How to Build Muscle With Resistance Bands

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Are you thinking about buying resistance bands, but you want to know if you can actually build muscle with them? Do you want to learn how to build muscle with resistance bands in the most effective manner?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. If you know SET FOR SET, then you are fully aware of how much focus we put on resistance bands, both in study and in practice. We have all the answers you are seeking and we are going to teach you exactly what you need to know about getting big with bands.

This article is very in-depth, as we really want you to be able to gain muscle with resistance bands, so let us give you a breakdown of what’s to come before we begin…

Table of Contents:

  • Can you build muscle with resistance bands?
  • What are the best resistance bands for building muscle?
  • Are resistance bands as effective as free weights for gaining muscle?
  • Pros and cons of building muscle with resistance bands
  • How to build muscle with exercise bands
  • Progressive overload methods to gain muscle using resistance bands
  • Periodization and switching up your workout programming
  • Best resistance band exercises for building muscle
  • Muscle building workouts using resistance bands
  • Can you do resistance band workouts every day?
  • How long does it take to see results using resistance bands?

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

build muscle with resistance bands


Table of Contents

Yes, you can absolutely build muscle using resistance bands. All your muscles need to grow is tension, adequate recovery, and muscle adaption & progressive overload. Building muscle can be achieved with bodyweight-only exercises, so resistance bands will only increase your capacity for muscle growth.

Nevertheless, building muscle is a lot easier said than done. It requires a lot of dedication, determination and consistency.

Let’s go over how building muscle (hypertrophy) works…

How muscles grow:

When you workout, you are putting greater stress (tension) on your muscles than they are used to. This damages your muscles, creating microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. After you workout, your body repairs the damaged muscle fibers through a cellular process that fuses the muscle fibers back together while forming new muscle protein strands (myofibrils) in the process.

Your muscles will adapt to the stress, so you’ll need to consistently make sure your muscles are getting enough stress (this is known as progressive overload, which we will get into later) to continually repeat the above process. If you can do this, ultimately, you will increase the thickness and size of your muscles. This is what we call muscle hypertrophy.

However, without proper recovery, which includes a high protein diet, sleep, and rest days, your muscles will not grow effectively, even with an adequate amount of stress/tension. And again, without increasing the stress you place on your muscles over time, your growth will plateau.

So, to build muscle using workout bands, all you need to do is consistently place enough stress on them over time and recover properly. Again, this is a lot easier said than done, but with the right techniques, it can be achieved, without fail (and with resistance bands!). This is what we are going to teach you, but first, let’s answer a few common questions people have when considering to buy resistance bands.

What are the best resistance bands for building muscle?

Although there are severaltypes of resistance bandson the market, there are only two that make sense for building muscle – closed loop resistance bands (41 inch flat loop bands) and resistance tubes with handles.

The41 inch flat loop resistance bands(aka Power Resistance Bands) are superior to the tube bands for many reasons. They are more versatile in their uses and resistance levels, as well as the exercises you can perform.

The flat loop resistance bands allow you to do everything that you can with tube bands with handles, plus a lot more, such as combining them with free weight equipment like barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells.

We’ve done a whole comparison onloop resistance band vs resistance tubes with handlesif you want to learn more about why the flat loop resistance bands you see below are best.

41 inch resistance bands

Perfect for all strength levels. Workout bands can be added to increase your performance on deadlift, bench press, squat, shoulder press…


Resistance bands provide tension in a different way than free weights and body-weight exercises.

Free weights use loads and gravity to provide tension. The force created by the weight will always be downward, so you have to position your body in a way that allows you targets your muscles correctly. For example, if you want to hit your chest, you must lie down parallel to the floor with your face up. If you want to hit your back muscles, you need to get into a bent over position…You get the point.

The same is true for bodyweight exercises. Bodyweight uses gravity alone. As with free weights, you have to position your body so that gravity works to provide tension on your body’s weight. For example, with push ups, you put your body parallel with the floor and face down so you can push yourself up against gravity.

With resistance bands, the force is caused by elastic tension. The more you stretch the resistance band, the more tension is created. This means you can target your muscles from any direction.For example, if you want to target your chest, you can do so standing straight up (can’t do that with dumbbells!).So, with bands, you can cause tension diagonally by anchoring the resistance band to one foot or to a bar, you can cause tension from above or below you, and you can cause tension to your sides. The force can be made in any direction as it is based on the elastic tension, not gravity. This opens you up to a lot of unique exercises and resistance that your muscles are not used.

What’s more, with resistance bands, you don’t have ascending or descending strength curves like you do with bodyweight and free weight exercises (more on this in a moment). The resistance is linear. Remember, the more it is stretched, the more resistance is created.

