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Rock out with the band! Resistance bands are a great addition to any strength training routine or rehabilitation program. They come in a variety of sizes, lengths, and resistance levels.

They’re also portable and easy to store, so they’re perfect for home use, hotel workouts, or making the most of a small space at the gym.

Just like free weights, exercise bands come in a range of resistance levels, from highly stretchable to heavy-duty strength.

The most common types of bands are tube bands with handles, loop bands, and therapy bands. If you’re in doubt, a fitness professional can help determine which band is right for you, depending on your fitness level and your specific workout plan.

For most exercises, try aiming for 2–3 sets of 8–25 reps per exercise. Ready, set, stre-e-e-etch!

Never skip leg day…

1. Front squat

Your butt, both sides of your thigh, and hamstrings are going to thank you for this one (after they stop burning). Front squats can also provide a strength boost to your groin, hip flexors, and calves.

How to do it

  1. Stand on the band with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width.
  2. Holding a handle in each hand, bring the top of the band over each shoulder. If the band is too long, secure it in place by crossing your arms at your chest.
  3. Sit straight down, chest up, abs firm, pressing your knees out over your toes.
  4. Rise back up to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 8–12 reps.

2. Leg extension

Kick it up a notch with this quad builder.

How to do it

  1. Anchor a loop band in a low position on a support (like an incline bench), looping the other end around your ankle with the band positioned behind you.
  2. Step away from the anchor to create tension on the band, and position your feet hip-width apart.
  3. Shift your weight to your left foot and lift your right leg from the floor.
  4. Extend your knee until it straightens out in front of you.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for 8–12 reps before switching legs.

3. Prone (lying) leg curl

This one goes out to your hamstrings.

How to do it

  1. Lie facedown and loop a band around your right ankle, anchoring the other end to a door for support.
  2. Scoot away from the anchor to create tension.
  3. Tighten your core and bend your leg at your knee, bringing your heel toward your glutes as far as you can comfortably go.
  4. Slowly return your leg to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 10–15 reps, then switch sides.

4. Glute bridge

Salute your glutes!

How to do it

  1. Tie a band around your legs right above your knees.
  2. Lie faceup with your feet on the floor, bending your knees to 90 degrees.
  3. Raise your hips until your shoulders, hips, and knees align, contracting your glutes through the entire movement.
  4. Repeat 15–20 reps.

5. Standing adductor

For boosting your hips, groin, and inner thigh, the adductor movement stands tall.

How to do it

  1. Anchor a loop band at ankle height to a support and stand with your left side facing the support, wrapping the free end around your right (outer) ankle.
  2. Stand perpendicular to the band and step away from the support to create some tension.
  3. From a wide stance, get into a quarter squat.
  4. Sweep your working ankle across your body, past your standing leg, squeezing your thighs together.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for 12–15 reps before switching sides.

6. Supinated clamshell

Loosen up your external hip rotators and improve your movement and flexibility — after all, this Lizzo & Missy Elliott tune isn’t going to dance to itself.

How to do it

  1. Loop a band around your legs just above your knees.
  2. Lie faceup with your hips and knees flexed to 90 degrees.
  3. Pull your knees away from each other while contracting your glutes for 2–3 seconds.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat, aiming for 10–12 reps.

7. Plantar flexion (ankle flexion)

Your ankles are slept on, but if you keep them limber, they’ll give you fewer problems further down the line.

Even better news: You can take a load off for this one.

How to do it

  1. Secure a loop or therapy band around an anchor (like the leg of a coffee table or chair) and sit with one leg straight out, wrapping the other end of the loop around the top of your foot.
  2. Lean back, supporting your weight on your hands, and flex your foot forward until you feel a good stretch in your shin.
  3. In a controlled movement, bring your toes back up, flexing them toward your knee as far as it’s comfortable.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Do 10–12 reps on each side.

8. Lateral band walk

Don’t sidestep these side steps!

How to do it

  1. Step into a loop band or tie a therapy band around your lower legs, just above your ankles.
  2. Place your feet shoulder-width apart to create tension on the band.
  3. Start in a half-squat position.
  4. Shift your weight to your left, stepping sideways with your right leg. Move your standing leg slightly in, but keep the band taut.
  5. Take 8–10 steps before heading back the other way.

9. Standing abduction

This one’s a bit of a balancing act. It’s great for your glutes, though.

How to do it

  1. Anchor a loop band at ankle height and stand with your left side toward the anchor.
  2. Attach the free end to your outside ankle and step out to create tension on the band.
  3. Move your supporting leg back so your foot is elevated from the floor. Lift your working leg, slowly bringing your looped foot out to the side, contracting your outer glutes.
  4. If you feel wobbly, grab a support (like the wall or the back of a chair).
  5. Lower back down to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for 15–20 reps on each side.

10. Seated abduction

To really show your thighs who’s boss, try a seated abduction. It takes all the chill out of sitting down.

How to do it

  1. Sit at the edge of a chair or bench and tie a loop band around both legs, just above your knees.
  2. Place your feet slightly wider than your shoulders.
  3. Slowly press your knees out, turning your feet in as your legs move apart.
  4. Hold for 2 seconds, then bring your knees back together.
  5. Aim for 15–20 reps.

