Resistance Bands Exercise Guide: 15 Essential Exercises For Strength And Mobility

New to the gym and not ready to touch the free weights? Or prefer to work out at home and don’t have a lot of room? Resistance loop bands are the perfect piece of equipment for any weight training program or even fitness program overall. 

Once you discover the right level of resistance for you, you can work out anytime and anywhere. They are portable and easy to store making them great for busy households. 

Resistance Bands Exercise Guide 15 Essential Exercises For Strength And Mobility

However, if you have never used them before you may not know where to start. Below you will find a comprehensive exercise guide filled with effective exercises using resistance loop bands.

Anyone from your 95-year-old Grandma to professional athletes can benefit from this guide. 

Let’s begin!

What Are Resistance Loop Bands?

Resistance Loop Bands are looped pieces of stretchy material that are used for stretching and strength training. They come in different widths with the thicker the band the more resistance it provides. 

Resistance bands have levels 1 through 6, with level 1 being the lowest. The level 1 resistance band is simpler to stretch even though they are all the same length.

It is therefore better suited to workouts that call for a wider range of motion. Additionally, it’s a little simpler to operate, making it perfect for those just getting started

There are different types of resistance bands:

  • Resistance Bands with Handles: The main purpose of these tube bands is to exercise and develop muscle mass and strength. With the help of the handles, you may execute a range of exercises similar to those you might do in the gym with free weights or workout machines. 
  • Therapy Flat Resistance Bands: You will often see these in physical therapist offices. Because they are wide and flat, you can wrap them around your hand and easily change the length. You can also cut them into smaller pieces or use them to stretch.
  • Loop Bands: Despite being smaller and forming a closed circle, these bands are similar to therapy bands. These are mostly employed to strengthen the buttocks and legs. These can be found in the majority of gyms and physical therapy clinics.

Benefits Of Resistance Loop Bands 

There are many ways to get a workout from swimming to weight lifting, you just have to find what works for you and your body. Resistance loop bands come with many benefits, some of which we explain below:

1. Versatility

One of the biggest benefits of using resistance loop bands is that they offer a wide variety of exercises. You can focus on one muscle group or get in a full-body workout using just one resistance band. 

They allow you to work out and strengthen the muscles without causing too much strain on the joints and bones. 

All you need are a few core moves and you can have a versatile and effective workout with one piece of equipment. 

2. Burn Fat 

Fat burning is not something that is typically associated with resistance bands as your heart rate will not have much fluctuation. However, you are working your muscles and using up energy making them great for fat-burning and weight loss. 

Exercise with resistance bands results in larger muscles, which has an impact on how many calories your body burns while at rest.

Because muscle size influences metabolism in a way that causes the body to burn more calories when you have more muscle mass, it can also aid in maintaining a healthy weight.

Using resistance bands is considered a low-impact form of exercise making it great for those looking to lose weight without putting the rest of their body at risk. 

3. Target Multiple Muscle Groups 

Much like deadlifts and squats, resistance band exercises can be compound movements. This means they target multiple muscle groups at the one time allowing you to use more energy, burn more calories, and build more muscle. 

It also requires you to be more controlled and removes momentum movement. This is when you swing a weight up for a bicep curl instead of using your biceps to control the movement.

Resistance loop bands need to be controlled and can help build coordination and muscle growth. 

They engage the stabilizing muscles in the body such as the core, glutes, and quads. This burns more calories and will help improve your overall stability and core strength in your everyday life. 

4. Improve Mobility 

Wear and tear causes our range of motion to diminish as we age, and many people experience sarcopenia, or age-related muscle degradation.

According to research by the American Physiological Society, muscular atrophy, or the loss and wastage of muscle fibers, occurs at a rate of about 1% per year in adults 50 and older.

Resistance loop band exercises are great for helping to improve mobility and flexibility which will keep the muscles strong and healthy. 

One of the best ways to do so is to use resistance bands for gentle stretching. For instance, while on your back, you can stretch your hamstrings and expand the range of motion by intensifying the stretch with a resistance band.

This simple stretch is extremely beneficial for overall movement throughout your life. 

Adding some resistance loop band stretches before and after your workout to allow you to really strengthen the muscle and open up the joints. 

