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8 Exercises with Resistance Bands (Full Body)

Build strength in the arms, legs, back and glutes with this effective workout: the best exercises with resistance bands. These muscle-toning, resistance band exercises can be done anywhere, using just a mini loop resistance band. This 20-minute full body workout is entirely low impact and requires no jumping or additional equipment.



 

Get an effective, full body workout at home or on-the-go with these versatile resistance band exercises.

While I am a huge advocate of dumbbell strength training workouts, a well-rounded strength training routine includes variety. That means training in all planes of motion, challenging your muscles in new ways, and using different equipment.

Resistance band workouts are an effective way to strength train all the major muscle groups without access to dumbbells or gym equipment.

These exercises with resistance bands can be done anywhere, making this a great quick home workout or traveling workout as well.

two women performing tricep kickbacks as example of best exercises with resistance bands

Exercises with Resistance Bands FAQs

Do Resistance Bands Really Work?

Yes, resistance bands are an affordable, accessible tool for building muscle definition, increasing strength and improving endurance. As you build strength, perform more reps or use heavier bands with more resistance.

Can You Workout With Just Resistance Bands?

You don’t need a whole gym of equipment to get an effective workout. Resistance bands are effective at working larger muscle groups (such as the legsglutes, and upper body) as well as smaller, stabilizing muscles (like the core and pelvic floor) that are harder to target with free weights.

two women performing standing glute kickbacks as example of best exercises with resistance bands

20-Minute Full Body Resistance Band Workout

Build total body strength anywhere with this quick workout: the 8 best exercises with resistance bands!

I suggest adding full body workouts like this one to your home workout plan 1-2 times per week to build muscle and increase endurance.

Workout Equipment:

Mini loop resistance band.  We’re using a light-to-medium resistance band in this mini band workout.

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woman performing lat pull down with resistance band

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided 20-Minute Resistance Band Workout on Youtube led by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 8 Exercises With Resistance Bands
  • Timed Intervals (30 seconds work, 15 seconds rest)
  • Perform Each Circuit x2 Sets (alternating sides as needed)

Workout Outline

CIRCUIT ONE: 

  1. Banded Squat
  2. Banded Lateral Shuffle

CIRCUIT TWO: 

  1. Lat Pulldown
  2. Tricep Kickback

CIRCUIT THREE:

  1. Single Leg Deadlift and Back Row
  2. Push Up and Knee Drive

CIRCUIT FOUR:

  1. Banded Dead Bug
  2. Bear Crawl Kick Back
woman holding resistance band

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Mini Band Workout

8 Exercises with Resistance Bands

Banded Squat

Targets: Gluteus medius, hip abductors and quadriceps.

two women performing squats with a resistance band

How To Do Banded Squats

  1. Place the resistance band on your thighs, approximately six inches above the knees. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips to create tension across the band (activating your glutes).
  2. Sit back into a squat, lowering your hips until they are parallel to the knees, striving for a 90-degree angle. Drop your hips down, weight in heels, chest up.
  3. Then, drive through your heels to return to a standing position. Squeeze the glutes at the top.

Banded Lateral Shuffle

Targets: Gluteus medius (outer glute that controls hip movement and side-to-side movements), quads, hamstrings, calves and core.

two women performing lateral shuffles with resistance band

How To Do Banded Lateral Shuffles

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Resistance band is wrapped around your calf/shin area. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips to create tension across the band (activating your glutes).
  2. Bend your knees to lower down into a loaded athletic position.
  3. Hold this loaded squat position as you take a wide step to your right; stretching the band as you step out wide. Bring your left toes in to tap near your right heels.
  4. Then, reverse the movement, stepping out wide to the left, leading with your left knee, before bringing your right toes to tap the floor near your left foot.

Lat Pulldown

Targets: Lats (or latissimus dorsi, the largest muscle in the upper body and biggest back muscle), shoulders, biceps and core.

two women performing resistance band lat pull downs

How To Do Lat Pulldowns

  1. Stand with feet hips-width apart. Loop the resistance band between your thumbs and hold both hands overhead, arms fully extended, palms facing away from you.
  2. Keeping your left hand steady, pull your right elbow down and out, engaging your back muscles and pulling your shoulder blade down. Pull the band to shoulder level.
  3. Slowly, release the tension, bringing your right hand back to the starting position with control.
  4. Repeat, this time pulling the band down to shoulder height with your left hand.

