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Hello, welcome to my article about my opinion of the best resistance band tube exercises. These exercises guarantee the best outcome by developing a lean, toned, and vigorous physique. There are a lot of techniques I’m going to demonstrate in this article, and they’re the best in my opinion. It took me a while to research what the best resistance band tube exercises were. Researching over the internet about techniques taken from dumbbell and cable machine workouts was an eye-opener. I realized that resistance tubes have a lot more to offer because of their versatility for a home workout. To my surprise, exercises you can do with a dumbbell or cable machine can be done with resistance band tube handles. I’ll even go as far as to say resistance bands are better than handheld weights or cable machines.
The reason I think resistance bands are better than handheld weights or cable machines is portability, lightweight, affordability, and versatility. Resistance bands are easily portable when traveling short or long distances. They are lightweight to carry with a small book bag and the bundle set weighs about 10 pounds. The price range is about $25 to $30. The versatility the resistance bands have to offer is incredible because you can do compound, isolation, and isometrics with them. You can copy exercises from dumbbells and cable machines and integrate them with resistance bands. These are my reasons why resistance bands are better. Let’s get started on exploring the various exercises with this apparatus.
What are resistance band tubes?
The resistance band tubes are made of latex. They have handles attached to them and can provide a wide range of exercises. Exercises like compound include the usage of two joints, which involve multiple muscles. On the other hand, isolation involves the usage of one joint that contracts only one muscle. Another element of using the resistance band tubes is performing isometrics. Isometrics are exercises that incorporate holds towards the end of a concentric or eccentric. Doing isometrics forces the muscles to feel tension until you can no longer hold because the muscles tire out. Much of what we know about this apparatus is the invention during the late 19th century. A man named Gustav Gossweiler invented them in 1895 in Switzerland for rehabilitation and strength training. The following year, the bands made their way to the U.S. After several years, it became marketed as a strength training tool.
In modern times, the tubes have become part of a strength training program for various athletes across different sports. Athletes and strength training coaches recognize the importance of integrating resistance bands because of their advantages over handheld weights. One of those is linear variable resistance. This means as you stretch out the band, it gets harder. An example is doing a bicep curl. When you lift a dumbbell in the beginning, it’s hard, but when you reach the midpoint you are at your strongest. Once you go past the midpoint, you lose that tension when the dumbbell reaches the shoulders. With bands it’s different. When you stretch the band in the beginning, it’s easy. Once you elongate it more, it gets harder when you reach the midpoint and pass it. This allows you to reach full max contraction when your hand reaches the top during a curl.
Another advantage resistance bands have is resistance in multiple planes. Weights rely solely on gravity, which allows only one type of plane and that’s vertical. Resistance bands allow the use of multiple planes from vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. The reason for this is resistance bands don’t rely on gravity. They get their resistance from the material itself. There are resistance bands made from latex and others are made from synthetic rubber. Latex is better because it’s stronger, more natural, and allows the band to stretch further. Get latex resistance bands.
Are resistance band tube exercises effective?
Resistance tubes are excellent for strength training. They’re effective because the latex material gives them resistance based on the thickness of the band. The slimmer the band is according to its diameter, the lighter the stretch will be. If the band is thicker in its diameter, the more difficult the stretch will be. Each elastic band has a different color hue or value according to its thick or light diameter. The most focal part about resistance bands is the body doesn’t know the difference between bodyweight, weightlifting, or resistance bands. The muscles only know tension when it’s under stress when contracting, extending, or holding a contraction. Another benefit of using the resistance tubes is mimicking exercises done on dumbbells or cable machines. With dumbells and cable machines, you’re solely relying on gravity to pull down vertically. With resistance bands, you can stretch the band vertically or horizontally without gravity.
Another way to increase the resistance of the bands is by integrating multiple bands. Let’s say you’re using the heaviest band that has a resistance of 50 pounds, you can add another. That can be 10, 20, 30, or 40 pounds of resistance from a single band to increase the tension. This is how to increase the difficulty of resistance band tube exercises and get the most out of them.