5. Improve Mind Muscle Connection 

When at the gym, you may have overheard people discussing their mind-muscle connection during a movement. This simply means that they can feel what muscles are being engaged and what muscles are not. 

Most weight lifters can take years before they begin to understand their mind-muscle connection. But using resistance bands is a great way to speed up the process. 

You need to pay close attention to how each exercise feels so you can feel what you’re working on because you have so much control over how you use the band, including how it is set up, where it is placed, how it is moved, and how it is angled.

Once you can begin to feel what muscles are being engaged you can work on getting a full range of motion and squeezing for the entire length of the exercise to get a full contraction.

This will improve the quality of your workouts and help you see changes quicker than before. 

Who Should Use Resistance Loop Bands?

Well, anyone can use resistance loop bands. They are great for building muscle, losing weight, and improving mobility. 

Resistance loop bands offer an alternative to weight lifting or any other aggressive form of resistance training.

Whether you’re recovering from an injury or want to improve your mind-muscle connection, resistance bands are the perfect piece of equipment. 

Not to mention they are extremely inexpensive to buy. 

How To Use Resistance Loop Bands 

Before we can begin showing you the exercises you can do with resistance loop bands, it is important to understand how to use them.

While they are simple pieces of equipment, many people still end up with injuries due to a lack of care and attention when in use. 

Firstly, you want to ensure that you have the right level of resistance for you. You should be able to stretch the resistance band as far as you need to while finding it challenging. This will depend on your strength level and flexibility. 

Next, you want to ensure that the resistance band is in a condition fit for use. Check the entire band for any wear and tear. If it appears damaged, do not use the band. 

When finished with the resistant band, always bring it back to it;s original length before releasing completely. Failure to do so can result in the band snapping back on your body and cause injury. 

Avoid cleaning bands with soap or other cleaning agents since they may weaken or harm latex. To clean them, use a wet cloth.

Now that we know how to safely use resistance loop bands, we can get into those all-important exercises. 

Remember you should never use resistance band exercises as a replacement unless told so by a medical professional. And you should consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise regime. 

Resistance Loop Band Exercises

Are you ready to grab your resistance loop band and see your body change? Below are 15 of the best exercises for both concentrated and full-body workouts.

You will learn how to get the most out of your workouts without the need for large amounts of equipment, space, or time.

Let’s get into it!

Lower Body Exercises 

1. Front Squat 

The Front Squat is an effective compound movement that works almost every muscle group in the legs and core. They are most commonly completed with a barbell which many find taxing on the shoulders, knees, and hips. 

Using a resistance band takes a lot of strain off the joints and allows you to focus on your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. 

How To Do It:

  • Stand on the band with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. 
  • Holding part of the resistance band in each hand, bring the band over the front of the shoulders. You can also cross your arms at your chest if the band is too long. 
  • Bend at the knees and hips as though you are sitting in a chair, keeping the chest up. Your back should remain straight with the core engaged and your feet completely flat.
  • Rise back into the starting position. 
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps.  

Squatting can be a hard movement for many people. In order to prevent injury you may want to have the heels slightly elevated by using a small plate and point the toes outward for more balance. 

Remember to push through the heels. You can also remove your shoes to allow your feet to completely spread out during the movement. 

2. Lying Leg Curl

The leg curl is amazing for the calves and hamstrings. However, in a gym, you will more than likely have to wait on a machine that is free.

This can then be taxing on the knees. Resistance loop bands mean you can complete your workout in a timely manner and keep the pressure off your knees. 

How To Do It:

  • Loop your resistance band around a non-moving object as close to the floor as possible. Lie down on your front with the band looped around your right ankle. 
  • Move away from the anchor object to create tension in your band. 
  • Tense your core and bend your leg, bringing it towards your glute. Only go as far as you feel a comfortable stretch. 
  • Return your leg to the starting position in a controlled manner. 
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps before moving onto the left leg. 

This is a great exercise for building strength and flexibility in the hamstring. If done correctly, it can also work your glutes and is a brilliant isolated exercise to finish any leg workout. 

3. Standing Adduction

We have all had a turn on the adduction machine in the gym. But more often than not, these machines are made for large males with a wider pelvic placement. Women and smaller males will not get the full range of motion from the machine. 

The Standing Adduction exercise helps increase hip mobility and works all of the muscles on the inner thigh. 