These two main points – being able to create tension in any direction and linear resistance – are what make resistance bands so special for gaining muscle.

AND GUESS WHAT, gravity will, of course, play a role in resistance band training too. This is because you are also moving your body, which fights gravity. For example, if you do a squat with a resistance band, you have the elastic tension and gravity to work against – it’s like a bodyweight squat on steroids!

Resistance Band Levels of Resistance

With free weights, if you choose a 10lb dumbbell, it will always be a 10lb dumbbell throughout the entire movement. The weight won’t change, obviously.

However, with resistance bands, as mentioned, the more you stretch it, the more the resistance increases as there is more tension being produced. This is why a resistance band will have a range for its resistance level (i.e. the yellow band below ranges from 10-35lbs).

can resistance bands bulk you up

So, during a resistance band exercise, the movement will be the most difficult toward the end-range of motion, as the more it is stretched, the more resistance is created.

This is completely opposite to free weight and bodyweight exercises. With free weight and bodyweight exercises, there is a strength curve. Of course, the weight doesn’t change, but the exercise becomes easier toward the end range of motion because you can naturally produce more force as your muscle shortens and your joints are in an optimal position.

Think about when you squat with a barbell, it will always be harder during the bottom and middle of the lift, and easier toward the top. That is the strength curve. With resistance bands, it is easier when the resistance band is less stretched, so the top part will be the hardest. This is a big reason why people love to use bands with barbell lifts. It eliminates the strength curve. It’s also why people who do bodyweight workouts (calisthenics) love resistance bands. Because they can take the difficulty of their exercises up a few notches.

So, in a nutshell, exercise bands create resistance through elastic force/tension, and the more you move through the range of motion, the more the resistance/tension increases.

Read our guide onwhat size resistance bands are best.

How to Increase difficulty with resistance bands:

For resistance band exercises, start with the band taut and then move through your range of motion. If you start with it lax, you will have no tension at the bottom range of motion.

If you are anchoring the resistance band to a bar, then you can just step further out to achieve this. If it is looped around your foot, then you can wrap it around your foot twice or three times (or more) to make it more taut (and thus a higher resistance) from the start of the exercises.

can resistance bands build muscle?


When it comes to building muscle, free weights are typically more effective. For a few reasons.

First, progressive overload is easiest when you are dealing with straightforward resistance levels like dumbbells and barbells with plates provide. Second, once bands reach a certain resistance level, they are really hard to use compared to the same resistance level of a free weight. When you get to high levels of resistance, it’s easier to work against gravity than elastic force.

Now, if you are a beginner, then for sure resistance bands are a good option for building muscle. In fact, just as good if not better. It will have a low risk and high reward, unlike free weights, which have a high risk of injury for beginners.

If you are an advanced fitness level or you become advanced using resistance bands, then you just need to be creative with your progressive overloading to continue building muscle (we have all the techniques you need below). If you look at calisthenic guys, they become super ripped and have incredibly lean muscle mass without touching free weights. So, if they can do that with bodyweight alone, then adding resistance bands to the mix can only enhance that. Think about them doing their advanced push ups, such as clapping push ups, and then adding resistance bands to that clapping push up. Therefore, even advances trainees can build muscle with workout bands.

Many advanced lifters end up switching out free weights for resistance bands because it is much less taxing on their spine and joints, and they can still see good results. After years of beating the joints down, this makes a lot of sense.

So, to answer the question, “are resistance bands just as good for building muscle as free weights?”…It is not so straight forward, there are pros and cons to both free weights and resistance bands…

pros and cons of resistance bands


Here’s a detailed look at the pros and cons of using resistance band to build muscle.

Pros of building muscle with resistance bands:

1. Perfect for beginners

Resistance bands are perfect for beginners as it is easy to learn how to use them and they are effective for building muscle when you are first starting on your fitness journey. Resistance bands will be an all-in-one tool to get into great shape and build a solid foundation. The best part is, even if you move on to free weights, you will still find plenty of use for your resistance bands as they are extremely versatile. Bands lend themselves to all fitness levels and aspects of fitness (i.e. flexibility, warm ups, explosive training).

2. Easy on the joints & spine

A huge advantage of resistance bands is that they are safe, easy on the joints, and less taxing on the body. This is as important for beginners as it is for veterans who have put their bodies through years of abuse in the gym. If longevity is just as important to you as building muscle, then working out with resistance bands is one of the best approaches you can take.

Note: Free weight exercises like squats and deadlifts put a lot of stress on the spinal joints. Although these are great exercises for building muscle and strength, they are the biggest culprits of spinal injuries from working out.

