How To Combine & Stack Resistance Bands (5 Things To Know)

Stacking, or using more than one band together, offers a lot of benefits.

On the other hand, combining, or using bands with other exercise equipment can really help you speed up your muscle-building goals!

Are you planning to successfully stack or combine your resistance bands with other equipment?

You can really do it if you read till the end…

Here are 5 really important things you must know when combining and stacking resistance bands.

Here we go…

Are Your Resistance Bands Stackable & Can You Combine Them?

According to this study [1], resistance bands are designed to assist muscle-building workouts. They can either be used as the main or supporting strength training tools [2]. 

Good news: all resistance bands are stackable. You can also combine them with other gym equipment like barbells, dumbbells, pull-up bars, etc. for added tension.

More tension means a higher opportunity for your muscles to get bigger and stronger…

My resistance bands

Haven’t you found the right resistance bands, yet? I encourage you to check mine using this link.

I am really satisfied with this set of stackable bands because they work well with other equipment. Also, they don’t roll-up easily.

You will surely find them handy for stacking and combining…

But…

Why should I care about stacking and combining resistance bands when weights already provide good resistance?

Whoa! Good question. 

Here are a few, but strong answers to that:

Reason 1: You Can Progressively Overload Faster By Stacking & Combining Resistance Bands.

Progressive overload [3] holds a safe exercise principle that allows the gradual increase of weight or resistance toward higher muscle gains. It simply adds more pressure to the muscles, but only progressively.

In other words, this practice ensures 101% safety results as it prevents muscle injuries, strains, etc. from happening.

With the help of resistance bands, you can: 

  • Subject your muscles to tension pressure, not pressure by gravity
  • Work out without fear of being crushed by 100 kg. of weight
  • Control the resistance strength one at a time
  • Work out on your own

Stacking and combining resistance bands allow you to:

  • Know how much more weight you need for your muscles
  • Increase weights quickly and conveniently
  • Subject your muscles to build up, not tense out

Reason 2: Combining & Stacking Resistance Bands Makes Your Workouts More Productive

In my experience, combining and stacking resistance bands: 

  • Increase the overall resistance you get from the band/bands and other equipment you use
  • Help you target bigger and more demanding muscle groups better stimulating better hypertrophy [3.1]
  • Help you save time and protect you from injuring yourself because you use light rubber bands and not heavy weights

Quick-note: Before I show you how to stack and combine bands, I’d like you to remember that there are two main types of resistance bands:

1. Loop Bands– This type of band resembles a circle which you simply wear and put on.

Example of a loop band

2. Bands with Handles- Unlike the loop bands, this type resembles a line (or technically a tube) with attachments on both ends.

yellow resistance band plased on top of an object
Example of band with handles

Through the attachments, you can simply connect the tube to a handle.

Remember also that:

Because of their different designs, these two bands stack differently from each other.

Are you ready for the steps?

If you are, then let’s go…

How To Stack & Combine Loop Resistance Bands

Loop bands or mini-bands bear a more compact design that you can bring anywhere. Since they work without an anchor point, you can simply wear them on your body for easy stacking.

Here’s How to Stack Them

Take note of the easy steps below and you’ll be stacking your loop bands in no time…

Step 1- Slowly Wear Them One Over The Other.

  • Put one loop band on top of each other. 
  • Position them to a point that they become one single loop on the body.

Step 2- Make Sure To Fix One Loop First Before Putting On Another.

  • Do not rush in wearing the loop bands.
  • Fix one first and free it of any creases before putting on another loop.

Step 3- Test The Loops By Wearing Them.

  • Try wearing three loops together.
  • Do your movement.
  • If you can’t properly do your movement or if you feel that your body is not free, remove one loop band.
  • Continue doing it until you freely move your body.
  • If you only have one left but still can’t freely move your body, then you should be using a super-heavy resistance loop band. Replace them with lighter ones. 

You are basically doing the same thing, except that you stack them together for added tension.

Here’s How To Combine Loop Resistance Bands With Dumbbells (for upper body workout)

The following steps below will hopefully ease out and make your dumbbell exercises more effective…

Example of combining loop resistance bands with a dumbbell

Step 1- Place The Loop Band Under Your Feet (preferably a thinner loop).

  • Lay the loop band flat on the floor.
  • Step on the loop with both of your feet. 
  • Grab 2 dumbbells from the side and lay them on the floor.

