Do Resistance Bands Work?

resistance band legs

In a word yes. Yes, resistance bands work; however, pretty much all exercise works to some degree. The question should be, how well do resistance bands work?

And the answer? Very well.

Strength Training

Strength training should be a critical component to any health regiment. Regardless of age, strength and weight, strength training has it’s place. Adding muscle not only improves your strength, but also improves your ability to burn calories.

There are four main types of strength training

  1. Body weight exercises. Dips, pullups, push-ups, lunges, body weight squats and any other movement that involves only your body weight.
  2. Free weights. These are probably the most common pieces of equipment for strength training. Every gym, regardless of size, has a set of dumbbells and most also have barbells.
  3. Machines. While exercise machines have their place, some athletes avoid them because they don’t really work your stabilizer muscles effectively (resistance bands actually do this very well).
  4. Resistance bands. Bands provide a lot of flexibility, as they are able to mimic a lot of body weight exercises (squats or lunges) while also allowing you to perform a number of exercises you would do with free weights (such as shoulder presses, bicep curls or tricep extensions).

Strength Training with Resistance Bands


resistance band lunge

Resistance bands can be an excellent way to strength train as they provide a host of benefits:

  1. They’re inexpensive. Relative to a gym membership or a home gym system, resistance bands are very cheap. A set of high quality resistance bands like this one will set you back $50. A gym membership will cost you close to that per month and let’s not even talk about the cost of a home gym system!
  2. They’re portable. This is one of my favorite things about resistance bands, once you’re familiar with them, you can literally get a workout anywhere. I take mine on the road with me all the time, they pack light and I always know I can get a quality workout in.
  3. Resistance bands are very similar to free weights. They both provide resistance, both allow for free movement and allow you to change the speed of your exercises. The primary difference is resistance bands do not rely on gravity, they use tension.
  4. They’re great regardless of your fitness level. Resistance bands start at one pound, and can go as high as 300 pounds. With this variability, you can work out even major muscle groups like your glutes.

Basic Exercises Using Resistance Bands

Standing Squat

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Hold the handles of the resistance bands using both hands and bring them up to shoulder level.
  3. Do a full squat but prevent your hands from moving.

Bicep Curlsresistance band curls

  1. While standing on the band, hold the resistance bands in your hands.
  2. Slowly curl up your hands towards your shoulders like traditional curls.

Shoulder Press

  1. Stand in the center of the exercise band with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. While holding the resistance band, position your hands at shoulder height.
  3. Press straight up, rotating your palms forward as you fully extend your arms.
  4. Lower back down slowly and repeat.

Yes, Resistance Bands Work

There are literally hundreds of different exercises that you can do using resistance bands. Having a set will allow you to perform a wide range of exercises without having to do countless reps of each. Regardless of whether you’re trying to get shredded, lose weight, or improve at a particular sport, resistance band workouts can help.

If you need help choosing a set, we have plenty of reviews.