Rubber bands (also called resistance bands) can make for a great training session. They’re light, portable, and virtually perfect for working out while on the road. However, a rubber band workout takes a little more thought than your typical gym routine. That’s okay though – with proper planning, a rubber band workout can give you everything you need.
A Few Notes on Resistance Bands
There are a few types of resistance bands on the market. Some simply look like very large rubber bands. Others are a single band with a handle attached to either end. Others still are specific for making pushups more difficult or strapping to yourself before doing plyometric jumps.
This article will discuss the type that look like giant rubber bands as they tend to be the most versatile. You can use the entire band or just one side of it. You can grab it on either “end” or just use a section in the middle. You can even cinch one side around an object.
It’s worth noting that rubber bands are like dumbbells in that if you only have one set, you have to design your workout knowing that you only have that resistance available to you. However, also keep in mind that the longer the band stretches, the more resistance it provides.
So you could loop the same band under your foot and the resistance it provides to you as you curl won’t be as much as it provides as you press it overhead. This is because pressing it overhead stretches the band further. It’s just something to think about when either purchasing resistance cables or thinking about how what you already have will work for a rubber band workout. Ideally you should have a variety of rubber bands with different resistance levels.
A Full Body Rubber Band Workout
Below is a full body rubber band workout you could do. Perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps with 45-60 seconds rest between sets, then move onto the next exercise. If you want to add a cardio element to the program, perform a set of every movement in a row, creating a giant circuit. Rest only 10-20 seconds between sets, and 90-120 seconds between rounds. This workout could be done every other day or so.
**To perform the thruster, grab a band in each hand and step on the other end. Holding your hands at your shoulders, squat down into a full front squat. As you come back to the standing position, press your hands fully overhead.
**Pull aparts are performed by holding your arms out in front of you at arms’ length. Hold one band in both hands so that it’s not quite taut. Keeping your arms as straight as possible, extend them outwards so that they end up pointing perpendicular with your torso as opposed to in front of you. Squeeze the rear delts and upper back hard before returning to the starting position.
**Curls are simple enough to perform. Just grab a band in each hand, then step on the other end. Make sure there’s a little tension in the band when your hands are at your sides. Then just curl the bands like you were doing dumbbell curls.
**To do resisted pushups, get into a pushup position with a single band looped behind your back and your hands through it. As you’re doing pushups, you’re not only pushing your torso off the floor, you’re also extending the band.
**For seated rows, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and toes pointed upward. Grab each end of your band with it looped around the bottom of your feet. Now simulate performing low cable rows.
**Front squats are done the same as thrusters, only without pressing your hands overhead. These are added as additional leg work since most of the other exercises focus on the upper body and the resistance of the band likely won’t be as strong. Extra volume will help work the legs more adequately.
You can get a lot done in with the right rubber band workout. It’s quick, simple, and can be done almost anywhere. If you really want to dive into resistance band exercises, there are actually various setups and equipment you can use. However, an old school rubber band is really all you need. Do a few sets of big exercises to hit the whole body and you’ll be good to go.