How to Use Exercise Bands

Page content

Getting Started

The first step in learning how to use exercise bands effectively is to actually purchase the necessary equipment. A number of exercise bands–some with handles and others without–are available are websites such as Amazon. Some even come packaged with videos that show you how to do a wide range of workouts. For example, its possible to do chair and floor Pilates exercises using the bands without handles. If you opt to purchase bands with handles, you might want to grab a toning video such as from the “10 Minute Solution” series.

No matter what type of exercise bands you choose–the basic without handles or the more advanced with handles and varying degrees of resistance–you need to be sure to exercise properly. A video is a wonderful way to learn exercises quickly. But some people don’t like videos or would rather not invest extra money. There are some workout options that don’t require you to follow along with even an on-screen exercise instructor.

Toning Those Arms

Toning those arms, especially the upper portion, may be a major goal for your new exercise band regimen. Fortunately, you can do many classic moves using exercise bands to add strength training and therefore arm toning.

Try a speed curl, which helps tone the biceps. Stand with your feet apart with the exercise band under both feet. If you got the band with the handles, hold one handle in each hand. If you opted for the one without handles, scrunch up each end gently in a hand.

Bend your elbows, gently pulling your hands toward your shoulders. If you can, do this about 25 times. Rest for 30 seconds, then do more repetitions depending on your fitness level.

Don’t rush and if it’s too hard to do with the band, then don’t use it. Build up your range of motion and strength then return to using an exercise band for the movement.

On the other hand, if its too easy you can increase resistance for arm exercises like speed curls without buying a new band. Stand with your feet farther apart. This shortens the band, effectively increasing resistance.

Push Ups

Push ups usually aren’t fun, but when learning how to use an exercise band you can add a new variation to this classic. Remember that push ups tone several parts of the body, especially your abs, back, chest and arms.

Hang the band across your upper back, then lie facedown in a kneeling push up position. Push up and down, contracting your abdominals as you do this movement.

If you’re not challenged enough, do the full push up which starts with your legs fully extended onto the ground without any kneeling. Move up and down, band draped across your upper back, just like you were doing a full traditional push up sans band.

Don’t stop here though, check out some additional [exercises you can do with bands](/tools/routines you can do with exercise bands). 


“ACE: Whole-Body Exercise Band Workout.”

“Quick Workouts: Portable Workouts With Exercise Bands.”

“Workout Tips: Exercise Bands.”