Best resistance band exercises

43 Best Resistance Band Exercises for a Full-Body Workout

Resistance bands are an underestimated piece of workout equipment!

As a personal trainer, they are one of my favorite ways to kick my bodyweight exercises up a notch.

You don’t need a huge set of heavy-weight dumbbells or a squat rack for a full-body workout!

Especially if you live in New York City, who has that kind of room?

These elastic bands are portable, lightweight, and fairly inexpensive.

They come in a variety of sizes from super stretchable to much less so.

They also come in different lengths, shapes and are often color-coded.

Bands are so versatile!

You can add them to virtually any type of strength training for a different way to work the smaller muscles of your upper body to the larger muscle groups in your lower body.

These workout bands can also assist instability.

The constantly added resistance from the band allows you to train different muscle groups at multiple angles.

Yet another perk of bands is that they are a great way to add or remove resistance to accommodate any fitness level and ability.

Resistance band exercises are proven to be effective in toning muscles with incremental increases.

They are also useful in injury recovery.

(Note: please see a medical professional before starting a new workout plan, especially if you’re recovering from an injury.)

40 Best Resistance Band Exercises to Get a Full-Body Workout

43 best resistance band exercises

Regardless of where you are working out, be it the gym or at home, resistance bands are a great addition to your HIIT workout or bodyweight exercises.

These 40 band workouts are to help strengthen and tone your entire body, specifically your arms, back, abs, and legs.

They are divided by the targeted area.

If you are a beginner, start with a lighter band and work your way up to the heavyweight resistance bands.

Before you get started: There are a few different bands you’ll need for the following exercises: tube bands with handles, a band with ankle cuffs, and a loop elastic band.

Lastly, a stable anchor such as a door or squat rack.

Also, when you’re working with resistance bands as the name suggests, it is imperative to keep the resistance of the band tight.

Take as much time as you need to perform these exercises with proper form.

Know your limit in these band exercises!

Lower Body Band Workout

Here are 14 resistance band exercises for your lower body. 

The best part is most of these lower body exercises you probably already know and love!

Use these exercises to strengthen and tone your lower body, specifically your legs, butt, and thighs. 

Aim for 12 to 15 reps per exercise.

1. Squat

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Loop a band around your quads, just above the knee. 
  • Send your hips back, bending at the knees until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Pause. 
  • Press through your feet back to the starting position.

Add a dumbbell or kettlebell for an additional challenge!

2. Glute Bridge

  • Loop your resistance band around both of your legs above your knees. Lie on your back, feet on the floor with your hands by your side. 
  • Press through your heels as you engage your glutes and abs, lifting your hips off of the floor. Keep a neutral spine. 
  • There will be a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold. With control, slowly lower back down.

3. Single-Leg Glute Bridge

  • Kick your glute bridge up a notch! Start in the same position as above, however, keep your left leg straight. 
  • Loop the band across the arch of your left foot. Hold an end in each hand. On an exhale, press through the heel of your right foot as you lift your hips. 
  • Slowly lower back to the ground. That’s one rep. Repeat on the right side.

4. Donkey Kick

  • Start in a tabletop position with a neutral spine. Hold each end of the band in each hand. 
  • Loop the band around both feet. Line up the middle of the band around the right foot. 
  • With your core engaged, kick your right leg out behind you, extending through your hamstring. 
  • Return the knee in without letting it touch the ground. Your left knee does not move. 
  • That is 1 rep. Repeat the same numbers of reps on the left side.

5. Pull Through

  • Again, using a door anchor, set the band in a low position. 
  • With your back to the door and feet shoulder-width apart, straddle the band, grabbing a handle in each hand. Take a few steps away from the door. 
  • Engage your abs and hinge forward with a slight bend in your knees. As you send your glutes back, let your hands track towards the anchor point. 
  • Press through your feet and squeeze your glutes as you rise to stand, extending your hips. This is 1 rep.

6. Kickback

  • With the same low anchor that you used in the pull though, use a resistance band with an ankle cuff around the left. 
  • Facing the anchor, balance on your right leg. Keep a neutral spine as you move the left leg back as far as you can with an extended hamstring and knee. 
  • Return to start and repeat. Switch legs.