How To Do It:

  • Tie a resistance loop band around a non-moving object at ankle height. Stand with your right side facing the support and the other end of the band around your right ankle. 
  • To produce some stress, move away from the support and stand perpendicular to the band.
  • Begin with a wide stance that feels stable and controlled. 
  • Keeping a slight bend in the knee, move your right leg across the left. Moving against the resistance band. 
  • Slowly bring your leg back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 12-15 reps before moving on to the left leg. 

The Standing Adduction exercise is a great move if you don’t have a lot of space. It can also be done with a weighted plate resting on the working hip. However, this can be harder when it comes to mind-muscle connections. 

4. Glute Bridge

Ready to build a round butt that will have Kim Kardashian jealous? The Glute Bridge is an effective movement that can be done with a barbell, weighted plate, dumbbell, or even only body weight. 

However, getting the form correct for this movement is difficult. The resistance band alternative will allow you to learn form and engage the correct muscles. 

How To Do It:

  • Bring the resistance loop band around your legs until it rests just above the knees. 
  • Lie on your back, bringing your knees to a 90° angle. 
  • Using the core and glutes, bring the hips up and gently push your knees against the band. Your shoulders, hips, and knees should be in a straight line. 
  • Repeat for 15-20 reps

This is a great alternative if you find the barbell hip thrust movement causes too much strain on the lower back. 

Chest Exercises

1. Push-Up

The Push-Up is a classic exercise that works the shoulders, chest, and back muscles. It is perfect for bodyweight exercises, home workouts, or as a compound movement in a superset. 

However, getting your form right can be tricky. Resistance bands help keep your arms in the right place and can add more resistance to the movement. 

How To Do It:

  • Begin in a plank position and bring the resistance band across your upper back. 
  • Loop each end around your palm and place your hands flat on the floor.
  • Engage your glutes and abs and push up until the arms are fully extended. 
  • Slowly lower yourself back down to the ground until your chest touches the floor. 
  • Do this exercise for 5-20 reps. 

You can go down to your knees if you find this version of the Push-Up to be too difficult. 

2. Bench Press

The Bench Press is a stable movement for every weightlifter. It is the perfect exercise for engaging all of the chest muscles and can be done with a barbell, dumbbell, and now resistance band. 

This is the perfect beginner move for those anxious in the weights section. All you need is a bench and your resistance band. 

How To Do It:

  • Wrap your resistance band around the bench and lie on your back on the bench underneath the band. 
  • Grab a section of the band in each hand. 
  • Begin with your arms at shoulder height. The thumbs should be able to touch the shoulders without feeling too much stretch in the shoulders. 
  • Extend your arms up, keeping a slight bend in the elbow. 
  • In controlled movements, lawyer your arms back to shoulder height. 
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps. 

When completing the Bench Press exercise, make sure to always have control of the band. Failing to do so could result in overstretching the chest muscle and cause injury. 

You can also bring the back of the bench up to a 45° angle to complete an Incline Chest Press. 

3. Standing Chest Press

Don’t have access to a bench at home or in the gym? No problem! You can complete the Standing Chest Press for the same result. 

How To Do It:

  • Tie the resistance band around a non-moving object at chest height. 
  • Stand inside the band grabbing a section in each hand. 
  • Step forward to create tension. 
  • Begin with your hands at chest height. 
  • Push forward until the arms are fully extended, keeping a slight bend in the elbow. 
  • Slowly return to the starting position. 
  • Repeat for 12-15 reps. 

This alternative is a great way to promote core engagement and work on stability. 

Back Exercises

1. Bent Over Row 

When it comes to working multiple back muscles at once, the Bent Over Row is perfect. Most commonly done with a barbell it can be hard to achieve perfect form. 

How To Do It:

  • Standing with your feet on the band, shoulder width apart. Grab a section of the band in each hand. 
  • Give a slight bend at the knees and hinge forward at the hips. Push your hips back. 
  • With your elbows bent, pull the band up toward the hips, giving the shoulder blades a good squeeze. The elbows should form a 90­° angle. 
  • Lower to the starting position and repeat for 10-12 reps. 

2. Lat Pulldown 

The Lat Pulldown is essential for any back workout. It works all of the muscles in the back and even engages the core and shoulder muscles. It is a great way to build back muscles and work towards getting that pull-up!

