As we enter this new year together, we have all been presented with a new opportunity to tackle any goal that we were unable to accomplish in the previous year. One of the most common goals that many people have every year is to lose weight and possibly gain some muscle definition. After a season of way too many cookies, candies, holiday parties and general indulgence, it’s only natural that a vow to lose weight and get fit should follow. That said, due to excuses such as lack of time, space and money, this resolution is more often than not postponed over and over again till it ends up being abandoned all together. In a bid to help you follow through with your weight loss resolution for this new year, we shall be tackling full body resistance band workouts. The popularity of resistance bands as a workout tool has steadily increased due to the convenience they offer their users. Read on to find out the best full body resistance band workouts for muscle building and weight loss.
5 Full Body Resistance Band Workouts To Try Today
The following workouts are great for anyone looking to keep fit, lose some extra weight, or even build some muscle:
Lunge With Kickback
This is a fantastic workout that targets the muscles in your glutes, quads, hip flexors, hamstrings, abs, and calves.
- Start with your feet hip-width apart, take a step to the front with your one leg, and drop into a lunge. If you can, make sure your knee touches the ground/exercise mat.
- As you come back up, kick the leg that was kneeling back and squeeze your glutes.
- Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
- Keep alternating legs until the set is complete
Do 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps per legs
Banded Squats With Punches
Squats work your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, adductor (the groin area), hip flexors, calves, and your core. Punches are a full body workout by themselves as they target the muscles in your obliques, upper back (traps), chest, shoulder, triceps, bicep, forearm, wrist, legs, glutes, hips and your core.
- Stand with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart with a resistance loop band placed just above your knees. Make sure that your toes are pointed slightly outward with your hands held up in fists at chest level.
- Slowly push your hips back into a sitting position while bending your knees.
- Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. At this point your knees should be at a 90-degree angle.
- Hold this position for 2 to3 seconds, then slowly lift back up into the starting position
- Squeeze your glutes and punch the air with your hands.
- Do this 8 times per set – 3 sets for this workout.
Banded Bicycle Crunches
Bicycle crunches are well known as one the the best core exercises today (1) especially for anyone with a fupa. These, however, are not the only muscles they target. This exercise also works your hips.
- Sit on your exercise mat and loop a resistance band around your feet.
- Extend your legs, lift your upper back, and perch on your butt
- Place your hands behind your head, rotate your torso clockwise and pull your right knee back, then reverse and switch sides for one rep.
- Do 4 sets of 8 reps each
Standard Banded Push Ups
Contrary to popular belief, pushups don’t only work the muscles in your arms and shoulders. In fact this common workout is a full body workout in itself. Push ups target the muscles in your core (abs), shoulders, biceps, glutes, triceps, legs, and your back – especially the upper and middle back.
- Hold the band in both hands in front you- you will need the longer bands for this.
- Bring the band overhead and behind you so that it runs across your back just below your shoulders
- Hold the resistance loop in your palm, and trap it in your hand with your thumb – the band should run in the space between your thumb and forefinger.
- Get into a push up position and remember to keep your elbows bent.
- Make sure the band is tense across the shoulders and proceed to do your push up.
If standard push ups are too advanced for you, try the simple knee push-up variation.
Banded Plank Walks
A great full body exercise that highly targets your core and the muscles in your arms. You will need two bands for this exercise.
- Place one band around your ankles and another around your wrists.
- Get into a high plank position. Make sure your body is in a straight line – do not sag your mid-section, tilt your head up, or point your butt up.
- ‘Step out’ with your right arm and right leg and follow with your left arm and leg.
- Repeat this movement on your left side too. This make one rep.
- Do a total of ten reps.
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How Often Should You Do Full Body Workouts As A Beginner?
The question of ‘how many full body workouts per week’ is one that many beginners often ask themselves. After all, the more you workout the higher your chances of achieving your goals, right? Wrong.