How many resistance band tube exercises are there?
According to my list of exercise selections, there are 29 exercises I found to be very effective. Eleven of those include compound exercises, targeting multiple muscles from the upper to the lower body. Compound exercises target numerous muscles because two joints are moving simultaneously, which allows multiple muscle use. The other 18 include isolation exercises that target one muscle at a time. The reason for this is that one joint is moving, which allows one muscle to contract and extend. Now, there’s a variety of other exercises that can be done, but I narrowed it down to 29 for me. Sometime in the future, I’ll discover other exercises that can be done with resistance bands and I’ll update this article.
When buying resistance band tube handles, you’re going to receive other equipment called a bundle. That bundle includes two ankle straps and a door anchor. The ankle straps are for hip and leg isolation exercises. The door anchor is a strap with two different parts. The first part is an opening gap to insert a resistance band. The second part is a hard ball or dense foam covered with the strap to be placed behind the door. Using both the ankle straps and door anchor allows you to convert your bundle into a complete home gym. What makes the bundle more interesting is you can mimic dumbbell and cable machine exercises. Dumbbell exercises can be copied without ankle straps and a door anchor. Using ankle straps and the door anchor allows you to copy workouts from a cable machine. The bundle is versatile, light, portable, less expensive, and better.
Compound resistance band tube exercises
Compound exercises are great to include multiple muscles at once. The involvement of a compound exercise is two joints moving simultaneously with the inclusion of multiple muscles. Performing a compound exercise can be done in the horizontal, vertical, or diagonal plane with resistance bands. Here are my top 11 resistance band tube exercises.
Chest press crossover
My favorite compound chest exercise with resistance bands is the chest press crossover. Multiple things are happening in this exercise, the flexing of the triceps, anterior deltoids, and pecs. The triceps are involved because the elbows are in a flexed position. As you cross the arms over, you extend the elbows, allowing the triceps to contract. Anterior deltoids flex because the anterior deltoids help adduct the shoulder joints when extending the arms. In the starting position, the pecs are stretched, but when you elongate the arms forward, the pecs contract. The difference between a regular chest press and the crossover is the arm placement when contracting the pecs. The forelimbs go straight out for a chest press, but the crossover has the arms intersecting. Crossing the arms allows the adduction of the shoulder joint to contract the pecs entirely according to the muscle fiber direction.
The pec’s muscle fiber direction starts at the front upper region of the humerus. Then it crosses toward the sternum of the chest. This is why the crossover is much better to flex and grow the pecs. The adduction of the shoulder joints allows a greater contraction for the pecs than a standard straight-arm chest press. You can also do the exercise by placing the door anchor below the door. All you have to do is raise your arms and intersect them when pulling the resistance band.
The exercise is a phenomenal contraction for the brachioradialis of the forearms, biceps, traps, posterior deltoids, and rotator cuffs. The face pull excludes the lats because of the hand and elbow placement during the motion. Three joints contribute during the protraction and retraction of this movement, the shoulder, elbow, and scapula. The way to do this exercise correctly is this. Elevate the arms at face level. Then you simultaneously pull the resistance band by abducting the shoulders, flexing the elbow,s and retracting the scapulas. While the forelimbs pull back, the elbows naturally bend, aligning straight with the shoulder. During the motion, the hands will raise in a protracted grip. Don’t misalign the fist in this imaginary line that aligns with the face. Once you’ve done this, the hands need to slightly pass the head. Doing this will convert the full contraction of the muscles involved.
The only joint moving is the shoulder joint. The scapulas slightly get involved and elbows don’t get involved during this movement. The muscles that are being exercised are the posterior deltoids, teres major, minor, and lats. Teres major, minor, and lats are attached to the posterior upper side of the humerus. The posterior deltoid is attached to the ridge along the scapula and the upper posterior side region of the humerus. This is why both muscles contribute to the movement. Even though I said that one joint compresses one muscle, some single movements involve secondary muscles.
