Forget weights – strengthen your entire body with a resistance band and these 7 exercises

Yes, you CAN strengthen your body with a single piece of elastic

A man performing squats with a resistance band
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Nowadays, many people want to get stronger and build muscle. Afterall, it can improve bone density, boost your metabolism, support heart health, and more. But, many assume the only way to do this is with heavy weights, such as dumbbells and barbells, but it’s not. This 7-move workout places your upper body and lower body muscles under tension using just a resistance band, helping you to develop strength and build muscle all over. 

The humble resistance band is an effective (and cheap) piece of home gym equipment, but it often gets forgotten about amongst the heavy iron. However, a 2019 systematic review published in the Sage Open Medicine Journal comparing studies that used resistance bands and conventional resistance concluded that: “there is no superiority between training performed with elastic resistance and training with weight machines and/or free weights on strength gain”. 

This workout comes from Sweat App Founder Kayla Itsines and she calls it her 'hotel workout' because you can do it anywhere – that's the beauty of resistance bands. It's a strength circuit, so you'll complete each exercise one after the other, with no rest. However, if your bands have high resistance, then you may want to take a short 30-second rest in between. Once you've completed all the exercises, rest for 120 seconds, and repeat the workout two more times.

  • Lateral raises – 12 reps
  • Front raise – 12 reps
  • Bent over row – 12 reps
  • Band pull apart – 12 reps
  • Single arm squat into overhead press – 12 reps each side
  • Lunges – 12 reps each side
  • Bicep curls – 12 reps

Looking for more banded workouts? We've got plenty! Here's an upper body only workout that you should be able to smash through in 15 minutes and a lower body workout for you to try later in the week. If you're pushed for time though and want to hit all your major muscles in one workout again, here's another speedy full-body session.

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.