One resistance band and these 5 exercises to sculpt and strengthen your entire upper body

Don't underestimate the power of the bands

Man doing resistance band bicep curls
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You don't need weights to build your upper body (or any part of your body in fact). Resistance bands are one of the best pieces of home gym equipment that you can own; they're affordable, compact and can increase the strength and size of every muscle group in your body. This upper body work targets your arms, shoulders and back and will only take you 15 minutes to complete. Just grab your resistance band, workout shoes and get ready to put in some solid effort.

As well as an effective tool for building strength and muscle, resistance bands are also excellent for functional fitness too. According to MiraFit: "There is a lot more movement involved when using resistance bands compared to more traditional style exercises. However, this is great for working your joints and allowing for more natural movements that you do in everyday life." Developing functional strength will not only benefit you in reaching your fitness goals, but it'll also ensure you stay fit and healthy during later life too.

For this workout you've got five exercises to work through and you'll either want to use a long loop resistance band, or tube bands with handles. You'll do each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by a 20 second rest. Once you've completed all five exercises, rest for 120 seconds and then repeat the workout two more times (three if you really want to challenge yourself!). Here's your workout:

  • Banded bicep curls
  • Banded overhead press
  • Banded standing chest flyes
  • Banded bent over rows
  • Banded forward raises

If you found that a little too easy, or you don't have a heavy enough resistance band, stand on more of your band to shorten it as this will increase its resistance. You could even do this workout with a pair of dumbbells, if you have these instead.  Don't forget to also schedule in a session for your lower body too, here's a banded leg workout to get you going, or here's a 30 minute full body workout so you can hit everything in one go.

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.