Some men are surprised how much they can build and tone their muscles by simply adding resistance band workouts.
Even without heavy weights, you can still add muscle mass with increased reps and higher tension bands.
It’s about having a great workout plan drawn up that targets your muscles to induce fatigue.
Research has shown that workouts with resistance bands provide a great training stimulus for muscle activation (1). When done correctly, you can even obtain similar muscle strength gains to free weight exercises (2).
Get A Whole Different Workout
While free weights give you a great workout, resistance bands work your muscles in a whole different way. The tension changes as you perform each exercise, which allows you to target your muscles differently and really work the smaller stabilizing muscles.
Workout At Home Or On The Road
Resistance bands are great because you can get a workout in from just about anywhere.
While you always have the option to use resistance bands at the gym, you can also purchase your own resistance bands as well.
These are great if you need to work out from home, or even when traveling. That means you never have an excuse not to get in a killer strength training workout.
Full Body Resistance Band Workouts For Men
You can really challenge your body with a number of different resistance band exercises.
If you are new to these workouts, start out with lighter bands and simpler moves. Then progressively work your way up to more demanding workouts.
These workouts will utilize resistance bands with handles and looped resistance bands.
For each of these plans, you should always start with a short warm-up to get your heart rate up and muscles primed for the workout ahead. This will help you avoid injury and will improve your performance in the workouts.
Warm up with 5-10 minutes of light cardio, followed by dynamic stretching that targets both the upper and lower body.
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Dynamic Stretching Prior to Resistance Band Workouts
Hold your arms out to the sides at shoulder height. Make small circles forward for 10 reps, then backwards for 10 reps. Repeat with larger circles.
Bring your shoulder up towards your ears and rotate forward and back around. Repeat for 10 reps, then repeat in the reverse direction.
Knee Hugs to Lunge:
Stand upright and raise your right knee to your chest and pull it toward you. Release your leg back down then bring your left knee and pull it into your chest. Repeat for 10-12 reps.
Beginner Resistance Band Workouts:
These are all fairly basic moves to help get you acquainted with using resistance bands. Start with the lightest band, but if you find this is too easy, move up to the next level of tension.
Loop a resistance band under your feet and hold one end in each hand. Raise your arms straight in front of you until they’re parallel to the floor at about shoulder height.
Pause briefly, then lower back down. Repeat for three sets of 10-12 reps.
This resistance band exercise can be done either on a bench or lying on the ground. Place a resistance band underneath your shoulders or looped under the legs of a bench.
The band should be taut. Hold both handles and extend both of your arms up until they're straight. Then lower back to starting position. Complete three sets of 8-10 reps.
Standing Bicep Curls:
Loop the resistance bands under your feet while holding a handle in each hand. Curl the bands up while keeping your elbows close to your sides.
Pause at the top then slowly lower back down. Complete three sets of 10-12 reps.
Side Step with Squat:
You will need a looped resistance band for this exercise. Loop a resistance band around your thighs just above your knees with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Step to the right with your right foot while you simultaneously come down into a squat position. Pause then stand back up.
Then perform the same movement to the left side. Continue alternating sides until you have completed 6-8 reps to each side. Complete three sets total.
Standing Bent Over Rows:
Stand with both feet on a resistance band, about hip-width apart. Hold one end in each hand.
Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back flat, arms straight, and hands under your shoulders.
Bend your elbows to pull the band toward your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
Then straighten your arms and lower back down. Complete 8-10 reps for three sets.
Standing Torso Twist:
Loop a resistance band to something sturdy to the side of you. Stand to the right of it, feet shoulder-width apart, and grab onto the free end of the band with both hands.
Hold it in front of your body. Pull the band across your body to your right. Twist your torso as you pull. Then slowly bring the band back to the starting position.
Perform 8-10 reps to the right, then switch sides and repeat. Complete three sets total.
Intermediate Resistance Band Workouts:
Loop a resistance band under your feet standing shoulder-width apart. Grip each handle with your arms down at your sides and palms facing in.
Raise your arms straight out to the sides to shoulder level. Slowly lower back down. Go for three sets of 8–10 reps.
Resistance Band Chest Fly:
Loop a resistance band with handles onto something secure behind you. This could be a sturdy hook on a wall or a squat rack at the gym.
Grab onto each handle and hold your arms straight out to the sides with your palms facing forward. Stand far enough forward that there's tension in the band.
Then slowly pull the band to bring the handles in front of your body. Try to keep your arms straight with just a slight bend in the elbows.
Then, slowly return your arms back out to the sides. Perform three sets of 8-10 reps.
Incline Bicep Curls:
Loop a resistance band under a bench set at a 45° angle. Lay back on the bench and grasp a handle in each hand.
