Resistance bands are a breakthrough for their versatility and easy-to-use capabilities. They are ideal for those who do not have access to weights or prefer body-weighted movements. Resistance bands add resistance, just like a weight, but are more accessible and require less strength.
With bands, a person can achieve a full-body workout as well as target specific muscles, like the arms, butt, and core.
For those wondering how to get the most out of resistance band exercises, from full-body to specific areas, here are the 18 best resistance band workouts from our FCER‘s Fitness coaches:
Resistance band arm workouts
With resistance bands, there are numerous ways to make the arms burn. The stronger the resistance, the more the muscle will work due to a more vigorous resistance. For arm workouts, handle resistance bands are sometimes more comfortable as you can have a firmer grip.
1 – Seated bicep curls
- Seated on a chair or exercise block, place the resistance band under your left foot
- Place the band in your left hand.
- Lean your left elbow on the inside of your left knee at a 90-degree angle
- Lean forward and lift the band towards your chest, creating a bicep curl movement
- Repeat the bicep curls on both sides
Tip: perform these as slow as possible for a more significant burn.
2 – Back press
- In a standing position, place one foot in front of the other around shoulder-width apart.
- Place the band behind your back, around midway and place a handle in each hand.
- Create the back press movement by pushing both arms straight in front of you at chest height
- Position your arms back and repeat
Resistance band ab workouts
Ab workouts are highly effective and simple with a resistance band. Most ab favourites, like crunches and leg raises, can be easily adjusted by adding in a resistance band to the bottom of the feet or ankles.
3 – Lying leg raise
- Start in a seated position and legs straight with the band under both legs, around the thighs
- Lie down and create resistance in the band, keeping your arms straight alongside your body
- Lift up only one leg at a time towards the ceiling, creating a 40-degree angle while keeping your arms static
- Drop the lifted leg back to the start position and repeat
4 – Bicycle crunch
- Lie down on your back and make a bend in your knees to a tabletop position
- Place the band around both feet. Place both hands behind your ears and lift your right shoulder off the mat while keeping your elbows bent.
- Draw your left knee up to your chest while straightening the opposite leg.
- Touch your left knee to your right elbow
- Start again and repeat the bicycle crunches on both sides.
Tip: use a mini band for crunches as it will increase the resistance.
Resistance band back workouts
Most back workouts need the handle resistance bands due to better grip. Yet, a regular loop band works too. Back exercises are highly practical for reducing bra back fat and improving posture.
5 – Overhead band stretch
- Begin with feet together and arms raised above your head, with an end of the resistance in each hand
- Pull the resistance band and your arms down to each side so that they are shoulder height
- Raise your arms towards the ceiling and repeat the band stretch
6 – Deadlift row
- Start with both feet together, bent over with chest towards your knees and back straight.
- Place the band under each foot, and with the loose side of the band, use both hands to hold it.
- Keeping your arms straight, straighten your back, and stand upright while pulling the band up towards your hips
- Return to the bent-over position and repeat the steps
Resistance band leg workouts
Working your legs is simple with resistance bands. Like with ab workouts, you can perform those favourite movements and add a band to increase resistance. Leg workouts are ideal for strengthening and toning the inner and outer thighs.
7 – Leg lifts
- Place the band around both ankles and stand with your feet slightly apart from one another
- Place your hands on your waist to keep stable and lift your right leg out to the side to a comfortable position, keeping your leg straight
- Lower your right leg back down and repeat ten times before doing the same on the left side
8 – Single leg stands
- Sit on a chair or exercise box, place your legs through the band and position it behind both knees.
- Lify your arms up and out in front of you for stability and stand up straight on one leg.
- Return to seating and repeat on the opposite side
Tip: if balance is an issue, you can stand up on both legs.
Resistance band butt workouts
Resistance bands are a favourite for butt workouts. They can quickly increase tension which will help achieve a stronger and more toned butt. Shorter bands are ideal for butt workouts as they offer more resistance and stability.
9 – Glute bridge pulses
- Recline on your back and create a bend in your knees bent by placing your feet firmly on the floor
- Place your arms down beside you or out at a 90-degree angle.
- Loop both legs through the band and position it on both knees
- Elevate your hips up to the ceiling and compress your glutes
- Return your back to the floor and repeat
Tip: To increase the intensity of a glute bridge, lift one leg at a time.
10 – Squats
- Stand with your feet apart from each other, just past your hips.
- Loop the band over both thighs ensuring there is resistance
- Lower your butt down towards the floor, pressing your glutes backwards
- Hold the squat for a few seconds before returning to standing.
Resistance band tricep workouts
As well as the biceps, the intensity of a tricep workout can be intensified with resistance bands. Longer loop bands are usually best for tricep workouts as they consist of more sweeping movements.
11 – Tricep pushbacks
- Form a staggered stance with your right foot in front of the left and bend your back slightly
- Set the band under your right foot and hold the opposite end with your right hand
- Align your right arm alongside your right thigh in a bent position
- Pull your right forearm to create tension in your tricep
- Repeat the tricep pushbacks ten times on each side
12 – Tricep reach
- Stand straight and set your feet together and band in your right hand.