How To Do It:

  • Tie the resistance band to a horizontal bar above your head. 
  • Kneel facing the bar with the band sitting in front of you. 
  • Grip a section of the band in each hand with your arms fully extended above your head. 
  • Bend your elbows and pull the band down until it touches the top of your chest.  Make sure to squeeze the back muscles. 
  • Once your hands reach the shoulders, slowly raise back into the starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps. 

3. Pull Apart

This is a simple move that gives a nice stretch to the upper body muscles. It is most commonly performed as part of a stretching routine before moving on to more targeted exercises. 

How To Do It:

  • Stand upright with your knees slightly bent and your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Grip the middle section of the resistance band with both hands, shoulder width apart and at shoulder level. Your palms should be facing down. 
  • Keep your arms straight with a slight bend in the elbow, pull the band out and back until you feel a stretch in the chest and the shoulder blades contract. 
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 8-10 reps. 

This is an excellent mobility exercise for opening up the chest and activating the back muscles. 

4. Seated Row

When creating a workout plan you want to make sure to hit all of the muscles in the body part. Meaning you want to hit the upper, middle, and lower back. The Seated Row is great for targeting the middle and lower back muscles. 

How To Do It:

  • Tie the band around a non-moving object and sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. The band should be at waist height when sitting. 
  • Grab a section of the band in each hand and sit with your back straight, shoulder back, and arms fully extended. 
  • Pull the band towards you until it touches your stomach, squeezing the shoulder blades together. 
  • Slowly return to the starting position. Allowing the back to fully extend. 
  • Repeated for 10-12 reps. 

Shoulder Exercises

1. Overhead Press

The Overhead Press or Military Press is brilliant for working the shoulder muscles and promoting stability. 

How To Do It:

  • Stand over the center of one side of the band. Grabbing a section of the other side of the band in each hand and standing upright. 
  • Position your hands at shoulder level with your palms facing forward. 
  • Push straight up until your arms are fully extended, keeping a slight bend in the elbow. 
  • Lower back to shoulder level. 
  • Repeat for 8-10 reps. 

This is a great exercise for removing momentum and focusing on using the muscle to move the band. 

2. Lateral Raise

The shoulders are made up of 3 small muscles that require a lot of attention in order to grow. And the Lateral Raise is the perfect exercise for the job. 

How To Do It:

  • Begin with your right foot slightly forward, standing on one side of the band. 
  • Grab a section of the other side of the band in each hand and stand upright with your palms facing inwards. 
  • Slightly bend your elbows and raise your arms out to the sides until they reach shoulder height. 
  • Your arms should form a V shape. 
  • Slowly lower your arms back to your sides. 
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps. 

This is a great exercise for removing the momentum and isolating the smaller muscles of the shoulder. 

3. Upright Row

Working the chest, shoulders, and back is no easy task but the upright row was designed to be effective. 

How To Do It:

  • Begin in the position of the Overhead Press with feet shoulder width apart. 
  • Palms should be facing you and placed in front of your thighs. 
  • Standing straight with a slight bend in the knees, pull the elbows up until they are just above the shoulders. 
  • Slowly lower back down. 
  • Repeat for 10-12 reps. 

You are going to want to take this exercise slow and steady. Remain in control to get the best results. 

Full Body Exercises

1. Deadlift 

Yes, you can Deadlift using a resistance band! This is the perfect way to learn form before adding any extra weight with a barbell. 

How To Do It:

  • Begin by standing on the middle of the loop band, feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and toes facing outward. 
  • Grab a section of the resistance band in each hand and bend down into a squat position. Spine neutral and hips back. 
  • Drive up through the heels, keeping your back straight and the band has tension. 
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds before returning to the starting position. 
  • Repeat for 8-10 reps. 

This movement engages every muscle in the body and is great for improving stability, mobility, and strength. 

Conclusion 

Resistance loop bands are excellent for every level of fitness. From complete beginners to professional athletes, everyone can benefit from incorporating resistance bands into the workout routine. 

Above are 15 essential resistance loop band exercises that will help you propel toward your goals. 

You can focus on one muscle group or select an exercise from each and create a full-body workout! And all with one piece of equipment.

Forget fighting for dumbbells or waiting on machines, with this comprehensive resistance band guide, you can get a workout anywhere!

Laura Simmons
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