Less taxing also means you can target a muscle more frequently, which is great for hypertrophy.

3. You can workout anywhere

Bands are easily the most effective and affordable portable training tool you can buy. If you want a low cost home gym, resistance bands. If you travel a lot and you want to stay fit, resistance bands. If you want to workout in the sun, resistance bands. Like we said, they are extremely versatile. If you have bands then you have all you need to stay fit, even in the most confined of areas (hotel room workout anyone?). In truth, resistance bands are all you need to keep fit on the road and when combined with bodyweight exercises, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t stay fit and build muscle anywhere in the world, including your home.

4. Constant tension & No way to cheat

Bands provide constant tension during an exercise…so long as you start with the band taught. This allows you to maximize time under tension, which is what you want if your goal is to gain muscle mass.

What’s more, resistance bands eliminate (or at the very least, reduce) “cheating” during exercises. As much as we all want to grow and improve, our minds fight with us during tough exercises, leading us to cheat by performing exercises improperly.

For example, many people use momentum during free weight and bodyweight exercises. Why? Because it’s easier and it allows them to just get through a set. This is not conducive to growing muscle. With resistance bands, you won’t be able to use momentum or jerky motions. It just doesn’t apply to elastic force. They require proper control and strict form.

5. Not limited by gravity

With bands, you can work through multiple planes of motion easily. The tension is coming from wherever you anchor the resistance band, and you can anchor the band in any direction you want. So, you can work the transverse plane, frontal plane and sagittal plane with ease and without having to get into strange and injury-prone positions like you would with free weight and bodyweight exercises.

Related:More Benefits of Resistance Bands

can you get big with resistance bands

Cons of building muscle resistance bands:

  1. It’s difficult to measure how much resistance you are actually using with bands. For any given band, there is a range of resistance. As mentioned, the more it stretches, the more resistance there is.
  2. The resistance of a big band is much harder to use than a free weight of the same resistance. The wider the band gets, the more resistant it is. Moreover, bands only go up to a certain resistance level, so you will reach a limit of how “heavy” you can go. This is why you have to get creative with how you progress when training with bands.

Although we have 5 pros and 2 cons, these 2 cons are very considerable when it comes to building muscle. For beginners, it won’t be an issue as you can progressive overload effectively with any of the other methods, but for those who are already quite strong, bands may not be as appealing for the purpose of building muscle. Nevertheless, they will still be useful for other aspects of working out, like flexibility, mobility, warming up, supersets, giving your joints a break, hitting your muscles differently, and put simply, getting shredded.

Beginners are always recommended to start with resistance bands, if you are asking us, as they will build a solid foundation in tandem with bodyweight training. AND, you will build muscle.

Can resistance bands replace weights?

Hypothetically, yes. Bands can be used to build muscle if you understand what it takes to build muscle, which is what we’ve discussed above. This is especially true for beginners and those who have taken a break from fitness for a while.

That being said, we feel that both bands and free weights should have their place in a fitness regimen. The free weights don’t have to be barbells and dumbbells either, they can be unconventional training tools like kettlebells, sandbags, steel maces, and so on, as these are very effective for building muscle and they are easier on the joints than barbell exercises.

Here’s anIn-depth article on Resistance Bands vs Free Weights.

In an ideal world, we’d want it all. Resistance bands, barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, and so on. All of these tools we mentioned are useful in their own right. They all could find their use in an “ultimate training regimen”. But if you want to be minimal and economical, resistance bands are a great option.

When it comes to building muscle, if you stay consistent, stick to a routine, focus on progressive overload, get proper rest at all times, and employ new strategies every few months, you will succeed.


Effects of training with elastic resistance versus conventional resistance on muscular strength: A systematic review and meta-analysis: “Evidence from this study suggests that resistance training with elastic devices provides similar strength gains when compared to resistance training performed from conventional devices. These findings allow coaches, physiotherapists, and even patients to opt to use devices with low costs, ease of handling, and which can be used in different places, such as elastic devices, for maintenance and gain in muscular strength” – Study.


can i gain mass with resistance bands


If you want to build muscle, there are several things you should know and apply to your training. This includes the primary requirements for building muscle, how to progressive overload, the importance of periodization, rep schemes/time under tension, the best resistance band exercises, and the best workout protocols/methods. The rest of the article will flow in that order, as each aspect is vital if you want to gain muscle with resistance bands.

4 Requirements for Building Muscle with Resistance Bands:

Here are the three main requirements of building muscle, in order, so we can make sure you are giving your muscles the chance to grow and build mass when working out with resistance bands.