Diagonal pull down
Pulling diagonally down focuses on lat contraction because of the body alignment and the muscle fiber direction. The muscle fiber alignment of the lats starts from the upper back side of the humerus. Then it runs down to the middle and lower spine and posterior pelvic region. To do this exercise correctly, you need to lower your body and kneel. Then you raise the arm and align it in the direction of the lat muscle to fully contract it. The muscles that contribute to this exercise are the brachioradialis, biceps, and lats. To get the most out of this, you slightly lean forward and pivot your spine to stretch out the lats. Then when you pull the resistance band, pivot the spine slightly in the opposite direction. Doing this will engage the lats tremendously by pulling the elbow back past the torso.
The Zeus pull is a tremendous exercise to engage the upper back muscles. I learned this exercise from a Youtube channel called AthleanX by Jeff Caviler. He points out how this workout only works if you keep the hands inward when pulling the elbows. To fully understand how this works, let me explain. First, you have to kneel and lean the torso forward. Raise the arms at a 45-degree angle and pull the arms back by flexing the elbows during the motion. During the pull, keep the hands inward to touch the chest when engaging the upper back. Doing this will ensure the lats won’t take part in the exercise. The elbows need to flare out and go past the torso. Doing it like this will fully engage the traps and rhomboids. Again, muscles activated are the brachioradialis, biceps, posterior deltoids, rhomboids, rotator cuffs, and traps.
The classic horizontal pull incorporates multiple back muscles. It includes the posterior deltoids, traps, rotator cuffs, teres major, and lats. Other muscles include the brachioradialis, biceps, and posterior deltoids as contributors to the exercise. The joints that contribute to the contraction of all these muscles are the shoulders, elbows, and scapula. To perform this exercise correctly, protract the scapula, which will extend out the arms. Then retract the scapula by simultaneously flexing the elbows and extending the shoulder joint. Make sure the elbows are crossing past the rib cage of the torso to engage the lats. Another factor is placing one foot forward and the other back for stabilization. Doing all of this will contribute to performing the classic horizontal pull correctly.
The exercise looks similar to a horizontal abduction of the shoulder joint, but it isn’t. The reason is two joints are involved here; the shoulder and scapula. These joints contribute to exercising the posterior deltoid, rotator cuff, and traps making this a compound exercise. The exercise is great when you use one handle and attach the hooks to it. The resistance band feels denser when pulling.
Strengthening the lower back is necessary to prevent and relieve low back pain by supporting the spine and improving posture. Many people have this issue because the majority are sedentary in their jobs and personal lives. This leads to discomfort in the lower back in the long run. It’s also imperative to strengthen the lower back when performing rigorous exercises. Using a resistance band helps to intensify the workout. Place the elastic band underneath the feet, then flex the hips by flexing the spine slightly forward. Spread the feet apart and grab the handles. Then extend the hips and spine simultaneously raising the arms to contract various muscles. These muscles include the deltoids, upper traps, rotator cuffs, and the erector spinae of the lower back. The exercise executed with resistance bands in the vertical plane makes this a great compound exercise for the upper and middle posterior chain.
Similar to using the step mill at the gym, you can apply a simple 5-gallon bucket at home to do this exercise. An added addition to this is a resistance band that intensifies the exercise. Place the band on top of the bucket, then place the foot on the band. Use the heaviest resistance band to intensify the workout because the legs are strong. Grab the handles and align them with the shoulders. Then begin doing a step up by extending the hip and knee of the leg you are exercising. Muscles activated during the exercise are the glutes and the quads.
