We have already covered the best full-body workout (opens in new tab) when you have access to weights and fitness equipment. We also discussed how to have a full-body workout with no equipment (opens in new tab). Now it's time to get the resistance bands out because we will explore – you guessed it! – how to do a full-body resistance band workout.
Resistance training is probably the fastest way to burn fat and build muscles. When we say resistance training, we mean training where your muscles have to pull or push against some resistance, which can be classic gym equipment like dumbbells (opens in new tab), barbells (opens in new tab) or kettlebells (opens in new tab), your own body weight, or in this case, resistance bands (opens in new tab).
Resistance bands are probably the best fitness equipment you don't use, apart from ab rollers (opens in new tab), and here is a guide about how to choose resistance bands for you. With just one band, you can create ample amount of resistance for your muscles to be stimulated. Not only that, but they also take up no space whatsoever, making them a versatile and super convenient piece of home gym equipment.
We collected five exercises that can be performed at home with nothing but a resistance band. All you need is some music played through your wireless speakers (opens in new tab) to get you in pump-mode and off you go!
P.S.: You might want to consider getting a decent fitness smartwatch (opens in new tab) too. They can help you better understand your heart rate zones and therefore the intensity of your training. Keeping your heart rate in the correct zone can mean better fat burning results. Fat burning heart rate is 70% of your maximum heart rate, which can be calculated by subtracting your age from 220.
Resistance training requires protein
If you are planning on doing more resistance training, you will need to consume more protein than what your diet most likely provide. Depending on the intensity of your training, you might need as much as 2 grams of protein per body kilograms per day, which for a 70-kilo person means 140 grams of protein a day.
Probably the most convenient way to consume this essential macronutrient is to drink protein shakes, which are a combination of either milk (milk substitute) or water and protein powder (opens in new tab).
As well as that, you can also consider taking some creatine too. Creatine helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise. Cheap creatine deals are everywhere and you'll only need 3-5 grams a day to sustain your creatine levels (after the initial loading phase, should you want to do that).
If you are really going for it, you can also take pre-workout before exercising, that'll give an energy boost to get the maximum out of your sessions.
Resistance band workout – 5 exercises to move your body and get you toned fast
Before you start doing any exercises, make sure you're all warmed up. Do 5-10 minutes of cardio which can be stationary run or a light jog around the block, just to get your heart rate up a bit. If you have an indoor exercise bike (opens in new tab) or an elliptic trainer (opens in new tab), all the better.
You might also need to consider looking at the best ways to lose weight (opens in new tab) if you have not exercised for years.
- Best headphones for exercising (opens in new tab): keep yourself entertained during your workouts
- Best yoga mat (opens in new tab): get one of these if you are working out on hard floor surfaces
1. resistance band thrusters
Muscles worked: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, shoulders, upper back, triceps
Sets/Reps: Do 2 sets of 12 reps with 90 seconds break in between sets
Thursters combine two excellent exercises: squats, which work your legs and glutes, and shoulder press, which work your upper back and shoulders. Thrusters are basically a one-move full body workout.
To perform a thruster, stand on the resistance band, legs shoulder width apart. Hold the two ends of the band in your hands and lift your hands up to shoulder height. To start off, do a squat with your hands kept next to your shoulders.
Once you are stood up again, push your arms up over your head, then lower them back down to shoulder height. That's one rep.
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2. resistance band push ups
Muscles worked: Pecs, triceps, delts, core
Sets/reps: Do 2 sets of 8 reps with 120 seconds break in between sets
In this variation, you perform a regular push up with the resistance band going around your upper back, and the ends being held down by your palms. For added intensity, try and tighten the band so it would provide more resistance.
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3. Resistance band seated rows
Muscles worked: Lats, upper back, biceps, forearms
Sets/Reps: Do 2 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds break in between sets
Sit down on the floor with your legs extended in front of you, back straight. If you find sitting in a 90 degree angle difficult, you can stretch them using – surprisingly – the resistance band.
To stretch your hamstrings, lay on your back and pull one of your foot closer to your body. Loop the band around the sole of your foot and kick the leg up. Once your leg is fully extended, gently pull the band towards your upper body while your leg is pushing against the band. Do three pulls as you exhale, slightly increasing the pull each time. Once done, do the other leg.
Once your hamstrings are stretched, sit upright, back straight, legs extended in front of you, the resistance band is looped around the sole of your feet. Pull the band towards your abs with the shoulders open, then let your arms go forward once again.
Concentrate on activating the lats most and don't lean forward too much as you return to the starting position.
4. resistance band good mornings
Muscle areas activated: Lower back, glutes, hamstrings, core
Sets/Reps: Do 2 sets of 8 reps with 60 seconds break in between sets
Stand on the band and hold the ends of the band in your hands. Starting position is you bent forward, legs shoulder width apart, back straight, shoulders open. You would like to have band slightly stretched even in the starting position; it will give you the resistance you need as you extend your back.
To do a good morning, all you need to do is to extend your body back to a fully upright standing position, then lower it back down to the starting position. As you perform it, make sure your centre of mass stays directly over your feet.
Good morning is a wonderful exercise to strengthen your lower back and stretch your hamstrings too, both areas which are a great cause of discomfort for many people.
- Best back exercises (opens in new tab)
5. resistance band kneeling crunches
Muscle areas activated: Abs, core
Sets/Reps: Do 2 sets of 15 reps with 30 seconds break in between sets
Loop the band to a high point securely. Holding the end of the band, go down on your knees and with your hands on your forehead close together. Perform an ab crunch by moving your shoulders closer to the floor as you lean forward.
Keep your core engaged so you don't lose balance as your perform the exercise. Return to the starting position with your back straight.
With abs exercises, always aim for higher reps than the usual hypertrophy range (8-12 reps) since your abs can take on more pressure than other muscles (much like your calves).