Don’t fancy weight training but want strength gains? Try this full-body workout instead

Train your whole body and build strength using resistance bands

Young woman exercising with resistance band at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Not everybody has a full rack of dumbbells and kettlebells at home, even after the lockdown when seemingly most people got into weight training. If you crave the gains but don't feel like pumping iron, this 40-minute full-body workout is your option to build strength at home. All you need is a set of resistance bands! 

There are a number of benefits to using resistance bands. Like all other types of resistance training, resistance band workouts build muscle as you work against resistance – in this case, stretchy bands. Another benefit is that they are easy to stow away and portable for those trips away from home. Plus, resistance bands are suitable for all fitness levels, as you can change the resistance level by changing your body position or adjusting the straps. Read our best resistance bands guide today to find out more about this excellent home gym equipment.

"I travel with my resistance band wherever I go to make sure I get to work out no matter where I am", says Joanna Soh, the instructor in this video, "In this workout, I share with you some of my best and favourite resistance band exercises to target the larger muscles as well as smaller muscles."

The workout should last around 35 minutes. You'll be performing each exercise for 45 seconds with a 15-second rest period between. If you have access to a full set of resistance bands, feel free to swap bands between exercises to adjust resistance (different coloured bands usually provide less/more resistance). The exercises:

  • Lower body
  • Resisted squat (45 seconds) 
  • 15 seconds rest 
  • Reverse lunge single arm press (45 seconds) 
  • Glute bridge (45 seconds) 
  • Glute kickback (45 seconds)
  • Upper body
  • Narrow to wide row (45 seconds) 
  • Upright row to front raise (45 seconds) 
  • Wide to narrow curl (45 seconds)
  • Overhead tricep extension (45 seconds)
  • Standing chest pull (45 seconds) 
  • Core
  • Woodchop (45 seconds) 
  • Reverse crunches (45 seconds) 
  • Cooldown stretches
  • Warrior pose 
  • Plank flow 
  • Cobra pose 
  • Child’s pose

Enjoyed this workout and wish to try more? We recommend checking out these 5 resistance band exercises. Don’t have much spare time? We have a 15-minute resistance band workout demonstrated by The Girl With the Pilates Mat channel host Rachel Lawrence. For those who are unsure how and where to start suspension training, we have a comprehensive guide and advice from a suspension training specialist of Auster Fitness' Harry Aitken.

Meg Walters
Freelance journalist

Meg is a British-Canadian freelance writer based in southeast London. She can usually be found writing about classic films, rom-coms, period dramas, TV, Millennials, pop culture, books, style, lifestyle and fitness. Her writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, GQ, Stylist, The i, i-D, Little White Lies, Insider and more.