1. Tension & Overload

In terms of building muscle, stimulus is creating tension via resistance. For your muscles to grow, you need to place resistance on them in the form of tension. This is what we mean when we say “putting stress on the muscles”. The tension on your muscles can be caused by gravity alone, external loads, or elastic tension. So, you can achieve this with your bodyweight alone, free weights, machines, or resistance bands.

This is the first phase of building muscle. So long as the tension is sufficient, your muscles will respond.

2. Adequate Recovery

The next phase of muscle growth is recovery. It is essential that you rest, eat well, take in plenty of water, and sleep for maximum muscle growth.

Rest: You need to take days off from training to allow your muscles to recover. This is why rest days exist.

Diet: You need a high protein diet for your muscles to grow. Remember, your muscles grow by forming new protein strands. Keyword, “protein” strands.

Water: Water intake is essential. You want to drink lots of water so your body can maintain good protein synthesis. Moreover, adequate water intake helps flush out wastes, allowing for more fat loss.

Sleep: Sleep is essential to building muscle. You must get adequate sleep. 7-9 hours a day. The more you sleep, the faster you will recover and the more often you can workout, which leads to a faster hypertrophy process and more gains.

All in all, without appropriate recovery, your muscles won’t be able to grow.

3. Muscle Adaption & Progressive Overload

Your muscles adapt to the stress you place on them by growing and getting denser. Over time, what was once a hard workout becomes easy. You’ll just be going through the motions. So, while muscle adaption is good because that’s how you grow, you need to continually increase the stress you put on your body during a workout. If not, and you do the same workout – meaning same resistance, same time under tension, same rest time, etc – your body will plateau and you won’t continue developing muscle. You’ll reach a certain level and stay there.

This happens relatively quickly. So, you need to employ progressive overload if you want your body to continue adapting, thus building more and more muscle.

Factors that relate to overloading your muscles with tension:

  • Amount of resistance
  • Time under tension
  • Rest between the time under tension
  • Volume of your workout

4. Ample Protein Intake

We’ve already mentioned you need to consume enough protein, but let’s emphasize this by giving it its own point…

Individuals should eat between 1g of protein per lb of body weight per day when looking to gain muscle mass.

While you can get all the protein you need from food, protein supplements are great when you are pressed for time or you just need a quick and convenient intake of protein.

how to build muscle with resistance bands

Progressive Overload Methods To Get Big With Resistance Bands:

When you first start working out, pretty much any exercise you do will be an effective overload because your muscles are simply not used to doing anything beyond your normal daily routine of walking, sitting, standing, etc. As your muscles adapt, you will need to increase the stress you put on them. There are multiple methods to go about progressive overload.

Here are the best methods for progressive overloading with resistance bands:

  • Increasing time under tension & intensity: This simply means your sets are longer. You can do this by adding reps or changing your tempo. With resistance bands, the best tempo is 2:1:4:1. So, 2 seconds concentric (upward motion), 1 second hold at the top, 4 seconds eccentric contraction (downward motion), 1 second hold, repeat. Another way is to do slow eccentric, explosive concentric, and hold at the top for a second or two. Eccentric contraction is a key component to building muscle and strength with resistance bands.
  • Increase volume of your workouts: You can do this by adding more sets to your workout and/or more exercises to your workout.
  • Decrease rest time: Less rest time equals more stress on your muscles!
  • Increase the frequency of your workouts: For example, if you workout 3 times a week, up it to 4 times! At some point, you can even do two workouts a day, not necessarily both with resistance bands. One could be a cardio workout and the other resistance training. That said, listen to your body so you are not over-training.
  • Increasing resistance: Using a resistance band with a higher resistance level is an obvious method. However, with bands, it can be hard to determine exactly how much resistance you are using (we will explain this more in-depth below). Nevertheless, it will still work if you listen to your body and gauge the difficulty of previous weeks.

Here’s anIn-depth article on Progressive Overload Techniques.

Keeping Track of Progressive Overload with Bands:

All in all, if you want to see continued results in your muscle growth, you need to progressive overload. A big part of progressive overload is keeping a strict routine. If you constantly change up your exercises, workouts and overall plan, you won’t be able to progressive overload. What you need to change is the time under tension, volume, rest time, frequency and resistance level.

That being said, after 2-3 months, it is ideal to give yourself a few days to a week of rest and then switch routines. This is part of periodization cycles, which is important in sustaining progress.

build mass with resistance bands

Periodization & Switching Up Your Training Programming:

We aren’t going to go into periodization in-depth as there are many ways to go about it and the concept as a whole deserves its own article, but the gist of it is you need to create phases or cycles throughout the year that have different programming and training goals. Your programming cycles should have different levels of intensity, load, volume, sets, reps, and a different workout structure. These cycles can last anywhere from one month (or even less) to three months, with 4-8 weeks being the most common for building muscle. Following a cycle, a period of rest or low intensity training follows, which usually lasts for a week or so, but this depends on the trainee’s goal.

