Resistance bands are versatile and effective fitness tools that can help you achieve remarkable results in transforming your body.
Whether you’re aiming to build strength, increase muscle definition, or improve overall fitness, incorporating resistance band workouts into your routine can make a significant impact.
Here are the top 30 resistance band exercises to incorporate into your next training session.
- 1 How Effective Are Resistance Band Workouts?
- 2 Lower-Body Exercises
- 3 Arms
- 4 Abs
- 5 Back
- 6 Chest
- 7 Shoulders
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Effective Are Resistance Band Workouts?
Resistance band training used to be looked at as a second-rate option to lifting weights or as a low-quality home exercise. But the public perception has changed, and many realize the advantages of these versatile tools.
Exercise bands can provide a full-body workout for any fitness level without the need for expensive equipment.
Resistance band exercises create consistent muscle tension throughout the entire range of motion. This makes them an excellent tool for isolation exercises and improving flexibility and mobility.
The different resistance ranges make them scaleable for any fitness level, whether you’re just beginning or seeking to optimize a specific lift. There’s also a near-endless range of exercises—whether you’re seeking an effective full-body workout or want to target essential movements.
1. Banded Front Squat
The band front squat can enhance lower body muscle activation, stability, range of motion, and core strength.
- Step onto the middle of the exercise band. Keep your feet flat and hip-width apart, gripping the ends of the band in both hands or wrapping it around your back.
- Slowly press your hips back into a sitting stance. Bend at the knees, lowering toward the ground until your knees reach a 90-degree angle and your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Hold this stance for 2–3 seconds.
- Now, slowly lift your body up into the starting position to finish the rep. Repeat for your desired rep range.
Resistance band deadlifts offer consistent resistance throughout the movement, providing more muscle activation and strength development in the posterior chain.
- Begin with your feet hip distance apart, with the elastic band wrapped around the arches of your feet.
- Push your hips backward to grip the band with both hands. Keep your arms straight.
- Now, push through the heels to stand up straight and tighten your glutes at the top of the movement.
- Return to the starting stance for one repetition. Repeat the movement for your desired rep range.
3. Glute Bridge
The resistance band glute bridge activates and strengthens the glutes, enhances stability, improves the range of motion, and promotes balanced muscle development in a joint-friendly manner.
- Wrap a resistance band around your legs just above the knees.
- Lie on your back with your arms and feet flat on the floor. Bend the knees to a 90-degree angle.
- Now, lift your hips toward the ceiling by tightening the glutes and core.
- Pause for a moment and return to the start position for one repetition. Repeat for your desired rep range.
4. Lateral Band Walk
The lateral band walk engages the hip abductors, enhances stability, improves lateral movement, and promotes balance and lower body strength.
- Place an exercise band around your thighs. Slowly lower your body into a half-squat position.
- Now, lift your right foot, taking one step to the right. Follow this with the left foot.
- Finally, reverse the movement and return to the starting position for one repetition. Repeat the movement for your desired rep range.
5. Standing Abduction
If you need to strengthen the hip abductor muscles, try the standing resistance band abduction. This movement can improve hip stability and promote balance in the lower body.
- Stand straight with a closed-loop band placed around the legs just underneath the knees.
- Now, move one leg to the side with a 45-degree angle to the ground. Keep the leg straight.
- Slowly lower your leg back to the starting stance to finish the rep. Repeat with the opposite leg.
6. Bicep Curl
The resistance band bicep curl is an excellent movement for isolating the biceps and improving arm stability without extra pressure from weights.
- Place the band under one foot and grip the ends in each hand. Keep your palms facing toward the ceiling and stand with a slight bend in the knees.
- Begin with the bands at hip level and bend your elbows to lift to shoulder height. Ensure the elbows are close to your ribs.
- Return to the starting stance to finish the rep and repeat.
7. Tricep Kickback
For strengthening the tricep muscles, try the resistance band tricep kickbacks. These will help strengthen your arms, increase your range of motion, and promote a balanced upper body.
- Anchor the resistance band under both of your feet and grip each end with your hands.
- Stand in a forward bent position, keeping the feet together and the upper body near parallel to the ground.
- Pull the elastic behind you until the arms are completely extended.
- Lower the arms back down to finish the rep and repeat.
8. Single Arm Triceps Extension
The single-arm tricep extension offers similar benefits as the kickback but helps you isolate each arm to improve mobility, stability, and strength.
- Start by standing with the feet shoulder-width apart. The resistance band should be under the left foot.
- Now, grip the opposite end of the elastic with your left hand. Keep the hand at shoulder height behind the body with palms facing the sky.
- Pull the elastic straight up toward the sky, extending and straightening the arm overhead.
- Carefully lower your arm to the starting stance and repeat.
- Repeat with the other arm for your desired rep range.
9. Concentration Curl
The concentration curl is another variation of the bicep curl, which can be a useful addition to your workout routine.
- Begin sitting in a chair with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Place the middle of the resistance band underneath your feet.
- The grip on the end of the elastic with your right hand. Place your elbow on the inside of your knee with a slight bend in the body.
- Now, with the palm facing the sky, curl the resistance band up toward the shoulder.
