a thick band for these and hold the band in your hands or use a tough broom handle, looped through the band.

Band Pull Apart: 4x 15-25 reps

These reps should be performed with control. And combined with higher reps, a lighter band is better here.

Lying Band Pullover: 4 x 12 reps

Anchor the band at chest height and if you have a bench, use it, otherwise the floor will do. Keep a slight bend in your elbows and only go back as far as your shoulder mobility allows.

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3. Lower Body

You might be wishing for the barbell after finishing this brutal five exercise sequence focusing on the glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Perform the first two exercises as a super set and then the next three exercises as a triset.

1A. Bulgarian Split Squat: 3 x 15 reps each leg

  • Elevate your back leg on a chair or bench with the band lopped under your front foot, holding it in front of you. On the last rep, hold at the top for 10 seconds and switch sides and move to the band hip thrusts.

1B. Single-Leg Band Hip Thrusts: 3 x 12-15 (each leg)

  • Loop a band over your hips with the band anchored on each side with your upper back on a bench and feel the glute burn. Rest 60 seconds and repeat the superset for a total of three rounds.

2A. Band RDL: 3 x 10-12 reps

  • Stronger folks might want to use two bands here, each under one foot but make sure they’re properly anchored. Once you’ve finished, move to the terminal knee extensions.

2B. Terminal Knee Extension: 3 x 15-20 reps

  • Secure a strong band at knee height, wrap it around the back of your knee, and just bend and straighten your leg. These are great, the “teardrop” muscle” on your quads. Then move to the lateral walk.

2C. Band Lateral Walk: 3 x 15-20 reps each side

  • Loop a band under each foot and hold on tight to each side and take small lateral steps keeping your toes pointed forward. If you haven’t the space, step from side to side. Go back to 2A and repeat for a total of three sets.

This story originally appeared on: Muscle & Fitness - Author:vkim