The purpose of dividing your annual training into different blocks of programming is to progressively stress your body, then recover adequately, then stress your body again. This will allow you to continually progress and it helps prevent overtraining, injury, and plateaus.

With each training cycle, you will be employing progressive overload techniques, within the realm of the current cycle. For example, you may do a push, pull, legs routine for 8 weeks where you are increasing the reps week by week. Then, you rest for a week and start an upper lower split, where you focus on increasing the load. Each cycle may involve different exercises as well, such as front squats as your main squat for one cycle and then back squats for the next.

All in all, this will help you to continually adapt and overload and maximize muscle fiber recruitment, which is what will stimulate your muscles for hypertrophy. If you were to simply do the same programming with the same progressive overloading, you will surely plateau and eventually end up overtraining.

We have some training programs that you can choose from further below.


It’s really not about how many reps you do, it’s about the quality of the reps, the volume and the time under tension when it comes to building muscle. With resistance bands, you won’t be dealing with very heavy loads, so you will really need to maximize the volume and time under tension.

Ideally, for building muscle, you want your reps to be in the 10-20 range, using a slow and controlled tempo. This should give you around 30-60 seconds of time under tension, which is ideal for building muscle.

To be sure you are on track to build muscle, your rep ranges should be bringing your close to failure, with maybe 1-2 reps left in the tank. If that means more reps or slowing your tempo down, then do it.

Remember, volume is important. 1 set of 5 reps, even if that 5 reps brings you to failure, is not the same as 1 set of 12 reps for hypertrophy simply because of the VOLUME. Volume is super important if you want to build muscle. That’s why muscle building programs will involve a lot of volume, unlike a strength training program which is not very high volume and has a lot of rest time.

Note: There is a difference between volume for hypertrophy endurance, but there is some overlap. You will improve endurance with resistance bands as you gain muscle. But overall, the 30-60 second time under tension range should be bringing you to near failure.

All in all, keep your volume high and intense and maximize tension and time under tension.

As for rest time between sets and exercises, keep it around 30-60 seconds (90 seconds is usually fine as well). This should allow you to have high intensity and do a lot of work in a short period of time. It will also help you to reach near failure without doing tons of reps with bands as the sets progress.

There’s no need to workout for more than 45 minutes if you are following the above tips. This type of training will provide you with the three main variables of building muscle – metabolic stress, localized muscle damage, and mechanical tension.

Just remember, after 4-12 weeks of high intensity, you need a week to two weeks of recovery and adeload week(lower intensity), then you can start back up with a new program and bring that intensity back up.

If you want to gain muscle with resistance bands, your programming should focus on increasing volume and the amount of tension put on your muscles (both time and load).

are resistance bands good for muscle growth


If you want to build muscle, the exercises you do are as important as the time under tension and intensity.

For building muscle, you want to do a good mix of compound exercises and isolation exercises. Compound exercises will allow you to use maximum force and isolation exercises will allow you to really hone in on specific muscle groups. Start your workout with bigger compound movements and then really exhaust your muscles with isolation exercises.

Note: Range of motion is as important as the exercises themselves. When it comes to strength training, a lot of times people try to shorten their range of motion as much as possible to enable them to lift as much as possible. However, with bodybuilding, you will want to create the largest range of motion possible (within an optimal range for your joints) as the stretching phase of an exercise is proven to be more beneficial for hypertrophy than the contraction phase! So, make sure you are using a full range of motion (or at least working up to it).

9 Best Resistance Band Exercises for Building Muscle:

While there are tons of resistance band exercises that are good for building muscle, we can only list several in this post. We will also provide links to where you can find more exercises for each specific muscle group after.

1. Banded Push Ups

does resistance bands build muscle

A banded push up is just like a regular push up except you have the resistance band there to add resistance.

Wrap the resistance band around your mid back and allow the band to run around theoutsideof your arm (allows for more tension). Get down into a push up position and do a push up as you regularly would.

Tip: You can switch up your hand positions. Spread them further away or closer together to hit your chest and arms differently.

Related:Best Resistance Band Chest Exercises

2. Single Arm Shoulder Press

are resistance bands effective for building muscle

We like to do a single arm shoulder press with resistance bands as with the two handed presses, you’ll need a bigger resistance band, and the bigger bands can be quite hard to use for shoulder presses. You’ll get a better stretch that is easier on your wrist with the same total tension on your shoulder with single arm presses.