The classic squat is an imperative and natural bodyweight exercise that contributes to the lower body’s strength. The muscles that contribute to the squat are the glutes and the quads. Joints that permit this to happen are the hips and knees performing flexion and extension. There’s nothing wrong with bodyweight squats if you perform high reps to reach hypertrophy. Including resistance bands amplifies the resistance curve much more without needing a lot of reps to reach hypertrophy. When you use elastic bands, performing squats at a slower tempo will increase the tension.
To perform the squat correctly, straighten the back when you lower and raise the torso. Perform flexion on the hips and knees when lowering the torso. Make sure you lower the glutes to fully engage the quads when you’re about to raise the torso. Then perform extension on the hips and knees when raising the torso into the starting position.
Performing a single-leg squat known as the lunge is a very effective lower-body strengthening exercise. The same technique used in the squat applies to the lunge. You lower the torso by flexing one side of the hip while keeping the other straight. Both knees flex, but one kneels and the other doesn’t. The foot of the knee that kneels stabilizes by using the balls of the feet. The other foot is flat to help balance the body. Then you raise the torso by extending the knee and hip. The exercise targets the glutes and quads. Using a resistance band amplifies the intensity of this exercise. Place the elastic band underneath the foot and use the heaviest resistance band to increase the tension. Legs are known to be the strongest part of the body because the muscles are bigger, especially the glutes.
The deadlift is a compound exercise focusing primarily on the lower posterior chain. Those muscles include the glutes and hamstrings because the hip and knee flex simultaneously by lowering the torso. During this phase in the movement, the glutes and hamstrings are stretched. The contributing joint motion involves the hips and knee extending to contract both muscles, but theirs a caveat. Even though the upper region of the hamstrings contributes to the hips performing extension, it doesn’t fully contract. The best way to compress the hamstrings is to perform knee flexion in multiple ways. The glutes are the primary muscles receiving the stimulus while extending the hips when raising the torso. In other words, this workout is more of a glute exercise. I decided to use one leg because it feels more engaging when using the resistance band tube handles.
The right way to perform the single-leg deadlift with resistance bands is to place the band underneath the foot. Straighten the back for stability, then slightly flex the knee until you’ve stretched the hamstring. At the same time, flex the hip by leaning the torso forward to stretch the glute. After that, simultaneously raise the torso by extending the hip and knee by thrusting the hips.
Isolation resistance band tube exercises
Isolation exercises are substantial to exercise a specific muscle when a compound exercise can’t. To perform isolation exercises, you only need to move one joint, but not involve two joints. Even though compound exercises are stupendous for integrating multiple muscles, certain muscles need attention. An example would be exercising the hamstrings because deadlifts don’t target the hamstrings to contract entirely, mostly the glutes. Sure, the hamstrings stretch during the lowering phase, but when raising the torso, the hamstring’s upper region slightly contracts. The muscle is responsible for hip extension, but the glutes do most of the work. To focus specifically on the hamstrings, knee flexion is required to isolate. This is a perfect example of why isolation is imperative to do in any training program. Let’s check out my list of the top 19 resistance band isolation tube exercises.
The movement here is a deltoid exercise that emphasizes more on the middle head of the muscle. There are three muscle heads, the anterior, middle, and posterior covering the entire shoulder joint. Shoulder abduction means the shoulder is moving the arms away from the torso. Shoulder abduction is just one of three movements the shoulder joint can do. Also, there are two versions of the shoulder abduction; vertical and horizontal. The version I’m showing is vertical abduction because the middle head is the main muscle to exercise. If you want to exercise the posterior side, do horizontal shoulder abduction. This looks similar to a back fly but without involving the scapula to exercise the traps and rotator cuff. Do this by leveling the door anchor to shoulder height. Then stand sideways by pulling the band by only moving the shoulder joint horizontally.
As I mentioned above in this paragraph, the shoulder is a versatile joint that can rotate in different ways. Here, the shoulder joint is performing flexion. The main muscle head of the deltoid is the anterior deltoid exercised. You can feel the anterior deltoid contract by placing your hand on the deltoid you’re exercising when performing shoulder flexion. The muscle attaches to the collarbone, all the way to the lateral middle side of the humerus.