7. Hip Abduction

  • Target hip mobility and your outer thighs and gluteus medius with this abduction exercise! Again, utilize the low door anchor. 
  • Stand perpendicular to the door, with a good posture.
  • Place the ankle cuff around your outside leg and take a few steps away from the anchor to create tension in the band. 
  • Balance on your inner leg as you move the outside leg away from the body. 
  • You’ll feel the tension in your outer quad. Return to start for one rep. Repeat on the opposite side.

8. Standing Hip Adduction

  • Time to target your inner thighs and adductors! Anchor the band once again at ankle height. 
  • Stand sideways, left side toward the door. Attach the cuff to the left side and step out, removing any slack in the band. 
  • Balance on your right leg with a slight bend in the knee. 
  • Lift the left leg to the inside and across your body. The band will cross in front of the body. Hold. Return and repeat.

9. Lateral Band Walk

  • Loop the resistance band around your ankles. Start in a quarter squat position, feet shoulder-width apart. 
  • Step your right foot to the right. Follow with your left foot. Keep tension in the band the entire time. 
  • Take 3 steps one way before returning.

10. Lunge

  • Place the band around the right foot, holding the handles at chest level. 
  • Engage your abs as you step your right foot back, bending both knees into a deep lunge. 
  • Return to the starting position. Once all reps are completed on the right, switch to the left.

11. Fire Hydrant

  • Loop the resistance band above the knee joint and get into a tabletop position. If you’re experiencing knee pain, place a blanket on the floor. 
  • With a neutral spine and a stable pelvis, engage your core muscles. 
  • Raise the right-left up and to the side at hip level, keeping a 90-degree angle in both knees and shins. 
  • Pause and resist the band, returning to start. Switch sides and repeat.

12. Forward Band Walk

  • Again, place the band just above the knee joints. Create tension in the band by standing with your feet slightly wider than your hips. 
  • Sit back and down with your heels lifted and a slight arch in your back. Abs engaged, take a step forward at a 45-degree angle. 
  • Staying in a half-squat position, step your opposite leg forward, returning to the starting position. Continue for 10 steps.

13. Prone (Lying) Leg Curl

  • Attach an ankle cuff to the right side and a low anchor. Lie facedown on your mat. 
  • Ensure there is tension in the band. Bend your right knee, bringing your right heel to your glutes. 
  • With control, lower the leg back down. Repeat and switch to the left side.

14. Clamshell

  1. Lie on your side with hips and knees bent at 45-degree angles, the elastic band just above both knees. 
  2. Keep your knees and feet stacked, bending at your hip flexors. Engage your abs as you raise your top knee. 
  3. Your feet act as a hinge and remain in contact with each other. The lower leg remains on the ground. Pause and return to start. That’s 1 repetition.

Chest Exercises

15. Push-Up

  1. Bored of pushups? Add a resistance band! 
  2. Loop the band around your back and under your armpits, hands directly under your shoulders in a high plank position. 
  3. Slowly lower your chest to the floor. Pause and press through your arms until they are fully extended. Repeat.

16. Bench Press

  • Lie on your back on a weight bench with the tube band around the bench legs. 
  • Hold a handle in each hand at chest height. Your thumbs should be touching the outside of your chest. 
  • Press your arms up into a full-extension, hands moving toward each other. Pause and lower back with control.

17. Standing Chest Press

  • Anchor the band at chest height, holding a handle in each band, back to the door. 
  • Walk forward to create tension in the band. With palms down, press the band ends out, extending through both arms. 
  • Squeeze your pectorals and pause. With control, return to start.

18. Chest Fly

  • Again, anchor the band, this time, at shoulder height. 
  • Stand with one foot in front of each other, arms fully extended at your sides. 
  • With straight arms, slowly bring your hands together, in a clapping motion. Return to start.

Back Exercises

19. Rear Delt Fly

  • Stand wide on the band, handle in each hand, palms in. 
  • Hinge at the waist with a neutral spine, abs engaged, hands in the center. 
  • With straight arms, open your arms to your sides, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Return to start and repeat.

