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March 10, 2022 3 min read

We often associate growing muscles with heavy weightlifting equipment. However, building your muscle mass does not always involve throwing around heavy barbells and dumbbells. You can achieve these results with lightweight resistance bands! In this article, we’ll explore how muscle-building works and how resistance bands can help you in this endeavour.

How Building Muscles Work

Building your muscles relies on overloading the muscle to place stress on it and refeeding the muscle to allow it to grow back stronger. Overloading your muscles involves exercise. However, your muscles can not differentiate a dumbbell from a resistance band. It only recognises the tension you place on the muscle to work it. 

Both free weights and resistance bands are effective for muscle building, but resistance bands can build muscle more effectively as long as you do the proper exercises.

The Advantage of Resistance Bands

Although free weights will always be the best choice if you are trying to do extensive exercises and build big muscles, resistance bands come with the following advantages:

  • These bands use dynamic tension as you are working against the elastic tension of the band throughout your range of movement. There is no resistance at the top of the movement when using free weights.
  • These bands use continual variance, which is the change of resistance levels at different points through the exercise. As you get away from the anchor point, there is more resistance force that makes it more challenging. Free weights only have constant resistance.
  • Unlike free weights, you can’t cheat resistance bands with momentum.
  • Unlike free weights or machines, you can mimic everyday and sporting movements with resistance bands.
  • You can combine resistance bands with other equipment such as the ab wheel for a more effective exercise routine.
  • Resistance bands are safer to use compared to weights.

Muscle-Building Exercises with Resistance Bands

There are various muscle-building exercises with resistance bands. You can do any of the following:

Targeting Your Shoulder Girdle with Band Pull-Aparts

Hold a resistance band out in front of you at arm’s length between your two hands with your palms facing down. You will only be holding the middle of the band in the relaxed position. 

Initiate a stretch by stretching your locked arms wide. The distance between your hands should be about the width of your torso. Slowly return to the start position and repeat in three sets of 12-15 reps.

Strengthening the Serratus Muscles through Punches

Have one end of your resistance band attached to a fixed object at about the height of your waist. Grasp the other end of the band with one hand and step away from this anchor point. Keep a straight arm at a 45-degree angle from your shoulder.

Punch forward as far as you can without unlocking your elbow. Do this in three sets of 12 reps on each arm.

Building the Obliques with Oblique Corkscrews

Attach one end of the resistance band attached to a fixed object a foot higher than your head. Step away from the anchor point and hold the band around the upper arm farthest from the anchor point. This will bring your resistance band up to your armpit.

Bend the arm up so that you are grabbing the band just above the shoulder. Rotate inward from the obliques to create a crunching movement. Contract the obliques as you come down. Do this in three sets of 12 reps.


Resistance bands are a great alternative if you are not ready to invest in more expensive free weights and machines. You can build muscle effectively with resistance bands as long as you do the right exercises.

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