When it comes to working out, more is not always better. While doing full body workouts 5 or even 7 days a week is totally doable, we suggest reducing this number to either 2 or 3 non-consecutive full body workouts per week.
The main reason behind this is that your body and muscles need rest. According to a study published by the Journal of Applied Physiology, lack of rest in between workouts can lead to exercise induced muscle damage which often occurs between 24 and 48 hours after a workout session.
This condition is said to be characterized by symptoms such as loss of muscle strength and power, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), swelling, reduced range of motion of the affected limbs and much more (3).
As if exercise induced muscle damage from exercising too much wasn’t bad enough, you may also suffer from overtraining. The overtraining syndrome has been known to cause problems such as plateaued progress, a lack of appetite, insomnia and moodiness, lowered immunity, chronic fatigue and even depression.
How To Recover From Full Body Workouts?
As stated above, rest is very important when doing full body resistance band workouts – or any other workouts for that matter. We have two types of rest/recovery days: passive and active recovery.
Passive recovery or a passive rest day involves taking the entire day off from any kind of exercise. Things to do on passive rest days include napping, meditating, going for a professional massage, eating (do not turn to unhealthy foods or overindulge), and catching up on your favourite TV shows and movies.
On the other hand, on active recovery days, you engage in some low intensity exercises. These exercises place very minimal stress on the body and help with blood circulation. Examples include a self massage with a foam roller, yoga, swimming, and Tai Chi.
How To Structure Full Body Workouts For Maximum Results?
If you are looking to create your own personalized resistance loop and workout full body routine, then you must make sure to use the following tips to ensure that you are not only saving on time but also getting the maximum results from your program of choice.
- Choose the days you’d like to workout – As mentioned above, full body workouts should be done either twice or thrice a week with a day or two of recovery between each day. For a 3-day routine, you can do it either Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
- Incorporate warmups and cool downs in your routine – One of the most common mistakes many beginners do is jumping straight into a workout without first warming up and not doing some cooling down exercises after the main workout session is done. Remember that even a simple resistance band full body workout 30 mins program requires both a warm-up and cool down portion.
According to the Mayo Clinic, failure to do this leaves you more susceptible to injury and reduces your athletic performance. Harvard Health Publishing, suggests that your warm-up and cool down should each be at least five to 10 minutes long (2).
- Start with the hardest workouts – They require the most time and are quite tiring so it’s best to get them out of the way first before you are too tired and winded to do them.
- Always rest in between your sets – This gives your muscles enough time to fully recoup their strength so you can give your maximum effort each set. This rest time can be as little as 15 to 30 seconds (especially if you are doing a HIIT full body workout) or as long as a minute or 5 minutes.
- Choose compound exercises over isolation workouts – Compound exercises are those workouts that involve one, two, or more joints and train more than one muscle group. Unlike isolation exercises, compound workouts use more energy, thus burn more calories, help build muscle faster, help you lift heavier in a short time, and are fantastic for your joints.
- Create several programs and use them on rotation – Making just one resistance band workout full body woman/man program is already hard enough, so why bother making more? Having more than one routine to follow prevents the boredom and plateaus caused by being used to doing the same thing over and over again.
Please note that you do not have to make up all these different routines in one go. Start with one and as you learn more about your body and all the different exercises that can be done with a resistance band you can make other routines.
The Bottom Line: Are Full Body Resistance Band Workouts Worth It?
Yes, they are. These exercises are a good option for anyone who wants to workout but does not have the time or money to afford and go to the gym. These bands are also less expensive and much lighter and more compact than any other gym equipment which makes them easy to store, carry and take them wherever you want. Finally they offer resistance to normal workouts which makes them perfect for weight loss and muscle building.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)-sponsored Study Reveals Best and Worst Abdominal Exercises (2001, acefitness.org)
- Exercise 101: Don’t skip the warm-up or cool-down (2020, health.harvard.edu)
- Muscle damage and inflammation during recovery from exercise (2017, journals.physiology.org)