9 Ways Bands Can Rock Your Physique
- Anchor the bands to a stable, sturdy support, looping one band handle through the other and securing it. You will then have one handle to use.
- Slip the handle onto your foot, resting it on the ball of your foot.
- Get into a plank position on the ground. Make sure there is no slack in the band and that you have it tight enough to form resistance throughout the entire movement.
- Start with your knee bent and perpendicular to the ground. Press your leg back and slightly upward, contracting the glute throughout the entire movement.
- Hold at the top for a count of two while squeezing the glute hard!
- Return to the start position, keeping constant tension on the band. Repeat with other leg.
What I like most about this exercise is that it allows me to isolate and squeeze the glutes to really get them burning.
Band Squats - 12-15 reps / 3sets Target muscles: glutes, quads, hamstrings (Secondary muscles: abs)
- Stand on the middle of the band with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
- Hold the band handles in each hand, hands at your shoulders, much like you would for standard barbell squat.
- Keep your upper body high with your abs firm and engaged, chest out.
- Sit back as if you were sitting into a chair, until your knees form a 90-degree angle.
- Keep your weight in your heels and hold for a count of three at the bottom of the movement. Make sure that you do not round your back.
- Pressing through your heels, stand up and return to the starting position. Keep a slight bend in the knees at the top of the movement to avoid lock out.
Band squats allow me to really practice good form, while also building my stabilizer muscles for the heavier barbell squats.
Band Glute Bridges - 15-20 reps each leg / 3 sets Target muscles: glutes, hamstrings, quads (Secondary muscles: abs)
- Tie the band firmly around your legs, just above the knee, and lie on your back with your feet on the ground.
- Pushing through your heels, raise your hips up to form a 90-degree angle at your knee, your body forms a strait line.
- Remember to push your knees out against the bands as well during the movement to engage the hip abductors.
- At the top of the movement squeeze your glutes hard and hold for 2 seconds before returning to the starting position.
I enjoy this variation because it allows me to really engage all areas of the glutes.
Front Raises - 15-20 reps / 3 sets Target muscles: shoulders/front shoulders
- Stand on the center of the bands with feet shoulder width apart.
- Hold a handle in each hand, palms down and arms by your sides.
- Bring your arms straight out in front of you, parallel to the ground. Keep your arms straight, with a slight bend in your elbow to avoid lock out.
- Hold at the top for 2 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position, keeping tension on the bands at all times throughout the movement.
- Be sure not to swing your body during this exercise.
In this exercise, the constant tension the bands allow me to keep on my delta engaged throughout the entire movement, making it extremely effective.
Bent Over Row - 12-15 reps / 3 sets Target muscles: back/ lats (Secondary muscles: biceps, abs)
- Stand on the center of the band with feet shoulder width apart.
- Bend slightly at the knees and tilt forward at the waist, keeping your back straight, spine aligned, hips back. I like to start the movement holding the handles with my palms facing down, my arms straight but not locked out.
- Bending at the elbows and rotating the palms up, pull the bands towards your hips, concentrating on squeezing and flexing your back.
- Elbows should form a 90-degree angle at the top of the movement. Hold at the top for 2 seconds.
- Slowly return to the starting position, rotating the palms again to face downward, keeping constant tension throughout the entire movement.
If you have difficulty doing a standard Bent Over Row using a barbell, I highly recommend using bands for this exercise because it takes stress of the lower back.
Band Push Ups - 5-20 reps / 3 sets (depending on your level of fitness) Target muscles: chest, shoulders, arms (Secondary muscles: abs)
- Place your band across your upper back/shoulders and get into a plank position.
- Loop the handles around the thumbs of each hand. Make sure the band is tight and forming tension.
- Push your upper body straight up through your palms until your arms are fully extended, but not locked out at your elbows.
- Keep your abs tight, with your glutes and lower body straight and low throughout the entire movement.
- Slowly lower your upper body downward into the starting position, with your chest just above the ground.
This variation allows me to add intensity to my push ups without the use of standard weights, which can be awkward when performing this exercise.
Standing Bicep Curls - 12-15 reps / 3sets Target muscles: biceps
- Place your feet on the center of the band, feet shoulder width apart.
- Hold one handle in each hand, palms facing up. Start with your arms at your sides.
- Bending at the elbows, raise your lower arm up, keeping your upper arm stable. Focus on really squeezing the bicep and feeling the contraction.
- Avoid swinging your body during the movement. Hold at the top of the movement for 2 seconds, then slowly lower back down to starting position.
I like to switch it up from the standard weights and use a band for this exercise; it adds variety and can be done almost anywhere.
Chest Fly's - 12-15 reps /3 sets Target muscles: chest
- Anchor the bands to a stable, sturdy support.
- Hold the band handles in each hand with your back to the bands. Step forward to reduce any slack in the bands, creating tension.
- Hold your arms up and out to the sides, palms facing forward, making a cross with your body.
- Keeping your arms straight, but without locking the elbow, bring your arms out in front of you in a hugging motion. Imagine you are hugging or wrapping your arms around a tree.
- Touch hands together and hold position for 2 seconds, then slowly return to starting position.
This variation is it can be done almost anywhere without the use of large equipment, such as cables or standard weights. Great for an at home workout!
Standing Chest Press - 12-15 reps/ 3 sets Target muscles: chest
- Anchor bands to a stable, secure support.
- Hold the band handles with your hands at your shoulders and your back to the band.
- Step forward to reduce any slack, creating tension on the bands.
- Keep elbows up, palms down throughout movement. Press the band straight out in front of you, until your arms are fully extended but not locked out at the elbows. Concentrate on feeling the chest contract.
- Hold for 2 seconds, then slowly return to starting position, keeping constant tension throughout the entire movement.
I recommend this variation for people who may have shoulder issues or find it difficult to perform the standard barbell bench press.