That said, two handed overhead presses are great too if you have the strength. They can save you a considerable amount of time during your workout. So, you can do both.

RelatedBest Resistance Band Shoulder Exercises

3. Bent Over Rows

is resistance band good for muscle building

Both bent over rows and seated rows with resistance bands are great for back development.

Bent over rows are one of the best back exercises you can do as they target many muscles at once. The main muscle groups being worked are the lats, rhomboids, erector spinae, and traps. You will also be indirectly working your biceps, forearms, triceps, rear delts, hamstrings, glutes and core.

Tip: Switch up how you grip the band, i.e. overhand, underhand, neutral grip, as this will target your back differently.

Oh, and don’t forget to do pull ups and chin ups! You can also use loop resistance bands as assistance to your pull ups!


4. Romanian Deadlift

best resistance bands bodybuilding

We could have easily chosen a standard banded deadlift for this but we decided on the Romanian deadlift because it really hones in on your hammys. Nevertheless, you can do all types of deadlift variations and there are plenty more hamstring exercises with bands.

Related:Deadlift Variations with Bands

5. Front Squats

can resistance bands bulk you up

Front squats are great, and so are back squats. We just thought we’d hit it from the front in this one.

Front squats are like the brother of the back squat. They both offer much of the same benefits and are great exercises that every advance lifter employs into their training. However, with front squats, you will be keeping your back upright more so it requires even more core stability and it also places more emphasis on the quads, while taking some stress away from the hamstrings. This makes perfect sense considering by holding the resistance band in front of your body, you are zoning in on your anterior chain.

Related:Squat Variations with Bands

6. Tricep Kickbacks

will resistance bands build muscle

Tricep kickbacks are a fantastic isolation exercise for the three-headed monster known as the triceps. Your lateral head will be emphasized the most on this exercise, but as your hand is in a neutral grip, so your long head will be engaged a lot too. Be sure to focus on keeping that elbow up and pinned to your side and getting a full contraction.

Related:Best Resistance Band Triceps Exercises

7. Concentration Curls

do resistance bands build muscle

We went with the concentration curl because we thought it’d be interesting to share this tidbit of info:

Concentration curls work the same muscles as a regular curl, but the real benefit of them is how they do a fantastic job of isolating the biceps. According to anAmerican Council on Exercisestudy, concentration curls yield 97% biceps activity, compared to 76% with regular curls.

Anyway, there are tons of resistance band bicep exercises that will help you develop some high peaks.

Related:Best Resistance Band Biceps Exercises

8. Hip Thrusts

can i build a booty with resistance bands

You thought we’d miss the booty? Yes, with resistance bands, you can build up your butt! The hip thrust is just one of many exercise you can try.

9. Thrusters

muscle bands

Total body exercises are good to throw into the mix too. It will help you burn a lot of calories and keep the intensity rolling. The resistance band thruster is one of our favorites because it is really going to exhaust your legs, glutes and shoulders in an effective way for building muscle.

Check out our resistance band training e-guide. It has over 250 exercises categorized by building muscle & strength, mobility, flexibility, rehab, and more.

best resistance band for building muscle


As mentioned, it’s good to switch things up during the year. For example, you could have 4 programs, each that you do for 3 months out of the year.

We will quickly discuss some workout programs that are good for building muscle using resistance bands.

1) Full Body Workout Plan:

We like full body programs for beginners, as it doesn’t take much to overload the muscle. Even one or two exercises done for a few sets each can do the trick when first starting out. It’s a lot easier to make gains as a beginner.

However, at some point, you’ll need to move from a full body program to a split program as splits allow you to overload your muscle groups properly and then give them time to rest before hitting them again.

Note: Full body programs are also good for more advanced trainees. You may want to do a full body program at low intensity for a few weeks after a very rigorous training cycle. This is, again, an important concept of periodization.

2) Upper Lower Workout Plan:

An upper lower split is exactly as it sounds. You’ll do an upper body workout one day and a lower body workout the next. Upper lower splits allow you to hit your muscles group multiple times per week (at a minimum each muscle group twice per week), which is great for maximizing gains in muscle mass.

Note: Hitting muscle groups more times a week is proven to be more effective than once a week for muscle growth, but you’ll need to recover properly before hitting the same muscle group again.

If you are new to an upper lower split, it can look like this…

Day 1: Upper Body
Day 2: Lower Body
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Upper Body
Day 5: Lower Body
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Rest

As you progress, you can add more workouts into the week, which is another form of progressive overload…

Day 1: Upper Body
Day 2: Lower Body
Day 3: Upper Body
Day 4: Lower Body
Day 5: Rest

For this kind of schedule, you will need great recovery practices, which means sleeping well and eating well.