Get in on the arms race.

11. Concentration curl

Want to get ready for the gun show? This will get your biceps pumped.

How to do it

  1. Start in a forward lunge position, your right leg in front, and place the middle of the band under your right foot.
  2. Grasp one end of the loop band with your right hand, resting your elbow on the inside of your knee (to target those biceps a little deeper).
  3. With your palm facing away from your knee, curl the band up toward your shoulder, squeezing your biceps at the top.
  4. Slowly lower the band back down.
  5. Repeat for 8–10 reps before switching sides.

12. Standing biceps curl

Also great for your ‘ceps, this is like lifting weights only you are the weight. Crazy.

How to do it

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and placed over the middle of the band.
  2. Grab a handle in each hand, starting with your arms down at your sides.
  3. With your palms facing in front of you, pull your arms toward your shoulders by bending at your elbow until you get a good bicep contraction.
  4. Slowly lower back down.
  5. Do 12–15 curls.

13. Triceps kickback

Kick back and relax. Just kidding!

How to do it

  1. Stand in a forward lunge position with your right foot in front, positioned over the center of the band.
  2. Holding each end of the band, position your arms at your sides with your palms facing behind you.
  3. Bend at your elbows (keeping them tucked by your sides) until your forearms are parallel to the floor
  4. Next, press down your arms, pushing the band behind your body until your arms fully extend.
  5. Lower back down.
  6. Repeat for 8–10 reps.

14. Overhead triceps extension

Become a triceps-ratops, because biceps can’t hang out by themselves.

How to do it

  1. Sit on a chair or bench, placing the center of a tube band beneath your glutes.
  2. Grab a handle in each hand and stretch your arms up, bending your elbows so your hands are positioned behind your neck.
  3. With your palms facing the ceiling, press your arms straight up until they fully extend.
  4. Lower back down.
  5. Repeat for 10–12 reps before switching sides.

Get right to the center of things with these intense exercises.

15. Kneeling crunch

Use the top of a door for rocking your core.

How to do it

  1. Attach the band to a high anchor (such as the top of a door or cable column) and kneel down, grabbing each side of the band.
  2. Extend your elbows out at shoulder level, engage your core, and crunch down toward your hips while contracting your abs.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 10–12 reps.

16. Woodchopper

Get your abs turning and burning.

How to do it

  1. Anchor the loop or tube band near the top of a cable column or support.
  2. With your right side toward the support, grab the free end of the band with your arms stretched out overhead.
  3. In one smooth motion, pull the band down and across your body to the front of your knees while rotating your right hip and pivoting your back foot.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for 8–10 reps on each side.

17. Anti-rotation band walkout

Know when to walk away. Slowly.

How to do it

  1. Anchor a loop or tube band slightly below your chest on a cable column or support.
  2. Grasping the free end, create tension on the band and squat into an athletic stance.
  3. Holding the band with both hands straight out in front of your chest and keeping your core tight, step laterally until the band is too tense to go any further.
  4. Slow and controlled, move back toward the column to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 6–8 reps on each side.

18. Reverse crunch

Now flip it and reverse it (Missy stays winning throughout this article).

How to do it

  1. Anchor the band on a low support.
  2. Lie faceup, bending your knees 90 degrees.
  3. Wrap the band around the tops of both feet and scoot back to create tension.
  4. With your abs tight and your back flat, pull your knees toward your shoulders, contracting your abdominal muscles.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat for 12–15 reps.

19. Russian twist

Dasvidanya, un-toned abs!

How to do it

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended, wrapping the center of the band around the bottom of your feet.
  2. Hold the free ends in each hand.
  3. Slightly bend your knees, keeping your feet on the floor, and lean back at a 45-degree angle.
  4. Rotate the band right by bringing your left hand across your body and your right hand down by your right hip.
  5. Contracting your oblique muscles, bring the band toward your right hip while keeping your middle and low back neutral.
  6. Return to the starting position.
  7. Rotate left then right for a total of 10–12 reps on each side.

Back your talk and get toning.

20. Bent-over row

You can do it, put your back into it.

How to do it

  1. Stand over the center of the band with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend slightly at your knees and hinge at your waist, keeping your hips back.
  3. Grasp the band handles with your hands facing the outsides of your knees.
  4. With your elbows bent, pull the band up toward your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together until your elbows form a 90-degree angle.
  5. Lower and row for 10–12 reps.

21. Seated row

Take a seat, but don’t get too cozy. With your legs extended, place the center of the band behind the soles of your feet.

How to do it

  1. Grab the band with both hands, your arms extended and your palms facing each other.
  2. Sitting nice and tall, bend at your elbows and pull the band toward your core, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Do 10–12 reps.

22. Pull apart

For stable shoulders and improved mobility, this should be a part of your workout.

How to do it

  1. Stand with your knees slightly bent, and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grip the middle section of the band with both your hands at shoulder level, and your palms facing down.
  3. Keeping your arms straight, pull the band out and back until your shoulder blades contract.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Stretch, squeeze, and release for 8–10 reps.

