With so many resistance band exercises to choose from, it’s tough to decide which ones are worth your time. You have to decide if you want an even split between upper body, lower body, and core exercises, or if you’d rather place more emphasis on one area.
Once you figure that out, you have to actually pick the exercises. Then you have to hope you like them, and we all know that some exercises are hard to like. The whole process is a pain, but it doesn’t have to be.
There’s a simple solution: add a few full body resistance band exercises to your program. Well, it’s a stretch to say that it’ll solve all of your problems, but there’s some truth to it. They’re great for adding variety – and difficulty – to your resistance band training.
Benefits of Full Body Exercises
Full body exercises carry a few convenient benefits, with the largest being their ability to hit multiple muscle groups – from all over your body – in one go. That’s a big plus, especially for the time-pressed parents and professionals, and it’s nice to know that what you’re doing isn’t just beneficial to a single area of your body.
Many full body moves are combination exercises, meaning they’re created by fusing together two or more exercises. This usually increases the duration of the exercise, which keeps your heart rate up for longer. It’s not important for everyone, but it’s good for individuals with fat loss goals.
And, if that’s not enough to win you over, full body exercises tend to be more entertaining. It’s a subjective point, but it’s hard to argue that there’s more to think about during full body movements.
5 Awesome Full Body Resistance Band Exercises
There are plenty of workouts with resistance bands out there, so I won’t shove another in your face. Instead, I’ll share five full body exercises that you need to add to your resistance band training right away.
The squat to press hits your upper and lower body in one motion. The squat works your quads, glutes, and hamstrings, while the press targets your shoulders and triceps. It’s tough enough at a normal tempo, but you can speed it up to make your heart pound even harder.
Stand on one end of the band, with feet shoulder-width apart, and grab the other end with both arms. Pull your arms up so they’re right in front of your shoulders and face your palms forward. Do a squat by pushing your butt back and bending your knees. Drop down as far as you can, then come back up. As you stand up, press both hands straight up into the air until your arms are straight. Finish the movement by lowering your hands back to your shoulders.
This isn’t an exercise you’ll see the average gym goer doing, but it’s one that they should be doing. It’s mostly a core exercise that trains your ability to resist rotation, but the press and squat force your upper and lower body to contribute stability every single second.
Anchor the band to a stable object that’s about waist height, then grab the other end with both hands. Turn so that you’re facing away from the anchor, then step away until there’s plenty of tension on the band. Set your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands right in front of your chest. From here, push your hands straight out in front of you, pause for a second, then pull them back. Now, push your hips back and bend your knees to squat towards the ground, then stand back up.
You’re going to hurt after finishing this one, but it should be the good kind of pain. Monster walks smash your glutes, while front raises work the muscles of shoulders. Instead of doing each exercise on its own, combine them together to create a more effective movement.
Step on one end of the band with both feet, then grab the other end with both hands and set your hands in front of your waist. Settle into a strong posture with a neutral spine, then take a big step forward with one foot, and then the other. Now it’s time to shift into the front raise. With arms straight, pull the band up until it’s in line with your eyes. You might feel the band trying to pull you down, but resist it by squeezing your glutes and tightening your abs. Finish off the motion by lowering your hands back to your waist.
X Band Pushup
All this exercise does is add extra tension to a bodyweight exercise that you might already be familiar with: the pushup. The band will try to pull your arms and legs together, and it’ll try to “crunch” your core. Your entire body has to turn on to keep this from happening.
Step on one end of the band with both feet, then grab the other end with both hands. Give the band a single twist – so it looks like a figure-8 – then slowly drop into a pushup position. Make sure the band is secured behind your toes and under your hands. Now, bend your arms and lower your chest to the floor, then press back up. Make sure to actively fight the pull of the band by squeezing your glutes and driving your hands and feet into the floor.
Squat Jump to Alternating Row
I’m cheating a little on this one since the squat jump doesn’t require the band, but just roll with it. I like it because the band provides extra stability during the jump and the transition between the two movements is almost seamless.
Start by attaching one end of the band to a stable anchor point, then grab the other end with both hands. Let your arms hang straight out in front of you then take a few steps back until the band tension feels good. Now, push your butt back and bend your knees to squat down as far as you can. As you come up from the squat, spring off your toes and into the air. Land softly, then immediately pull your hands in a straight line to your chest. Extend them back to the start to complete the rep.