- Place your right hand behind your back, towards the bottom, creating a bend in your elbow.
- Reach behind you and grab the opposite end of the band with your left hand
- Keep your right hand in place and straighten your left arm, reaching towards the ceiling.
- Repeat the tricep exercise ten times on each side
Resistance band chest workouts
As recommended for most upper body workouts, bands with handles are often most suitable. Handles allow more grip as well as extra control. Chest workouts with resistance bands are highly effective due to chest workouts being restrictive for those with weaker chest strength.
13 – Band pull apart
- Slightly bend your knees whilst standing straight
- Put your arms out in front of you at chest height with one end of the band in each hand
- Pull each end of the band away from each other until your hands are past your shoulders
- Push both arms back to the starting position and repeat
14 – Single-arm lateral raise
- Begin with your feet together and the band under each foot.
- Hold the band in both hands and raise your arms to chest height.
- Holding your left arm still, pull the right arm out at a 90-degree angle and return to the centre
- Repeat the lateral raise on each side ten times
Resistance band shoulder workouts
Bands are effective for strengthening the shoulders. Like chest exercises, shoulder exercises can be challenging for those with weaker muscles. For beginners, start with lower resistance to prevent muscle injury.
15 – Cuff pivot
- Begin with your feet together and arms bent
- Keep one end of the band in each hand in front of your chest
- Keeping one arm still, pull the opposing arm outwards and maintain a bent arm
- Return to both hands together and repeat on both sides ten times
16 – Bow and arrow
- Hold the band in each hand and place your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Raise your arms to chest height and extend your right arm out to the side, keeping it straight
- Now, pull your left hand away from the right and keep your elbow raised, creating a bow and arrow movement.
- Return to the start and repeat
Resistance band ankle workouts
Resistance bands are also for rehabilitation purposes. Strengthening ankles can be a huge part of rehabilitation, and bands can help with that. Depending on your strength and purpose for using bands for ankle workouts, it may be best to use low resistance.
17 – Ankle plantarflexion
- Position yourself on the floor with your right leg straight in front of you and left bent, keeping your back straight
- Set the band beneath your right foot and create resistance by pulling the band towards your chest
- During this, your foot should pull towards you creating a stretch
- Release the tension in the band and repeat on the opposite ankle
18 – Ankle eversion
- Position yourself down on the floor with your legs straight in front of you and back straight
- Loop the band around your right foot and turn your right ankle inwards.
- Hold the opposite side of the band with your left hand, creating tension.
- To perform an ankle eversion, push and pull your foot outwards to create resistance.
⇒ Discover the best resistance band set for you
It is easy to integrate these exercises into any workout routine. They can easily be added to a cardio workout or weight training routine. If you are lost for which exercises to use, or want to follow a workout using just resistance bands, here is the perfect exercise routine suitable for any fitness level:
The perfect resistance band workout routine
The ideal workout to burn fat and improve strength is a full-body workout. This workout shows how you can use a mix of exercises from above to achieve the best results:
- Seated bicep curls (10 reps each side)
- Tricep reach (10 reps each side)
- Deadlift Row (10 reps)
- Leg raises (10 reps)
- Band pull-apart (10 reps)
- Glute bridge pulses (10 reps)
- Squats (10 reps)
- Single leg stands (10 reps each side)
- Cuff pivot (10 reps)
- Bow and arrow (10 reps each side)
These exercises can be swapped for others from the list. Ensure to incorporate warm-up stretches and cool-down movements to prevent injury, especially lower back pain, and aching muscles.
For more information on resistance band exercises:
What gets rid of back fat?
Back fat can be the most stubborn area to reduce. Do not rely on back exercises alone. To achieve quicker results, incorporate cardio exercises into your routine for an all-over body burn. High-intensity circuits are great for fat burning.
Read more about our back fat exercises to get rid of back fat for good.
Do resistance bands build muscle?
Resistance bands cause tension in the muscles, which tear the muscle fibres. When the muscles repair, this slowly builds strength. They are a great alternative to weights.
How do you get rid of back fat around your bra?
Bra back fat is challenging to shift. Using twists and elongating movements can help tone the area and eventually reduce the fat that is stored there. Exercises such as deadlift row and bow and arrow are ideal for this issue.
How do I choose a resistance band?
Resistance bands range from light to heavy. They also come in various types, short, long, or with handles. Depending on the chosen exercise and individual fitness abilities, the right band will vary from person to person.
Choose a band depending on your strength and preferred exercise. Longer bands are best for broader movements, such as tricep reaches as they require more movement. Handle bands are great for extra grip and control when performing upper body exercises.
For our final thoughts on resistance bands and the best exercises:
Resistance bands are great for those on the go, travelling, or prefer a lighter alternative to weights. With them being versatile and easy to use, they are accessible to all fitness levels.
Incorporating bands into a workout routine is an easy way to increase the intensity, which will end in maximum results.
If anyone has additional concerns or comments about the resistance band workout, give us feedback below.