Tricep Kickback

Targets: All three heads of the tricep muscle (back of the upper arm).

two women performing tricep kickback exercise with resistance band

How To Do Tricep Kickbacks

  1. Start with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Option to slightly stagger your feet (pictured above).
  2. Hold the top of the band at your left shoulder with your right hand. Then loop your left hand/palm through the bottom of the resistance band.
  3. Slightly hinge forward at the hips and perform a ‘tricep kickback’ on the left arm; extending the left arm long behind you as you pull the band back towards your left hips/butt (left arm straight).
  4. With control, slowly return your left hand to the starting position.

Single Leg Deadlift and Back Row

Targets: Hips, glutes, hamstrings, core, back and bicep muscles.

two women performing a single leg deadlift and row as example of exercise with resistance band

How To Do Single Leg Deadlifts and Bent Over Rows

  1. Loop the exercise band around the arch of your right foot. Hold on to the band with your right hand. Shift your weight to your right leg, then float your left leg off the floor, balancing on the right.
  2. Hinge, pushing your hips towards the wall behind you until your body is in a straight line, head to tailbone. Left leg extends behind you as you hinge, performing a single leg deadlift on the right side.
  3. Hold this hinged position as you perform a single arm back row on the right side. Pull the band back towards your right hip (think of pulling from your elbow versus your wrist). Stop once your right elbow is in line with your rib cage, making a straight line from right shoulder to elbow. Hold at the top for a moment.
  4. Control the resistance band back down, then drive through your right heel, squeezing your butt and hamstring to return to a balanced standing position.

Modification: Perform staggered deadlifts with a back row rather than floating your opposite leg.

Push Up and Knee Drive

Targets: Arms, chest, shoulders, triceps, back, biceps, abs and core.

two women performing core exercise with resistance bands

How To Do Push Ups and Knee Drives

  1. Start in a high plank position, shoulders over wrists, core engaged. Loop a resistance band around the arches of both your feet.
  2. Lower your chest down into the bottom of a push up, letting your elbows fall back towards your body and leading with your chest.
  3. Then, press back into a high plank position.
  4. Hold a high plank as you pull your right knee towards your right elbow, then your left knee towards your left elbow.
  5. Repeat, alternating one push up with a wide knee drive on each side of the body.

Modification: Perform standing banded marches, driving first your right knee then your left knee up towards your chest.

Banded Dead Bug

Targets: Transverse abdomen (deep core muscles below your rectus abdomen or six pack ab muscles), lower abs and hip flexors.

The dead bug exercise strengthens the core to do what it’s actually intended to do: stabilize the trunk of the body when the limbs extend away from the body.

two women performing dead bug with resistance band

How To Do Banded Dead Bugs

  1. Lie flat on the floor. Loop a resistance band around both feet.
  2. Perform a slight pelvic tilt to press your lower back into the mat, drawing your belly button towards your spine. Think about wrapping your abdominal wall around your torso.
  3. Then bring your legs up, knees bent at 90 degrees, shins parallel to the floor. Extend your arms straight overhead, wrists stacked over shoulders.
  4. Contract your ab muscles to engage your core as you extend your right arm overhead while simultaneously straightening your left leg. Return to the starting position.
  5. Then extend your left arm overhead while simultaneously straightening your right leg. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Modification: Reduce range of motion.

Bear Crawl Kick Back

Targets: Deep transverse abs, lower abs, upper abs, oblique muscles, glutes, hips, erector spinae and shoulders.

two women performing banded bear crawl kick backs

How To Do Bear Crawl Kick Backs

  1. Start in a table top position on all fours, shoulders stacked over wrists and hips stacked over knees. Place the band around the bottom of your feet (soles of shoes).
  2. Tuck your toes under and lift your knees off the mat, core tight, finding a bear crawl position. Try to keep your knees close to the mat, maintaining a neutral, flat back and spine.
  3. Alternate extending your legs straight behind you. Begin by extending your right leg, keeping your left knee bent in a bear crawl hold. Then, return your right leg to bear crawl position.
  4. Then, extend your left leg straight behind you, keeping your right knee bent.

Modification: Perform standing glute kickbacks.

Pin This Workout: 8 Exercises with Resistance Bands

woman performing exercises with resistance bands

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