Flexing and extending the elbow allows the tricep to elongate and flex. This is the only way the triceps can be stretched and tightened, but other exercises can target the triceps. Since this is a resistance band exercise, there are various ways to use the bands to exercise the triceps. The photos here show I’m performing in a vertical plane by flexing and extending my elbow. No involvement occurs with my shoulder joint. Other exercises you could do to exercise the triceps are tricep pushdowns and overhead tricep extensions. You have to use a door anchor to perform these exercises with resistance. To do tricep push-downs, put the door anchor on top of the door. To perform overhead tricep extensions, place the door anchor below the door.
The classic bicep curl is a global favorite exercise to do. You only have to flex and extend the elbow to exercise the bicep. There are two ways to perform the bicep curl. First, you put one foot on the band. Second, place the door anchor below the door. My favorite way to use the resistance bands is using one handle by attaching both hooks. Doing this gives the feeling of pulling a denser elastic band like I’m showing in the photos.
This is my favorite isolation chest exercise, but there are three ways to do this. The door anchor can be placed on top, middle, and below the door. Each of these diagonal angles has a purpose to exercise the pecs. The top anchor focuses more on downward contraction towards the lower fibers of the pec. The middle anchor focuses more on flexing across the muscle that connects to the sternum. The bottom anchor focuses more on flexing upward on the upper fibers that connect to the collar bone. Remember to only move one joint, and that’s the adduction of the shoulder joint. Doing this guarantees only the pecs will be exercised. Include crossing the centerline to activate and flex the pecs.
The exercise allows you to focus solely on the upper region of the traps. The middle and lower fibers aren’t involved because the scapula is performing a downward rotation, not a retraction. When the scapula does a downward rotation, it permits the upper trap to be raised and flexed. Also, the shoulder joint doesn’t get involved during the exercise.
Here, this exercise looks similar to a back fly, but it’s not. When you do a back fly, two joints are involved, the shoulder and scapula. This is an isolation exercise that only includes the shoulder joint. You place a bent elbow lateral to the torso and then rotate the shoulder back to correctly perform it. The movement targets the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles attached to the scapula. There are four muscles called the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. The reason why you need to strengthen these muscles is to prevent injury to the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff attaches to the posterior side of the shoulder joint, allowing various movements to occur.
The most effective ab exercise while using the resistance bands is kneeling crunches. When you flex the spine in a vertical plane, there isn’t enough resistance to feel a strong stimulus with body weight. The only way to get that stimulus is by doing a lot of reps and adding slow reps with isometrics. But when you introduce resistance bands, the resistance drastically increases to the point where you don’t need high reps. The exercise allows you to work on the upper region only if you flex the torso halfway down. Another way to exercise is by flexing the torso down to target the entire abdominal wall of the torso. Use different resistance band levels to increase the tension.
As the name says, woodchoppers are just like chopping wood because of the way the body moves. It’s a rotation movement of the spine. It directly involves the obliques because of the fiber direction. Attachments of the external and internal obliques are the costal cartilages of the lower ribs and hips. Both fibers’ direction is diagonal but intersect each other. The best way to exercise both obliques is by attaching the door anchor above, middle, or below the door. For the external oblique, pull diagonally down, and for the internal oblique, pull diagonally up. You can also pull the band horizontally across.
The last oblique muscle is the transverse abdominous that attaches to the linea alba. The linea alba is the vertical line of the abdominals. Other areas the transverse abdominous attaches to are the lower ribs and hips. The muscle fibers are horizontal and it resembles that of a belt supporter. Attach the door anchor in the middle of the door and rotate it just like I’m demonstrating in the photos. You always want to rotate past the centerline to get a full contraction. Try not to rotate the hips.