Step 2- Wrap Both Ends Of The Loop Into The Dumbbell Handles.

  • Pull both ends of the loop.
  • Wrap them around the dumbbells’ handles. 

Step 3- Start Pulling The Dumbbells Up With Feet Pressing The Band Below For Resisted Force

  • With your feet securely holding down the band, start pulling the dumbbells up knee-high or anywhere at elasticity point. Just don’t over-stretch the band to avoid snapping.
  • Do the required number of reps.

Here’s How I Combine Loop Bands With A Barbell

  • Place 1 or 2 loop bands on the bar.
  • Step on top of the other end, or attach it somewhere (depending on the exercise).
  • Pull the bar.
  • If you’re using one band, use it in the middle of the bar.
  • If you’re using two bands, hold each band with your two hands.

Are you ready for more? I bet you are…

Need dumbbells that match perfectly with your resistance bands? I highly recommend that you click on this link and these one here.

I have been using these products for years now, and they have never disappointed me.

Here’s How I Combine Loop Resistance Bands With Barbell

Now, here’s a heavier combination because you’re involving barbell. But trust me, if you follow these steps and do them by heart, you’ll definitely succeed!

Step 1- Secure Two Loop Bands Into Both Sides Of The Barbell.

  • Prepare two light-weighted loop bands.
  • Attach the ends of both bands into both sides of the barbell. 
  • Secure non-slip band actions by placing them in between plates. 
  • Lock the loops in using weight clips.
  • Attach the opposite ends of the loops into a solid anchor. 
  • Lock the anchors’ sides with stoppers to prevent the loops from slipping out and snapping. 

Step 2- Start Pulling The Barbell.

  • Stand erect with legs sufficiently apart from each other. 
  • Slowly pull the barbell upwards.
  • Do the required number of reps.
  • Make sure to feel the elasticity point of the point to avoid overstretching it.

Is combining resistance with weights for me?

Combining resistance with weights require advanced training capacity. 

Even if its a very useful strategy, it’s not for everyone because it’s really hard.

If you are just starting with your training, I recommend that you use lighter resistance bands first and naturally improve from them. 

Combining loop bands with free weights only becomes necessary when you have progressed far but still aim a notch higher.

DON’T GO YET!

Because..

The next points will be about stacking and combining resistance bands with handles!

Let’s get going…

How To Stack & Combine Resistance Bands With Handles

Resistance bands with handles come with built-in straps, clips, and other attachments.

Example of how to stack them

They are simply designed for stacking and combining. 

Here’s How To Stack Resistance Bands With Handles Together

Stacking resistance bands with handles is exciting especially if you purchase the band set with built-in attachments. Personally, I find this easiest method to do.

Step 1- Clip Your Preferred Number Of Bands Into Two Handles

  • Purchase stackable bands (preferably lighter), plus two handles. 
  • Lay the bands down to properly position them. Make sure that they are of varying resistance levels.
  • Clip one band at a time into the handle.
  • Do this on the opposite end. 
  • Make sure that the bands are properly clipped.
  • If successful, the bands will settle smoothly stacked on top of each other. 

Quick note: You can use the stacked bands for a wide range of exercises. 

Ready for the tougher part?

Finally…

Here’s How To Combine Handle Resistance Bands With Barbell

Working out with the barbell couldn’t be any more effective when combined with resistance bands…

Step 1- Attach Both Ends Of The Bands To Opposite Sides Of The Barbells.

  • Using clips, straps, or any forms of attachment, secure the ends of the bands into the both sides of the barbell.
  • Use a lighter band for this routine.

Step 2- Anchor The Middle Part Of The Band With Your Feet.

  • With the band in place, step into its middle part to anchor it.

Step 3- Start Pulling Up The Barbell.

  • Begin pulling the barbell.
  • Take it slow if necessary. 

Interested to know which exercises you can stack and combine your resistance bands with?

Read on to find out…

Keep your bands and let’s get going…

Which Exercises Can You Stack & Combine Your Resistance Bands With?

Almost all resistance band exercises can benefit from stacking and combining [4].

Here are exercises where I usually stack and combine resistance bands with:

  1. Lateral Kicks
  2. Side Glutes
  3. Shoulder Press
  4. Side Squats
  5. Glute Bridge
  6. Deadlift
  7. etc.

How can I know if my exercise is requiring stacking or combining of bands?

