The Ultimate Resistance Band Workouts For Muscle Gain

Resistance Band Workouts For Muscle Gain

Do you want to build muscle? I’ve tailored for you four super-effective resistance band workouts for muscle gain – perfectly suited beginners as well as experienced gym-goers.

If you are serious about reaching your fitness goals, these are the programs you should be using.

Before you read on, be sure to bookmark the page for future reference. Have fun!

A Brief Introduction For These Workouts

Before we dive into the actual workouts, we’d first like to share a few ideas and justify some of our choices. First, we have exercise selection. As you’ll see in a moment, these workouts also include some bodyweight exercises because they are useful and quite effective (1). There is no reason only to limit yourself to resistance band exercises.

Second, we’ve designed the first three workouts to complement each other, which means you can do all three each week and train your body thoroughly.

Third, we realize that no single workout will work great for everyone. For instance, a beginner might need to tone the volume down a bit, where a more advanced lifter might look for ways to make these workouts a bit more challenging. In their current form, these workouts are great for the average trainee. But it’s up to you to mold them to your taste, fitness level, and preferences (2).

With these things out of the way, let’s dive into the four workouts.

The Ultimate Resistance Band Workouts For Muscle Gain

Upper (Back and Biceps) Resistance Band Workout

  • [1] Chin-ups – 3 sets
  • Band pulldowns – 3 sets
  • Horizontal band rows – 3 sets
  • Band pullovers – 2-3 sets
  • Band face pulls – 2-3 sets
  • Standing band bicep curls – 2-3 sets
[1] If you don’t have access to a pull-up bar, you can swap this for inverted rows, which you can do underneath a table or desk.

You’ve also probably noticed that we haven’t given repetition recommendations for any of the exercises. This is because we can’t predict your fitness level and what kinds of bands you have access to. So, we leave this up to you to figure out. In any case, do as many repetitions as you can, making sure never to leave more than one or two in the tank.

Upper (Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders) Resistance Band Workout

  • [1] Push-ups – 3 sets
  • Standing band overhead press – 3 sets
  • Overhead band tricep extension – 3 sets
  • Band chest fly – 3 sets
  • Band lateral raises – 2-3 sets
[1] If these are too easy, you can do decline, banded, or plyometric push-ups.

Lower (Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes, and Calves) Resistance Band Workout

  • [1] Assisted pistol squats – 3 sets
  • Band Romanian deadlift – 3 sets
  • Unilateral bodyweight glute bridge – 3 sets
  • [2] Band hamstring curl – 3 sets
  • Bulgarian split squats – 2-3 sets
  • [3] Standing unilateral calf raises – 3-4 sets
[1] We recommend this squat variation because the bodyweight version will be decently challenging for most trainees. If it’s too difficult, you can do Bulgarian split squats or banded front squats instead.

[2] At first, Romanian deadlifts alone might be enough for hamstring growth. But, if you feel like you’re not training the backside of your thighs enough, you should add the hamstring curl as an accessory.

[3] This exercise is a bit tricky to pull off, but it isolates your calves amazingly well once you learn it. If you have some steps at home, you can hold onto something for balance and do this exercise there. For an extra challenge, you can hold a weight in your free hand. A weight plate or dumbbell will do great.

Full-Body Circuit Resistance Band Workout For Muscle Growth

Unlike the previous three workouts, this one is a bit different because:

  1. We won’t use straight sets. Instead, we’ll do all of the exercises in a circuit fashion.
  2. We won’t rest as long between exercises. Here, the goal is metabolic conditioning, which means we rest less, do more repetitions, and finish quicker.

The goal here is to train your whole body, which means you can use this workout as a stand-alone tactic. You can do it two to three times per week or combine it with the above workouts and do it only once. 

  • Overhead band shoulder press
  • Banded squats
  • Horizontal band rows
  • Banded push-ups
  • Band chest flyes
  • Band bicep curls
  • Band overhead tricep extensions
  • Band Romanian deadlift
  • Band lateral raises

Do as many repetitions as you can on each exercise, rest for up to 20 seconds, and move to the next. Once you finish them all, take up to two minutes to catch your breath and do another round. You can begin with a single round and steadily work up to three, even four.

Final Words

Resistance bands came seemingly out of nowhere and took the fitness world by storm. While appearing like a gimmick, bands have proven themselves to be valuable and effective for our training.

Thanks to bands, we no longer have to go to a gym for our workouts. We can now buy a few pairs and recreate many proven gym exercises at home, in hotel rooms, and outdoors.

Plus, thanks to their incredible versatility, bands are great for everyone. We can pick from different tension levels and adjust the difficulty as we see fit. For example, take a lighter band for lateral raises, but pick a tough one for banded squats. 

And finally, as you saw, we can put together numerous fantastic resistance band workouts. The above four are just a taste of what it’s possible to put together with a bit of creativity.

Want to read more about smart and effective workouts? Check out my at-home strength-training archive – LOADED with stuff written by fitness enthusiasts like you!

Other Helpful Resources

References

  1. Krause M, Crognale D, Cogan K, Contarelli S, Egan B, Newsholme P, De Vito G. The effects of a combined bodyweight-based and elastic bands resistance training, with or without protein supplementation, on muscle mass, signaling and heat shock response in healthy older people. Exp Gerontol. 2019 Jan;115:104-113. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2018.12.004. Epub 2018 Dec 5. PMID: 30529477.
  2. Karavirta L, Häkkinen K, Kauhanen A, Arija-Blázquez A, Sillanpää E, Rinkinen N, Häkkinen A. Individual responses to combined endurance and strength training in older adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Mar;43(3):484-90. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181f1bf0d. PMID: 20689460.