5 Strength Training Moves to Do with a Resistance Band

Reverse muscle loss, boost your metabolism, and decrease belly fat with these exercises

January 11, 2018
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Seated resistance band row workout
Mitch Mandel

Adapted from Women’s Health Take It Off! Keep It Off! 

Strength training has numerous benefits, such as reversing the muscle loss that happens as you age, boosting your metabolism, and decreasing belly fat. These exercises call for continuous-loop resistance bands. A resistance band should be heavy enough to challenge your body, but not so heavy that it causes sharp pain or excessive soreness for more than 3 days. You will find that bands come in multiple levels of resistance; the wider and heavier the band, the more resistance. (We like these bands from Fit Simplify, available on Amazon.)

More: I Did 10 Minutes of Strength Training Every Day for a Month—Here’s What Happened

Play around with the bands until you figure out which one gives you the right amount of resistance for each move. For example, you’ll want a lighter band for moves like overhead presses and a heavier one for things like deadlifts. As you get stronger, upgrade to a heavier band.

I recommend doing these moves 2 or 3 times a week for 30 minutes at a time, especially for beginners.

Resistance band split squat workout
Mitch Mandel
1
Resistance Band Split Squat

Sets: 2 to 3

Reps: 8 to 12 (each leg)

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Loop one side of a resistance band under your right foot and rest the other side across your shoulders. The band should sit on your shoulders. Cross your arms and raise them so they are parallel to the floor to hold the band in place. Step back with your left foot so just your toes are touching the floor. Keeping your torso straight, bend your right knee to lower your body toward the floor until your left knee is parallel with the floor, keeping your knee behind your toes. Pause, and then squeeze your glutes and push back up to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. Do 8 to 12 reps and then switch legs.

Seated resistance band row workout
Mitch Mandel
2
Seated Resistance Band Row

Sets: 2 to 3

Reps: 10 to 12

Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Hook the resistance band around your feet. To make it even harder, hook both sides of the resistance band behind the soles of your feet, and grab an end with each hand. Keeping your chest high and abs tight, pull the band toward your belly, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Release the tension on the band, straightening your arms, and return the band to the starting position.

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We hope you enjoy the products we're recommending as much as we do! Just so you know, Rodale Wellness may get a share of sales from the links on this page.
 
Resistance band overhead press workout
Mitch Mandel
3
Resistance Band Overhead Press

Sets: 2 to 3

Reps: 10 to 12

Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, core tight, and knees slightly bent. Loop a resistance band under your feet, and hold the other end in front of your shoulders, palms facing out. Push the band straight overhead. Your arms should be completely straight and the band should be directly above your shoulders. Pause, and then slowly lower the band back to the starting position.

Resistance band upright row side step
Mitch Mandel
4
Resistance Band Upright Row With Side Step

Sets: 2 to 3

Reps: 10 to 12 (each leg)

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Loop a resistance band under your feet, and grab the other end of the band with each hand. Your arms will be hanging straight down in front of your body as you hold the band. In one movement, pull the band up to your chest, driving your elbows to the ceiling, and at the same time, step your right foot out to the side, keeping your core engaged. Pause, and then lower the band and step your foot back to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.

Resistance band deadlift workout
Mitch Mandel
5
Resistance Band Deadlift

Sets: 2 to 3

Reps: 10 to 12

These deadlifts are much more “back friendly” than those that use barbells. Using a band will help you keep your core tight and your glutes engaged, preventing injury. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and push your hips back to squat down. Loop a band around each foot so you are stepping on one side of the band and the other side is lying across the laces of your sneakers. Grab the middle of the band with your hands. To make it harder, grab both sides of the band. Hands should be about shoulder width apart, with palms facing you. Keeping your arms tight to your sides (this is very important!), hold on to the band tightly as you stand back up, pushing through with your glutes and keeping your abs tight. Get back down into a squat and repeat.

Find more strength-training workouts in Women’s Health Take It Off! Keep It Off!