You’ll definitely find this out for yourself.

But..

For a head’s-up, here’s how you know:

  • Exercise is stuck in the same resistance level over and again
  • Exercise no longer builds your muscles
  • Exercise is slow in giving desired results

Here are other things you need to remember with stacking and combining resistance bands:

  • If you’re trying to build muscle mass, your goal is to do between 6 to 15 repetitions max. If you can do more than that, you probably need to include an additional band.
  • If you are training for explosive power, you should stack only when you feel like you need more resistance.
  • If you’re training for weight loss, then you probably don’t need to stack bands. That is because in most cases, you are doing your workouts for a lot of seconds, and you don’t need a lot of resistance to make your muscles burn.

Now, you’ve reached the most interesting part …

Here are 4 solid reasons why you need to stack and combine resistance bands…

What Are The Advantages Of Stacking & Combining Resistance Bands

The advantages of stacking and combining resistance bands include:

1. Increased Tension

Stacking bands or combining them with other equipment increases their usual resistance tension. 

Adding 1 or 2 bands with different resistance levels equates to adding an average of around 20-30 pounds of weight. 

Usually, increased resistance tension result to increased muscle mass and strength.

3. Better Progressive Overload

When you combine bands with weights (or stack them), you make the whole process of building muscle and strength a lot easier and faster.

4. Safer Workout With Good Results

The main goal of stacking and combining bands is to allow your muscles to reach their maximum strength, minus the negative impacts on your joints caused by lifting heavy weights.

So…

You get the same resistance without sacrificing your health.

PHEW!

Easy, right?

Check out this last fact to know the right preparations before stacking and combining bands…

3 Other Things To Consider Before Combining & Stacking Resistance Bands

What are other necessary things to consider before combining and stacking bands?

Here are a few you have to consider:

1. You May Need To Wear Gloves!

Gloves improve your gripping on handles. They also protect your hands from injuries and from developing callous in the long run.

My favorite gloves

Treat yourself with the best pair of gloves.

But if you still can’t find any good gloves, I invite you to take a quick look into my favorite gloves by clicking this link.

I used these gloves for several workouts, and they still give me strong grips to this day!

2. You Must Own Bands With Different Resistance Levels

Before deciding to stack or combine bands, you must have purchased or owned different bands, ideally a set of bands

Why?

Stacking and combining them can be a trial and error deal. Having different bands helps you find the right match. 

Lastly, different bands hold a wider range of resistance levels.

Side-note: Bands have two main types: the loop bands and the bands with handles.

I highly recommend that you own these two types so that you have more options when you stack and combine bands.

One type, for instance, may work well with stacking, while the other may not. So, it’s better to have more options on the type of bands to use.

Are you looking for the right bands? I encourage you to check out my favorite loop bands here, and bands with handles over here.

You surely won’t regret these 2 sets!

3. You Must Have Some Previous Experience

Even if stacking and combining resistance bands with dumbells, barbell, pull-up bar and other equipment is super effective it’s not for everyone…

I’m sorry to tell you this but in order for you to be able to do this safely and efficiently, you need to have to first master the exercises and movements you want to make harder perfectly.

Examples:

If for example you can do barely do only 6-7 repetitions with a light resistance band then you don’t need any more additional resistance.

If you can do only 10 repetitions using 20 lbs dumbbells you don’t need any more resistance.

etc.

So before you jump and incorporate bands make sure you really need it. A good rule of thumb is this:

If you can easily do more than 12-15 repetitions and are training for muscle mass/strength then you would like to increase the overall difficulty of the exercise.

Conclusion

Combining and stacking resistance bands offer a lot of benefits. 

While these practices serve only to advanced muscle builders, they can also work on beginners if done properly, following the 5 hacks/tips to know.

Using lighter resistance bands also helps introduce your muscles to added resistance!

But…

Before everything else, stacking and combining bands require thorough thinking. 

Do you think your muscles are ready for increased tension? Do you think your bands are stackable? Do you think you have the sufficient clips to stack and combine bands?

If you do, then go for it. Your efforts will surely pay off. After all, you now know how to combine and stack resistance bands!

Does this article interest you? Do you want to know more about resistance bands? 

Then, please check our reader-recommended articles below:

“Stack ’em up for success!”

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