3) Push Pull Legs Workout Plan:

The push pull legs split breaks your workouts into push days (upper body push), pull days (upper body pull) and leg days (lower body exercises). It has very similar benefits to upper lower splits in that you can hit your muscle groups more frequently. The good thing about push pull legs is, you have less muscle groups to focus on for push and pull days, so you can give your upper body muscle groups a little more attention each workout.

4) 4 or 5 Day Workout Plan:

4 day splits or 5 day splits will have you training 1-3 muscle groups per workout. For example…

4 Day Split:

Day 1: Chest and Tricep
Day 2: Back and Bicep
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Legs/Glutes
Day 6: Shoulders and Core
Day 7: Rest

5 Day Split:

Day 1: Chest
Day 2: Back and Core
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Legs/Glutes
Day 5: Shoulders
Day 6: Arms (biceps and triceps) and Core
Day 7: Rest

These types of splits are good for beginner and intermediate lifters. They also lend themselves to medium intensity workouts, which might be good to do for a couple months a year. You can really hone in on each muscle group and give them plenty of recovery time before hitting them again. This is our least favorite split but it’s a good split to do for 8 weeks out of the year as you can really hammer down on each muscle group without over stressing your body as whole.

There are other splits, but these are all good ones to start with.

Whatever you decide to start with, stick to it. If you decide to do 4 weeks with one training plan, then go for it. Make a plan and stick to it and employ progressive overload throughout the plan you set.

how can i build muscle with resistance bands


Using the hypertrophy splits above, here are some good resistance band workout examples for each…

We will be using a few different protocols, such as supersets, ladders, and dropsets. When it comes to building muscle, these are good ways to overload your muscles.

You’ll mainly want to do the typical ‘sets x reps’ if your goal is to build muscle, as well as supersets. But mixing things up with different protocols is good for muscle fiber recruitment and keeping the intensity high.

NOTE: You don’t have to do the exercises in the same order every workout! You can change up the order of your exercises every week! But stick to the same exercises for the length of your training plan so you can progress strategically.

You’ll find all of the below exercises in links provided at the end of this article.

Upper Body Workout:

  1. Banded Push Ups: 4 sets x 10-20 reps
  2. Bent Over Back Rows: 4 sets x 10-20 reps
  3. Incline Banded Push Ups: 4 sets x 10-20 reps
  4. Split Stance Single Arm Neutral Grip Rows: 4 sets x 10 reps each side
  5. Overhead Tricep Extensions: 5 sets x 15 reps
  6. Single Arm Bicep Curls: 5 sets x 15 reps (each side)

Lower Body Workout:

  1. Front Squats: 4 sets x 20 reps
  2. RDL: 4 sets x 15 reps
  3. Sumo Deadlift: 4 sets x 12 reps
  4. Split Squat: 4 sets x 15 reps
  5. Good Mornings: 4 sets x 10 reps

Push Workout (for Push Pull Leg Split):

  1. Banded Push Ups: 4 sets x max reps (use a heavier band on the last 2 sets – and slow and controlled reps always, time under tension is more important than the amount of reps)
  2. Chest Fly: 3 sets x 15 reps
  3. (Superset)Single Arm Overhead Press x Lateral Raises: 3 sets x 10 reps each side
  4. Upright Rows: 4 sets x 12 reps
  5. (Superset) Single Arm Overhead Extensions x Tricep Kickbacks: 3 sets x 10 reps each side

Back & Bicep Workout (for 4 or 5 day split but also a Pull Split):

  1. Chin Ups: 4 sets x max reps (use bands as assistance if needed)
  2. (Superset) Seated Rows Underhand x Seated Rows Overhand: 3 sets x 10 reps
  3. Trap Raises: 4 sets x 12 reps (hold at the top for a two second count)
  4. Two Handed Bicep Curls Descending Ladder: 20, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 reps very minimal rest between sets.

Full Body Metabolic Workouts with Resistance Band for Building Muscle:

One of the best ways to build muscle with any lightweight equipment is by doing metabolic workouts.

You don’t need heavy weights, so resistance bands will be perfect.

Metabolic workouts are simple, you need low rest time, high intensity, and your workouts should be around 30-40 minutes, never longer.

Perform compound exercises only. That’s how you burn a lot of calories and build muscle at the same time!

It’s very similar to HIIT. It’s like a hybrid of resistance training and HIIT. You can use protocols like supersets, circuits, ascending/descending ladders, complexes, Tabata.

Here’s a good, simple full body metabolic workout with bands.

