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Do Exercise Bands Work? Surprisingly Well

I used to ask myself the same question. Do exercise bands work or not? I never actually bought a set until 2020. However, prior to purchasing them, I’d heard a lot of great things about them, especially because I’ve completed various workouts in the Beachbody home exercise program.

I’ve done the P90X & P90X3 home workouts multiple times, and they make it clear that if you don’t have weights, you can easily adjust every workout in the programs by simply using bands.

I bought my own first set of exercise bands in the midst of COVID-19 right as I made a decision to start a home bodyweight workout program. This program by the way has completely changed the way I think about nutrition and exercise. It’s the first time I’ve truly noticed my body begin to transform in ways I haven’t seen since college, and all I did was alter my nutrition, and start a simple workout 3 days a week. What’s crazy is it’s the SIMPLEST system I’ve ever followed.

Anyway, even though the workout is a bodyweight workout, there are a few exercises that allow me to choose between doing close grip chin-ups, using bands, or using dumbbells. Since I already have adjustable dumbbells at home, I decided to go with those most of the time.

BUT, I travel to my family’s beach house during the summer fairly often, and I don’t have dumbbells there. So, I decided to take my new bands with me. It turns out, there are a few other exercises that bands were helpful for. I use them every week for my Y-raise workouts, which are specifically meant to target your traps.

Well, let me explain a little as to how I use my bands.


Biceps Workouts

So, when I’m not at home in Chicago near my adjustable dumbbells and decide to spend a few days to my family’s beach house in Michigan, I bring my resistance bands with me.

Each colored band has a different resistance, which has an equivalent to the weights you’d use if you were completing your exercises with free weights. For instance, the yellow band is 10 lbs, blue band is 20 lbs, green is 30 lbs, black is 40 lbs, and red is 50 lbs.

I’ll be honest though. I don’t pay much attention to the numbers or colors when I work my biceps, which maybe is kind of air headed of me. I guess I’ve just grown to know how much resistance my arms need, and I personally use the resistance bands in a way where I just know I’m getting a very intense workout.

This leads me to my next point. When I first used the bands to do my biceps workout, I was actually really surprised. I thought to myself, woah, these resistance bands really work! The only thing I had to compare it to was the feeling of soreness I get after a workout using dumbbells. And it’s very comparable.

Now, the way I work my biceps with the bands is I literally grab a few bands and use both my feet to stand on them. I spread my feet apart if I want more resistance when doing my curls. If this doesn’t make sense to you, it’s okay. There are tons of videos online and bands come with a workout guide, but honestly, you’ll find better tutorials online.

The bottom line is, they do absolutely work for biceps workouts, and I’d almost say that you can get just about the same workout doing biceps curls with bands as you can with dumbbells. But it does kind of mess with your head, cause you think to yourself, wait a second…these are rubber bands…but don’t let that fool you. They work.


Traps Workout (Y-Raise)

Another workout I do once a week, is specifically for my traps and this workout uses bands exclusively. I use the door anchor to set up the bands.

Then I allow my body to hang back on a slight angle while keeping my arms pretty straight. Then I lift my body into a Y position. This workout is meant to develop your traps and rear delts.


Other Effective Band Workouts

There are so many exercises you can do with bands, it’ll make your head spin. You could literally set up an entire workout routine using nothing but bands.

Just a few of the other workouts you can do include leg lifts, wall lateral pull downs, triceps extensions, shoulder external rotations, leg curls, glute bridges, kneeling crunches, reverse crunches, Russian twists, bent over rows, seated rows, push-ups, incline chest presses, standing chest presses, overhead press, upright rows, bent over delt flies, and so many others.

I’ve personally used them for three different workouts. The two I’ve already mentioned above, and also shoulder flies which I didn’t mention cause I’m not doing that specific workout anymore, but the bands definitely provided an amazing resistance when I was doing them and they were very comparable to doing the same workout with dumbbells.


Features Of Exercise Bands

In case this is important to you, I just figured I’d explain the different pieces that come with most resistance bands you can get online. They mostly all come with a door anchor. As I mentioned above, this door anchor is essential for me to complete my Y-Raise Traps workout.

They come with handles that you attach to the bands. These are necessary so that you can actually grip onto them when doing workouts like biceps curls or triceps workouts. Most of these come with a portable bag that you can throw all the bands into. This makes them very easy to pack away if you’re going on a trip somewhere.

Most exercise bands come with legs/ankle straps so that you can complete various leg workouts as well.


YES – Exercise Bands Work

Do exercise bands work? Yes, they work fantastically well. For the few exercises I use them for regularly, they’re fantastic. I also love the fact that they’re so easy to pack away when I head out to my family’s beach house. I haven’t yet taken them on an actual legit vacation somewhere but I definitely would.  They fit perfectly with my nutrition and workout routine.

The only thing you need to know when making the purchase of exercise bands is HOW to actually use them. But there’s so much information online, and plenty of YouTube tutorials, that I don’t think you’ll have any issues learning to use them.

I hope this article was helpful. Have you used exercise bands yourself? I’d love to know your experience with them. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below and I’ll make sure to get back to you. Thanks so much for reading!

2 thoughts on “Do Exercise Bands Work? Surprisingly Well”

  1. really nice article ….having a fit body is really important, and having read this article is really nice which explains how simplified a work out can be through alteration of nutrition and simple bands, just learnt a couple of minutes ago bands can be used in different ways .i think this is pretty cool and useful information.

    1. Thanks for the comment – yeah they are very useful and I haven’t even begun to use them at their full capacity.  I’m sure I could set up an entire workout routine that goes along with bands.  But yes, i’m sure just a combination of good nutrition and the right workouts with bands can yield great results.

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