- Squeeze the biceps at the top of the movement before lowering your hand to finish the rep.
10. Single Arm Banded Reverse Bicep Curl
The single-arm banded reverse bicep curl turns the forearms into primary movers, helping you build bigger biceps and forearms in one movement.
- Start with the band underneath your feet and stand with the feet shoulder-width apart.
- Grab the resistance band with your right hand at hip height, palm facing toward the ground.
- Curl the elastic up toward your chest and keep the elbow close to your sides.
- Squeeze your biceps at the top of the movement before slowly lowering to the starting position.
- Repeat for your desired rep range on the opposite hand.
11. Bicycle Crunch
The bicycle crunch will help engage and strengthen the abdominal muscles, improve core stability, and enhance the range of motion.
- Lie flat on the ground on your back. Keep the arms at your side with a closed-loop band placed around the feet.
- Position your head, neck, and shoulders to look forward. Maintain a flat lower back on the ground.
- Now, pull your left knee toward the chest and extend the right leg above the ground at the same time.
- Reverse the movement by extending the left leg while bringing the right knee toward the chest.
- Repeat the movement for your desired rep range.
12. Side Plank High Pull
Resistance band side plank high pulls engage and strengthen the core muscles, shoulders, and obliques, making it an excellent movement for overall muscle development.
- Begin in a side plank position. Place the resistance band under the left hand on the floor and grip the other end in the right hand.
- Maintain a plank position as you lift the band with the right hand toward the ceiling.
- Slowly lower the right hand to finish one repetition.
13. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers work multiple muscles, like the hamstrings, quads, shoulders, triceps, and core. If you do this movement with a low resistance band, you can easily turn it into a cardio workout to burn extra calories.
- Begin in a push-up stance with the middle of the band placed around the sole of your right foot.
- Place one end of the elastic under each hand, with the palms flat on the floor.
- Now, pull the right knee into your chest with an optional pause.
- Press the heel back and lower your foot to the starting position to finish the rep.
- Repeat for your desired rep range on the opposite foot.
14. Upright Core Twist
The standing core twist is an incredibly simple movement that strengthens the core muscles, obliques, and lower back.
- Start by standing in the middle of the band with your feet hip-width apart, griping on each of the elastic in each hand.
- Keep a slight bend in the elbows, raising your hands underneath your chest with the palms forward.
- Now, with a slight bend in the knees, rotate the upper body from right to center to the left and back to center. Repeat the movement for your desired rep range.
15. Banded Oblique Crunch
Banded oblique crunches engage the oblique muscles, promoting core stability and improving lateral flexion strength.
- Lie on your right side with your legs together, hips over one another, and the middle of the elastic around your feet.
- Hold the band’s ends with your left palm. Extend your right arm in front of you, palm flat, and place your left palm in front of your thighs.
- Engage your abs and keep the elastic tight. Bend your left elbow behind you at shoulder height while raising your upper body and legs off the floor, balancing on your right hip.
- Lower back to the starting position to finish the repetition. Complete the movement on the opposite side for your desired rep range.
16. Bent-Over Row
Resistance band bent over rows effectively engages and strengthens the back muscles, improving posture and shoulder stability.
- Position the resistance band underneath both your feet and stand with your feet shoulder-width distance.
- Slightly bend over and grip both ends of the bands just below the knee.
- Now, pull the strap straight up towards your ribcage, tightening your shoulder blades and bending the elbows.
- Gently lower the resistance band back to the starting stance and repeat for your desired rep range.
17. Upright Row
The upright row is another way you can engage and strengthen the back muscles. This movement can also help with posture and shoulder stability.
- Stand on the resistance band with the feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the elastic with your palms facing the chest in front of your thigh.
- Now, grip the band straight up the front of your body until you reach shoulder height, bending the elbows.
- Gently lower the band back to thigh height to finish the repetition.
18. Upper Back Row
The upper back row is another variation you can try, but it requires a set point like a railing or post. Adding multiple variations to your workout routine can be useful for super setting and challenging the muscles.
- Position the middle of the resistance band around a rail or post. Grip the handles with both hands.
- Take steps backward until the band is tight and your arms are extended straight.
- Bring the elbows into the ribcage to finish one repetition. Repeat the movement for your desired rep range.
19. Pull Apart
The resistance band pull-apart is fantastic for targeting the upper back and shoulders. It’s a straightforward move and easy to perform; here’s how.
- Stand with the feet at approximately shoulder-width distance. Grip the elastic band in front of the middle of your chest.
- Pull the elastic apart by pulling your hands out to the sides, pulling until you can’t get any more.
- Pause for a moment and slowly return to the starting stance. Repeat the movement for repetitions.
20. Lat Pulldown
The lat pulldown targets the lat muscles and requires the resistance band to be hanging overheard.
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip the resistance band about 6 inches from each end, with your arms fully extended.
- Position your arms above your head, maintain a neutral pelvis, and tighten your core muscles.
- Pull the band straight down towards your chest, bringing your arms directly down to your sides. Stop when your arms are parallel to the ground, and focus on feeling the lat muscles directing this movement.