20. Straight Arms Pull

  • Set up your band overhead, each end in each hand, palms down. Walk back until your arms are extended in front of you, the tension in the band. 
  • Stand with your knees slightly bent and feet hip-width distance apart. 
  • With your chest up and shoulders down, pull both ends down to your sides. Pause and return to the start. This is one rep.

21. Bent-Over Row

  • Stand on the band with your feet about shoulder-width distance. 
  • Hold each end of the band and bend over, lowering your torso until it’s parallel with the ground. 
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull the band to your sides. Pause and repeat.

22. Seated Row

  • Have a seat on the ground, legs extended. Wrap the band around your feet, twice if the band is longer. 
  • Hold each end, palms in. With a straight spine, bend at the elbows and pull the band to your ribs. 
  • Squeeze your scapula together. Pause and return to the start. This is 1 repetition.

23. Pull-Apart

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width and knees slightly bent. Grasp the middle of the band with both hands at shoulder level. (Provigil)  
  • Keeping your arms extended, pull the band apart, contracting your shoulder blades. Hold. With control, return back to start.

24. Lat Pull-Down

  • Hook the band to the top of the door and kneel, facing the band. 
  • Hold each end with your arms extended overhead like you would with a barbell. 
  • Pull the handles down, engaging your lats, and squeezing your elbows into your sides. Pause and return to start.

Shoulder Exercises

25. Shoulder Press

  • Stand on the band in the middle, feet shoulder-width distance apart. 
  • Holding each end at shoulder level, press directly overhead until both arms are extended. 
  • Do not lock your elbows. Pause and with control, lower back down. Repeat.

26. Upright Row

  • Again, standing in the middle of your band, hold each end in each hand. 
  • Row the handles toward your chin, elbows tracking out to the sides. Pause, then lower back to start. Repeat.

27. Front Raise

  • Stand in the middle of the band, palms down by your sides like you would with a barbell for deadlifts. 
  • Raise your arms in front of you to shoulder height. Pause at the top and lower back to start. Repeat.

28. Lateral Raise

  • Stand in the middle of the band. Determine how wide you’d like your feet to be. Note that the further apart they are, the more challenging this exercise will be. 
  • With straight arms, raise the ends of the band out to the sides, stopping at shoulder height. Lower to the starting position and repeat.

29. External Rotator Cuff

  • Lie on your back in your standard bridge position. Form a 90-degree angle with your arms, the band in your hands. 
  • Your fingertips are pointing up, to the ceiling and your thumbs are pointing outward. Find your stability by pressing through your heels and lower back. 
  • Stretch the band by moving a thumb towards the ground in an external rotation. 
  • Elbows stay tucking in your ribs and shoulder blades squeezed together.

Arm Exercises

30. Bicep Curl

  • Target your biceps by adding a resistance band to your bicep curl. 
  • Stand in the middle of the band with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Hold an end of the band in each hand, palms in. 
  • Then, bicep curl by bending at the elbow as you pull your hands to your shoulders, engaging your biceps. Pause and repeat.

31. Triceps Extension

  • Step your right foot onto the elastic band, a handle in each hand. Keep your left hand by your side. 
  • Bend the right arm with your palm in and elbow towards the ceiling. Extend your right arm. 
  • Squeeze your triceps at the top. Pause and return. Repeat the same number of reps on the opposite side.

32. Triceps Kickback

  1. Anchor the band to a door at knee height. Holding each end, walk backward, creating tension in the band. 
  2. Bend a little through the knees and hinge forward at the hips, keeping a neutral spine. 
  3. With your upper arms tucked into your sides, bend at the elbows. 
  4. Pull the ends behind you until your arms are fully extended, contract your triceps. Pause and return to the starting position.

33. Triceps Press

  • Loop the band around your hands. Place your left hand on your right shoulder. 
  • Grip the band in your right fist and bend your right elbow to 90-degrees. Keep your shoulders back and chest high. 
  • Press the right hand towards the floor, extending through the arm, engaging your triceps. Pause. Reverse.

