Supersize your back and biceps with this 6-move resistance band workout

Research shows they're just as effective as using dumbbells

Woman doing resistance band workout
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Resistance bands shouldn’t be scoffed at – even the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chris Hemsworth use them. Plus, research shows they can deliver similar strength gains to that of a set of dumbbells and weight machines. This 20 minute banded workout will place your back and biceps under constant tension to make your muscles work harder, meaning one only thing – bigger gains! 

Alongside being a hell of a lot cheaper and safer for beginners to use, resistance bands also recruit more muscles when completing an exercise. According to TRX Training: “Because resistance bands are unstable compared to fixed-motion exercises, they require more muscles and stabilisers to execute movements properly.” Not only does this mean you’ll be working your body harder to maintain good form, but you’ll also be working your core too, to help maintain your balance and stability.

You’ll need either a long resistance band or tube bands with handles for this workout (small bands won’t work) and we’d suggest opting for a medium resistance. If your band is too light, you can try standing on it or looping it to make it shorter (exercise dependent) to increase the resistance. There’s six exercises to get through. Don't rush your reps, take your time and really try to feel the muscles that you're working to increase that mind-muscle connection. Not sure how to do the exercises below? Checkout the post above. Here’s your workout: 

  • Seated row - 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Bent-over row - 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Upright row - 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Reverse fly - 3 sets of 15
  • Bicep curl - 3 sets of 12
  • Hammer curl - 3 sets of 15

One of the best things about resistance bands is how versatile they are and that they can be used to work your entire body. Want to move onto your lower body next? Here's another speedy band workout to target your glutes, quads and hamstrings. If you don't have time to split your workouts into upper or lower body sessions though, here's a 30 minute full-body band workout for you to follow along to.

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.