23. Lying pullover

No, this doesn’t involve pulling the covers over your head, but nice try.

How to do it

  1. For this effective pec and lat exercise, anchor the tube band in a low position.
  2. Lie faceup, grabbing the free end of the band with both hands and stretching your arms straight out overhead.
  3. With your elbows slightly bent, pull the band overhead, crossing your torso until the handle reaches your knees.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Keep it up for 8–10 reps.

24. Lat pulldown

Ready to work your upper back?

How to do it

  1. Anchor the band overhead to a horizontal bar (or even a sturdy tree limb), pulling the free ends down at your sides.
  2. Kneel facing the anchor so the band is positioned in front of you.
  3. Grip each end with your arms extended overhead and your hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
  4. Bending your elbows, pull the band down toward the floor while contracting your back muscles.
  5. Once your hands reach your shoulders, slowly raise them back to the starting position.
  6. Rock out 10–12 reps.

For barrel pecs, look no further.

25. Push-up

Take this classic move to a new level.

How to do it

  1. Get in plank position, draping the resistance band across your upper back.
  2. Loop the ends of the band through your thumbs and place your hands on the floor in starting position, facing toward the floor.
  3. Contract your glutes and abs, then push straight up until your arms fully extend.
  4. Lower back down, your chest to the floor.
  5. See what you’ve got for 5–20 reps (depending on your strength).

26. Incline chest press

Next up: Your upper chest muscles!

How to do it

  1. In a right forward lunge position, place the middle of your band beneath your back foot.
  2. Grabbing a handle in each hand, bring the band to shoulder level.
  3. Press the bands upward straight over your chest like a rainbow until your arms fully extend.
  4. Lower back down.
  5. Repeat for 10–12 reps.

27. Bench press

No barbell? No problem! Resistance bands are at hand to save the day.

How to do it

  1. Anchor a tube band on the bench legs and lie faceup on the bench.
  2. Grab a handle in each hand.
  3. Position your hands at shoulder height (so your thumbs touch the front of your shoulders).
  4. Extend your arms straight up overhead to full extension, moving your hands toward each other at the top.
  5. Lower back down.
  6. Repeat for 10–12 reps.

We compared the bench press to the push-up to see which bulks your chest more. Find out here.

28. Standing chest press

You don’t need a gym to boost your chest game.

How to do it

  1. Anchor the tube band on a cable column or sturdy support at chest height.
  2. Grab each handle with your back to the band.
  3. Step forward to reduce the slack, positioning your hands at chest height.
  4. With your elbows up and your palms facing down, press the band straight out in front of you until your arms reach full extension, and squeeze your chest muscles.
  5. Return to the starting position.
  6. Press on for 12–15 reps.

Stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the greats.

29. Overhead press

This one might go over your head (in fact, it definitely should).

How to do it

  1. Stand over the center of a tube band with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grip each handle, positioning your hands at shoulder level with your palms facing each other so your thumbs touch your shoulders.
  3. Press straight up, rotating your palms forward as you fully extend your arms.
  4. Lower back down slowly.
  5. Repeat for 8–10 reps.

30. Forward raise

This one is fantastic for the front of your shoulders, so get to know it.

How to do it

  1. To hit the front of your shoulders, stand on the middle of the band with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip the handles at your sides with your palms facing in.
  2. Next, without locking your elbows, bring your right arm straight out in front of you to shoulder height.
  3. Slowly lower back down.
  4. Raise the roof for 8–12 reps before switching arms.

31. Lateral raise

Build bolder shoulders with this isolation move.

How to do it

  1. Stand with your feet positioned over the center of a tube band, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grip each handle with your arms down at your sides and your palms facing in.
  3. Bending your elbows ever so slightly, raise your arms straight out to the sides to shoulder level.
  4. Slowly lower back down.
  5. Go for 8–10 reps.

32. Upright row

Stand proud as you target your traps.

How to do it

  1. With your feet positioned over the center of the band, shoulder-width apart, grip the band handles with your palms facing each other and position them just in front of your thighs.
  2. Pull the band straight up the front of your body to shoulder level, keeping your elbows bent and positioned in a high V.
  3. Slowly lower back down to the starting position.
  4. Keep rowing for 10–12 reps.

If you prefer to do your rowing… well, on a rowing machine, we’ve got some tips for you.

33. Bent-over rear delt fly

Target your whole shoulder with this fierce move.

How to do it

  1. Sit at the edge of a chair or bench, positioning your feet over the middle of the band.
  2. Cross the band at your knees, grabbing the handles with your palms facing each other.
  3. Bend forward at your waist, your back straight, and raise your arms straight out to your sides until the band reaches shoulder level.
  4. Lower back to the starting position.
  5. Fly away with 10–12 reps.

Ready to put it all together?

Certified personal trainer Jessi Kneeland created this routine that’ll work your whole body. She’s the one demonstrating the moves, too.

You don’t need a whole gym at home to get your body working. And resistance bands are a great, space-aware way to engage and build muscles across your whole body.

Another great tool for putting together a kinesthetic workout at home is the almighty slider — learn about how sliders work and the exercises you can do with them here.