Circuit 1:

  1. Squats x 30 seconds
  2. Deadlifts x 30 seconds
  3. Rows x 30 seconds

Rest 15 seconds between each exercise and do 4-5 rounds

Circuit 2:

  1. Chest press x 30 seconds
  2. Shoulder press x 30 seconds
  3. Mountain climbers x 45 seconds (no band needed on this one)

Don’t rest between exercises, rest 1 minute between rounds. Complete 4-5 rounds

Ascending/Descending Ladder:

  1. Squat Thruster x 10
  2. Burpee with push up x 1

First set is 10 reps of squat thrusters and 1 rep burpee with push up, done consecutively, immediately go into the next set and do 9 squat thrusters and 2 burpees with push ups, then, 8 squat thrusters and 3 burpees with push up, and continue like this until you do 1 squat thruster and 10 burpees with push up. Then you are done

Only rest if you must. This is a burn out workout finisher.

Simple, tough, and effective for all fitness levels. Who said full body is just for beginners?!

SFS FIVE – Resistance Band Workout Package

resistance band workouts


Results will vary depending on various factors, as they do with any type of exercise routines and equipment.

Things like how frequent your training is, how difficulty your workouts are, how well you are employing progressive overload techniques, your nutrition, your rest, your genetics, and your starting fitness level all play a role in how long it takes to see results.

On average, beginners and those who’ve taken a break from fitness for some time can expect to see some noticeable muscle growth within eight weeks of starting a resistance band training regimen. If you are starting off past a beginner level, you should see some good results around 12 weeks in.

building muscle using resistance bands


How often can you train with resistance bands?

One of the great things about resistance bands is they are less taxing on the body. As long as you eat well, sleep well, and drink a lot of water, you should be able to have a high training frequency. However, it really depends on how you feel. You don’t want to overtrain, as letting your body rest is just as important for building muscle as working out is.

If you want to workout every day, then do splits rather than full body workouts.

Here is an example of a weekly workout plan that would have you training every day:

  • Monday – Legs (quads, hamstrings, glutes)
  • Tuesday – chest, triceps
  • Wednesday – core (abs, obliques)
  • Thursday – back, biceps, forearms
  • Friday – shoulders, traps, calves
  • Saturday- core (abs, obliques)
  • Sunday – REPEAT (or take a day off, do an HIIT workout, run, cycle, swim, etc.)

Here are two resistance band workout schedule for building muscle that we recommend:

Day 1 – Lower Body (quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves)
Day 2 – Upper Body (chest, back, shoulders)
Day 3 – Core & Arms (abs, obliges, biceps, triceps)
Day 4 – Rest
Day 5 – Lower Body (quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves)
Day 6- Upper Body (chest, back, shoulders)
Day 7 – Core & Arms (abs, obliges, biceps, triceps)
Day 8 – Rest

Day 1 – Lower Body (quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves)
Day 2 – Rest
Day 3 – Upper Body (chest, back, shoulders, biceps, abs)
Day 4 – Rest
Day 5 – Lower Body (quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves)
Day 6- Rest
Day 7 – Upper Body (chest, back, shoulders, triceps, abs)
Day 8 – Rest

Full body muscle building resistance band routine for beginners:

Day 1 – Full Body
Day 2 – Rest
Day 3 – Full Body
Day 4 – Rest
Day 5 – Full Body
Day 6- Rest
Day 7 – Full Body
Day 8 – Rest

For full body workouts, target each large muscle group for at least 2 exercises. Focus on compound exercises as they’ll give you the best bang for your buck. Exercises like banded squats, resistance band deadlifts, chest presses, shoulder presses, and rows if you want your workouts to be efficient, which they should be.

here are some effective resistance band exercises and workouts for you to try and pull inspiration from!

SFS FIVE – Resistance Band Workout Package

resistance band workouts

Ourresistance band training e-guide. It has over 250 exercises categorized by building muscle & strength, mobility, flexibility, rehab, and more:

best resistance band for building muscle

SUMMARY for Building Muscle with Resistance Bands

The most effective way to train with resistance bands is by focusing on these progressive overload methods.

  • Time under tension
  • Rest time
  • Volume of workout

These are the easiest progressive overload methods for resistance bands.

Stick to these three and you will gain muscle.

You should also go up in resistance band size for certain exercises where it makes sense and is possible.

Moreover, switch up your routine ever 4-12 weeks!

Building muscle is a science, so be smart and track yourself each week so you can increase the difficulty the following week.

What’s more, aim to do metabolic workouts. Metabolic workouts are best for building muscle with less resistance. Metabolic workouts work perfectly with resistance bands and you won’t just build muscle, you will burn fat and get ripped too, which should be the ultimate goal of fitness – shredded with lean muscle.

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