Build upper body muscle with a resistance band and these two simple supersets

Yep, muscle can be built without lifting a single weight

Woman using a reistance band
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lifting heavy dumbbells or pushing barbells may be the most popular way to get gains, but it’s also possible with a resistance band. The humble resistance band can often get forgotten about, but research shows it’s one of the most affordable, yet effective pieces of home gym equipment that you can own if building muscle is your goal. 

This workout will help you achieve just that, as it places your muscles under constant tension, making them work harder which is key for muscle growth. But to up the ante even further it consists of supersets. Supersets are excellent for increasing time under tension, which can lead to greater muscle activation, while research in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Researchl found they can also burn fat. They're also reduce your workout time due to minimal rest periods, with this one taking no longer than 20 minutes.

For this workout, you'll complete the exercises in each superset back to back with no rest in between, so once you've finished the first exercise move straight onto the next. Rest for 30 to 40 seconds, then move onto the second superset, again, doing both exercises back to back. Once you've completed both supersets, rest for 60 seconds to 120 seconds and then repeat this all again two more times (three if you have extra time). Here's your exercises and reps:

Superset 1

  • Diamond push-pp (do these from your knees if you struggle) - 12 reps
  • Standing chest press - 12 reps

Superset 2

  • Kneeling overhead tricep extension - 12 reps
  • Standing tricep kickbacks - 12 reps

If you find your resistance band is too light, and therefore too easy, just reduce the length, by standing or kneeling on it to increase the tension. Here's a full-body resistance band workout you can try next if you don't have time during the week to split your workouts. But, if you do, here's a lower body workout to strengthen your legs and glutes in 20 minutes.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.