I do the majority of my training with resistance band exercises now and it’s almost exclusively loop bands.
What I mean by loop bands is the band forms a continuous loop rather than other versions which are basically a long piece of rubber with a handle at either end.
Both have their benefits, but at the end of the day, you can do most of the movements with either.
I personally prefer the loops as I find them easier to pack away and also progress in resistance.
I train with a single resistance band of a variety of resistance bands.
I switched over to doing strength training more with bands rather than free weights for convenience more than anything else.
You can get even more benefits out of a set of resistance bands but I’ll go over that more shortly.
You can train your upper body and your lower body equally with loop resistance bands.
You can work for every major muscle group, the smaller muscles, and they’re an excellent option for home workouts.
If you take the standard compound movements you see done at the gym, like deadlifts, bench press, squats, shoulder press, and rows.
These can all be done very easily with a set of resistance loop bands.
So resistance band workouts don’t just need to be tricep extensions, a glute bridge, or a bicep curl.
You can train your entire body at any fitness level.
Compound movements for those of you who are unsure are movements that use more than one joint.
When you’re bending multiple joints to prefer an exercise you are using more muscle groups.
Compound exercises are the staple of any fitness routine whether you are a beginner or have years of experience, and put together make a great full-body workout.
So let’s have a look at how some of these staple movements stack up compared with each other.
Barbell exercises and resistance loop band exercises.
Resistance loop bands are an excellent way to train any part of your body and even to target muscle groups individually.
They can be used to add different levels of resistance to bodyweight exercises.
And can help offer less resistance to movements like pull-ups and dips.
So how do you use a resistance band loop?
For the most part, it’s very similar to the barbell equivalent of these movements.
Of course, there are going to be slight differences.
For most exercises, you need to stand inside the resistance band.
And bring the other end up onto your chest while maintaining a grip in your hands.
Much like the front rack position on a barbell.
Shoulder presses and squats are set up the same way.
The only difference being when you perform the shoulder press with proper form, you are moving your hands away from your feet.
Your feet are the anchor point for this movement.
But then with the squat, your hands become the anchor point.
The level of resistance comes off and you lower yourself down in a squat.
But as you stand up you push into the resistance caused by your chest and hands working as the anchor point.
Another way to perform the exercise with a loop band is by attaching the band to an external anchor point and pulling or pushing the other end away for said point.
A hook works as a great anchor point for a loop, but it’s very easy to tie the loop off by bringing it back through itself as you can see below.
If you want to see how simple it can be to do a full-body workout with just one resistance band, then check out this video I posted to YouTube a little while back.
Resistance bands come in a wide variety of thicknesses which translate to resistance levels.
The thickness is what changes the intensity of any movement.
With any kind of exercise whether that be with a band, with free weights or even bodyweight, progressive overload is crucial.
Without progressive overload, you can’t progress.
You won’t get stronger if you’re not doing more each workout.
You need to be moving forward.
You can do this by adding weight, adding repetitions, or adding sets.
Hence why bands come in a wide range of sizes changing the resistance of the band.
This is also for the fact that some muscle groups are stronger than others and need more resistance.
So the way resistances differentiate from free weights is to offer more time under tension.
Tension is the force on the muscle during the movement.
When you train with free weights there is a point through the middle of the movement when the exercise is noticeably more difficult.
You can move the weight easily at first and about 20% of the way through it becomes difficult and as you move through the movement it becomes easier again by the top of the movement.
With a resistance band, you have tension on the muscle for the full range of motion.
With your muscles being under tension right from the starting position they are working a lot harder.
You can take this even further when you slow the movement down.
This for me helps negate the fact that free weights are easier to progress.
And it’s true they are.
When you can go up 1 pound at a time it is easy to progress, but you need a full set of weights to do this.
You basically need a full gym.
With a set of bands and a little bit of knowledge you no longer need a gym.
So if you want that little bit of knowledge to go with your new set of bands get yourself a copy of my EBook ‘Train Wherever The F*ck You Want’ I’ve attached a link to the FREE download here.
For only $49.99 you can get a set of 6 bands and replace the gym for good! Go see my friends at Dmoose and get your set today.
You can, but you shouldn’t.
A big mistake I see people make with any type of exercise is not resting.
Recovery is an important part of any fitness routine.
If you don’t let your muscles rest they won’t recover.
With a bit of strategy, you can train most days for sure.
But only if you alternate muscle groups and energy systems. I recently posted an article talking about building muscle and I added a few important pieces of advice regarding rest and recovery.
But if you want a bit of a guide to how you can train with resistance most days I would recommend splitting it up into 3 sessions you can do 2 times per week.
You can do a push-pull legs routine.
On a push day, you would work all of your pushing muscles, your chest, your triceps, and your shoulders.
On a pull day, you would work your back, biceps, and rear delts.
And then finally on your leg day, you would work all the muscles in your legs and some lower back.
By following this routine you can start with push on Monday, pull on Tuesday, and legs on Wednesday.
Follow this same pattern Thursday through Saturday and have a full rest on Sunday.
You want to hit all your muscle groups twice a week to see the best results with any exercise routine.
So just following this simple formula works well for that.
And going back to my free EBook, I’ve included a sample workout with all the exercises you should do each day as well.
So I’ve already mentioned the limitations in terms of progressive overload but I don’t think that is the end of the world as you can work around that.
Whenever I find myself between bands I try doubling it over. Or added a smaller one as well.
And like I mentioned earlier you can always slow down the movement and spend even more time under tension.
So while getting progressive overload right can be a bit more work it’s not impossible.
The only other thing I can see would be durability.
A set of dumbbells will last you a lifetime.
Eventually, bands snap, I’ve seen it happen but only in very old bands.
And you know it’s coming.
They start to fray and split so you know it’s the beginning of the end.
But to be honest when a pack of 5 costs as little as $50 just replace them when that happens.
I’ve had my set for 3 years now and they haven’t even started to fray yet.
And even when they do break it doesn’t mean they are a complete waste.
You can get a bit more life out of a broken band by mixing up the movements.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
And if you haven’t yet get your free copy of my EBook Train Wherever The F*ck You Want and learn even more about resistance bands.
See how anyone can get a workout done, anywhere in the world!