Keeping your upper arms still, bend at the elbow to bring the bands up to your shoulders. Pause, then lower the bands back down. Aim for three sets of 8-10 reps.
Squat to Shoulder Press:
Stand on a resistance band with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a handle in each hand at shoulder height with your palms facing away from you.
Move your body down into a squat while keeping the handles at your shoulders.
As you stand back up from the squat, extend your arms to push the handles up into the air above your shoulders. Extend your legs at the same rate you extend your arms.
Lower your arms back down to your shoulders. Repeat 8-10 reps for three sets total.
Supermans with Band Pulls:
Lay on your stomach with your arms extended straight in front of you while holding a resistance band stretched between both hands.
Squeeze your glutes and lower back to raise your arms and chest off the floor.
Mimic a pullup motion by squeezing your shoulder blades together to pull the resistance band back over your head.
Extend your arms out again to complete one rep. Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
Kneeling Wood Choppers:
Anchor a resistance band to a sturdy support. Kneel down with your right side toward the support. Grab the end of the band with your arms stretched out overhead.
Pull the band down and across your body to the front of your knees while rotating your right hip. Slowly return to the starting position.
Repeat for 8–10 reps on each side for three sets.
Advanced Resistance Band Workouts:
Push Up to Front Arm Raise:
Loop a resistance band around the soles of your feet and hold the handles in each hand while in a push up position. Bend your elbows to lower down into a push up.
Push your arms back up, and at the top of the push up raise your right arm until it is parallel to the floor.
You will have to slightly shift your weight to the left, however try to keep your back as straight as possible.
Lower your arm back down to the floor and perform another push up. Once at the top then raise your left arm into the air and lower back down.
Continue the push-ups and alternating arm raises until you complete 5-6 on each side.
Curl to Reverse Lunge to Row:
Stand on top of a resistance band while grasping the handles in front of you with palms facing up. Curl the bands up to your shoulders.
Lower the bands down, then step back with your left foot into a lunge. Stand back up on top of the resistance band.
Then hinge forward at your hips and bend your elbows to pull the band toward your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
Then straighten your arms and lower back down. Repeat the curl, lunge, row for 6-8 reps with the left leg.
Then repeat lunging back with the right leg for 6-8 reps. Perform three sets total.
Walking Squats With Resistance Bands:
Start in a squat position with a looped resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees. If you have to come up slightly to a half squat that is fine too.
Step diagonally and to the right with your right leg while remaining in the squat position.
Bring your left leg next to your right leg, then step diagonally to the left with your left leg.
Take 8–10 steps forward, alternating left and right, then turn around and walk back to where you started. Repeat this for a total of three sets.
Plank Tricep Kickbacks:
Attach a resistance band to a sturdy anchor point at about knee height.
Start in a forearm plank position in front of the anchor, holding the end of the band in your right hand, keeping your elbow high.
Squeeze your tricep to pull the band back, forming a straight line with your arm, like you would do with a dumbbell kickback.
Then bring the band back to the starting position. Repeat 8-10 reps on the right, then switch to the left arm. Aim for three sets.
High to Low Woodchoppers:
Secure a resistance band a few feet above your head. Stand to the right of the band.
With your feet hip-width apart, rotate your torso slightly to the left and grab the handles with both hands so that your arms are straight and above your left shoulder.
Pull the handles across your body to the outside of your right knee. Pause, then slowly return to start. Do 12 to 15 total reps, then switch sides and repeat. Aim for three sets.
Get Started Today
There are so many options to help you achieve high levels of fitness.
Resistance bands are one of the many tools that can be used to help you tone your muscles and increase lean body mass.
And… since resistance bands can be used practically anywhere, there is never an excuse to miss a workout!
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If you’re looking for some great dumbbell workouts in addition to the resistance band moves above, the FF30X is also an excellent fitness program to keep you motivated in your quest for continued health.
Not only will you get planned workouts and dietary advice, but you will be part of a community of other men with similar health aspirations.
This will continue to keep you focused and accountable to your goals.
So get started today with the Fit Father Project and the resistance band workouts above, and get that body you have always dreamed of!
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1) Aboodarda, S. J., Hamid, M. S. A., Che Muhamed, A. M., Ibrahim, F., & Thompson, M. (2013). Resultant muscle torque and electromyographic activity during high intensity elastic resistance and free weight exercises. European Journal of Sport Science, 13(2), 155-163.
2) Calatayud, J., Borreani, S., Colado, J. C., Martin, F., Tella, V., & Andersen, L. L. (2015). Bench press and push-up at comparable levels of muscle activity results in similar strength gains. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 29(1), 246-253.
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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on resistance band workouts for men.