Core Exercises

34. Reverse Wood Chop

  • Attach an end of your resistance band to a door near the floor. Hold the other end in both hands at hip level. 
  • Take a step or two back creating tension in the band. 
  • With straight arms, use your abdominals and obliques to rotate the torso, bringing your arms up and diagonal in the opposite direction. 
  • Rotate through the hips and knees. Return and repeat on the opposite side.

35. Plank Pulls

  • Again, attach one end of the band near the bottom of a door. 
  • Start in a plank position and hold the other end in one hand. 
  • Raise the arm and extend it overhead, parallel with the ground. Pause and repeat. Perform the same number of reps on each side.

36. Walking Plank

  • Start in a high plank position with the resistance band looped around both wrists. 
  • With a straight line from your head to heels and core engaged, walk your right hand forward. 
  • Bring the left hand forward to meet your right. Walk your left hand back. Then your right. That’s one rep. Alternate leading hands.

37. Side Plank

  • Try this variation once you’ve mastered the side plank!
  • Hook one end of a band on the door, approximately a foot off of the ground. 
  • Start in your left side plank position, facing the band. Hold the other end in your right hand. 
  • Bending at the elbow, pull the handle to your ribs. Pause and slowly release. 
  • That’s 1 repetition. Repeat the same number of reps on each side.

38. Crunch

  • Anchor the band low on something stable behind you. Get into your crunch position, knees bent, feet firmly on the ground. 
  • Hold the end of the band in both hands above your shoulders. 
  • Keep your hands over your shoulders as your curl your upper body off of the floor into a crunch. Pause. Slowly slow back to the starting position.

39. Kneeling Crunch

  • Again, attach one end of the band to a door and kneel, holding a handle in each hand. 
  • Extend your arms, bending at the elbows, level with your shoulders. Crunch, hinging at the hips, contracting your abs. 
  • Pause and release back to the starting position. Repeat.

40. Reverse Crunch

  • Anchor the band once again in a low position and attached the cuffs around your ankles. 
  • Create tension on the band as you lie on your back, bending your knees to 90-degree angles. 
  • Lift your hips off of the floor towards your chest. Pause and return to the start.

3 Bonus Full-Body Resistance Band Exercises!

41. Reverse Lunge with Row

  • Anchor your resistance band at chest level. Hold the handles, one in each hand, palms facing toward each other. 
  • Extend your arms and take a few steps back until there is no slack in the band. Take a step back with your right foot and bend both knees into 90-degree angles, lowering into a lunge. 
  • Press through both feet, returning to a standing position as you pull on the band with both hands toward your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together. That’s 1 rep.

42. Squat to Overhead press

  • Hold each end of the band with an overhand grip, feet hip-width distance apart, standing on your band, hands at shoulder height. 
  • Send your hips back into a squat until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Keep your chest up, core engaged. 
  • Hold for 1 – 2 seconds. As you rise, extend your arms over your head. Reset and repeat.

43. Squat to High Pull

  • Anchor your band at knee height on a door. Hold the one handle with both hands at waist height, arms extended. 
  • Take a few steps back until there is no slack in your band. Lower into a squat. 
  • Press through your heels to stand. As you stand, raise your arms over your head, keeping your elbows close to your ears. Pause. Return to start.

30-Min Full-Body Resistance Band Workout

Mix and match your favorite exercises from each section for a full-body HIIT workout routine! 

Pick 1 -2 exercises from each section and aim for 10-15 reps each. Repeat each circuit 3 times with a 30 – 60 rest break between rounds. 

Final Take On Resistance Band Exercises

The options are endless! You can even turn these resistance band workouts into solely a lower-body workout! Mix and match to suit your needs.

There you have it! 40+ resistance training exercises to work your entire body.

Resistance bands are such an effective way to take your gym or home workout to the next level. 

Want to take it further? 

Try adding these durable elastic bands to your next HIIT workout! You can target large and small muscle groups with this simple addition.

Let us know your favorite in a comment below!

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