- Release the band and return to the starting position.
21. Banded Push-Up
The banded push-up is a variation of the classic movement, targeting the chest, deltoids, and triceps.
- Move into a push-up stance with your hands a bit wider than shoulder-width. Position the resistance band underneath both hands and loop it around the back of the shoulders.
- Now, start to execute the push-up by carefully lowering your chest toward the ground. Bend the elbows until the arms are 90 degrees to the ground.
- Lift your body back into the starting stance and repeat for your desired reps.
22. Standing Chest Press
Another option that requires a column or pole is the standing chest press. It’s a fantastic option for targeting and developing the chest muscles.
- Position the resistance band on a pole or support at about chest height.
- Grip each hand with your back to the support beam.
- Take a step forward to tighten the band and place your hands at chest level.
- With the elbows up and palms downward, press the resistance band straight in front of you until the arms are fully extended. Pause and squeeze the chest muscles.
- Return to the starting stance and repeat the movement for your desired rep range.
23. Chest Fly
The chest fly is an excellent movement for the chest and requires a support point. It targets the entire chest, providing balanced muscle development.
- Position the middle of the resistance band around a support beam or railing at around shoulder height.
- Grip both handles with your back to the anchor point.
- Stand with your arms straight out at the sides.
- Press the elastic in front of you, pulling the arms inward and directly in front of the middle of your chest.
- Return to the starting position to finish the rep.
24. Bench Press
The resistance band bench press can be an excellent variation of the traditional technique, especially if you don’t have a barbell or dumbbell on hand.
- Position the resistance band underneath the bench and lie on your back on the bench.
- Grip each end of the resistance band in both hands.
- Position the hands at the top of your chest with the palms facing the sky.
- Now, extend the arms straight over the chest until they are fully extended.
- Pause at the top of the movement before slowly lowering the arms to finish the repetition.
25. Incline Chest Press
The incline chest press will engage more of the upper muscle in the chest, helping you build a fuller and bigger chest. This movement requires an incline bench or a chair that can recline.
- Begin sitting with the center of the band around a support beam or rail behind you.
- Grip the end or handle of the band in each hand. Bring it to just below shoulder height.
- Press the elastic straight above your chest until the arms are fully extended.
- Lower your hands to finish one rep. Repeat the movement for your desired rep range.
26. Overhead Press
The resistance band overhead press is an excellent movement for improving shoulder strength, stability, and range of motion.
- Stand on the center of the resistance band with your feet around shoulder-width apart.
- Grab each handle or end, positioning the hands at shoulder height with the palms facing straight forward.
- Press your hands straight above your head until they are fully extended.
- Lower your hands to the starting position to finish the rep.
27. Forward Raise
The forward delt raise is amazing for isolating the shoulders, improving stability, and promoting balanced muscle development while offering joint-friendly exercise.
- Stand on the middle of the elastic with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab the handles at your sides with the palms facing toward the thigh.
- Now, bring your right arm straight in front of you to shoulder level.
- Slowly lower the arm back down to finish the repetition. Do the same with the opposite arm.
28. Lateral Raise
Resistance band lateral raises effectively strengthen the lateral deltoid muscles, improve shoulder stability and range of motion, and promote balanced upper body development.
- Anchor the resistance band underneath the right foot. Stand in a staggered stance, with the right foot forward and the left foot a bit behind. The knees should be slightly bent.
- Grip the ends of the resistance band with your arms at your side.
- Raise the arms out to the sides until they are parallel to the ground.
- Slowly lower the arms to finish the repetition.
29. Bent-Over Rear Delt Fly
The bent-over rear delt fly targets the rear delts, improving shoulder stability, flexibility, and strength.
- Stand on top of the band with your feet over the middle portion.
- Bend forward at the waist and grab both ends of the band at knee height with the palms facing each other.
- With your back straight, raise your arms out to your sides until you reach shoulder height.
- Gently lower your arms to the starting stance to finish one repetition.
30. Overhead Pull Apart
Resistance band overhead pull-aparts engage the upper back and shoulder muscles and improve posture and shoulder stability.
- Start with the feet around shoulder-width apart. Grip the elastic band directly above the head.
- Now, pull the resistance band apart as you lower it behind the back. Extend your arms fully to each side.
- Pause for a moment before returning to the starting stance to finish the repetition. Repeat for the desired rep range.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do Resistance Band Workouts Really Work?
Yes, resistance band workouts are effective. They offer a versatile and effective way to strengthen and tone your muscles. The bands create constant tension throughout the movements, challenging your muscles and promoting strength development.
Can You Lose Fat With Resistance Bands?
Yes, resistance bands can be an effective tool for losing fat. While they primarily target and strengthen muscles, incorporating resistance band exercises into your workout routine can help create a calorie deficit, which is crucial for fat loss. Resistance band workouts can increase your heart rate, burn calories, and contribute to overall energy expenditure.
Can Resistance Bands Build Abs?
Yes, resistance bands can help strengthen your abdominal and obliques. By performing exercises such as standing core twists, resistance band crunches, or seated Russian twists with resistance bands, you can add resistance and challenge to your ab workouts.