How to Properly Use Tension Bands

In this article, you are going to learn how to use resistance bands. This instruction and our ideas for tracking your progress with resistance bands are found nowhere else.
So, if you are serious about learning how to use resistance bands properly, to successfully build muscle, stick around.

Why We Obsess About Resistance Band Training

For the last two-plus years, we’ve only used resistance bands to strength train. As traveling digital nomads, they’re the only portable option that allows us to strength train effectively anywhere.

At first, I didn’t think bands wouldn’t work. They are for old and injured people, right? Plus, I had tried them and never got results. But, then again, I am getting older and more injury-prone every day.

So, with a slightly open mind, I dove into research studies comparing free weights and resistance bands. I discovered that bands offer numerous benefits that free weights don’t.

After a year of strength training with only resistance bands, we were hooked and feeling stronger than ever on our hiking and skiing trips.


To share our love for band exercises, we designed a Resistance Band Workout Routine that would be free for all. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to find a structured resistance band training routine online.

The program is free to download, complete with upper body, core, and lower body resistance band exercises, written guidance, video instruction (example below), and an 8-week workout calendar and resistance tracker sheet with built-in variety and periodization to keep you interested and challenged.

If you are looking to save money, you’re on the right track by working out at home. We have been since 2012, and by doing so, we have saved $7,050. Check out our cost-benefit analysis calculation of home workouts in our article, ‘Home Gym Vs. Gym Membership.’

Start With The Resistance Band Basics

As of publishing this article, 250 plus people have downloaded our Resistance Band Workout Routine. Many of them still have questions about the basics of how to use resistance bands properly to achieve muscle fatigue.

In our complete program, you’ll learn everything you need to know about what exercises to do and how to use proper form with the resistance bands.

In this article, we share the basics of how to get started using resistance bands so that you are successful.

The first step is understanding that resistance bands are way different than dumbbells. So, you must be patient while you learn the ways of resistance bands.

Resistance Bands Are Just Different

Resistance bands are less straight forward than free weights. With exercise bands, the precise weight you are lifting is unknown and variable. Conversely, the weight of a dumbbell is clear and constant.

Most people have learned how to lift weights in school, sports, or from a workout buddy. However, few people learn how to use resistance bands, unless taught in physical therapy. That was how I learned about bands, but once the therapist cleared me for sports, I went straight for the weight rack.

At first, resistance bands are harder to use than weights. And by ‘harder to use,’ I mean it’s harder to hit muscle failure consistently.

Resistance Bands Are Just Different

When you start using resistance bands, you need to be patient. The vast majority who try using resistance bands quickly conclude that lifting weights is more effective. We were in that category for years. That’s because, like any skill, it takes time to learn.

Lifting weights is not more effective than using resistance bands. The only exception will be if your goal is to lift a Volkswagen Beetle or look like the incredible hulk.

Resistance bands offer the same benefits as weights and more. Additional benefits of resistance bands are they provide constant tension to recruit more muscles and multi-directional resistance to build strength for more real-life movements like swinging a golf club, shoveling, playing softball, or lifting your 4-year-old niece.

Not to mention, they are cheap, minimalist, easy to transport, and are safer to use compared to free weights. I won’t give away all the benefits since we wrote an in-depth article on, ‘The Benefits of Using Resistance Bands.’ But, now you know that it’s worth it to learn how to use resistance bands.