To perform this exercise correctly, you subtly rotate an inch to the left or right and do hip extension. The glutes have three muscle heads: gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. In this exercise, the gluteus maximus will be the muscle exercised. The attachment of the glute is the posterior side of the iliac crest, sacrum, coccyx, and the lateral upper side of the femur. The muscle’s fiber runs down diagonally, so you have to rotate slightly and extend the leg straight. Doing this will ensure your exercising the gluteus maximus.
Flexing the hips is a great way to strengthen the hip flexors with resistance bands. The hip flexors involve five muscles during flexion; iliacus, psoas, pectineus, rectus femoris, and sartorius. The iliacus, psoas, and pectineus are located around the lower abdominal hip region. Rectus femoris and sartorius are leg muscles that also contribute to lifting the leg forward. The photo you see me doing is just one version of exercising the hip flexors. There are two more resistance band tube exercises I like to perform while doing hip flexion.
The first one you see in the photos is hip flexion while standing. Doing the exercise will target the upper region of the rectus femoris. This muscle is part of the quads that make up four muscles. All you do is lift the leg while keeping the knee straight. The second exercise is similar to the first, but different when I bend my knee and lift my leg. Doing a knee raise is more of a power development since I’m raising my knee fast. The other hip flexors iliacus, psoas, and pectineus are involved because those muscles allow hip flexion to occur.
An exercise like this strengthens the muscles on the lateral side of the hips. Those muscles are the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fascia latae. The muscle fibers of these muscles run down from the top of the iliac crest; down to the upper lateral side of the femur. To perform this exercise correctly, you must lift the leg laterally, but not too high.
Muscles that contribute to hip adduction are pectineus, adductor longus, gracilis, adductor brevis, and adductor magnus. These muscles are located in the inner thighs and they contribute to bringing the legs close to the body. Using a five-gallon bucket or chair will make the exercise a lot easier to perform hip adduction. All you have to do is sit, spread your legs, and then adduct.
Pronated hamstring curls
Knee flexion is the main contributor to shortening and knee extension lengthens the hamstrings. Hamstring exercises with resistance bands are so great that I never need to go to a gym to exercise my hamstrings. The elastic bands are versatile enough to pull in the horizontal plane, which is what you should do. Lay on the floor facing the floor and flex the knees to contract the hamstrings. The whole muscle belly shortens and extends. Their’s three muscles that make up the hamstrings, they’re biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus. The biceps femoris is lateral to the outside of the leg. The semimembranosus lays on top of the semitendinosus medial to the inside of the leg. To target the three heads of the hamstrings, slightly rotate the hip joints to the left or right and flex.
Supinated hamstring curls
The same action applies here, but theirs a difference between supinated and pronated hamstring curls. One, you’re going to be facing the ceiling doing this. Two, you are applying your body weight resistance by placing the heels of your feet on the floor with the hips raised. The benefit of doing this is your glutes are compressed the whole time, while you contract and extend the hamstrings. You’re going to slide the heels back with socks to make the exercise easier. Pull the elastic band by flexing the knees and you’ll be combining bodyweight and resistance band tension.
Seated hamstring curls
A simple bucket or chair is all you need for this. The exercise can be done with both ankles or one. Extend the knee and flex to exercise the hamstrings. The exercise is similar to a knee flexion machine that you can find at any gym. This is why resistance bands are so versatile and better. You don’t need to go to the gym.
Seated leg extensions
Just like the seated hamstring curl, you’re going to sit, place the straps on one or two ankles. The difference is you are going to be sitting in the opposite direction to exercise the quads. When you’ve raised your knee, extend the knee to contract the quads.
I’m happy to have shared my favorite resistance band tube exercises with you. These exercises allow me to engage every muscle dynamically with resistance bands. Many underestimate the power of this apparatus and what it has to offer. Athletes use resistance band tube exercises to increase their performance and so should nonathletes. The body doesn’t know the difference between body weight, weights, or resistance bands because all it knows is tension. I hope you found this article useful and found inspiration to want to get fit.
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