18 Resistance Band Workouts – Effective Full Body Exercises For Women

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sudhansu Singh, Physiotherapist
by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

Resistance band exercises are versatile and cost-effective calorie burners (1). The stretchable resistance bands come in different shapes and sizes, with or without handles. They add resistance to a movement and activate the muscle fibers. This, in turn, tones up the body and builds strength (2), (3), (4).

Resistance bands were initially used for rehabilitation purposes. Today, fitness experts swear by the results they have seen on clients after using resistance bands instead of weights. This post lists 18 resistance band workouts for full-body toning and strengthening. Keep scrolling!

Types Of Resistance Bands And Their Use

  • Resistance band with no handle – For therapy or rehabilitation
  • Continuous flat loop band – For the lower body
  • Resistance band with plastic handles – For the lower and upper body
  • Short band in the shape of an “8” with handles – For the upper body
  • Resistance bands with velcro ankle cuffs – For the lower body
  • Loop band with two soft handles – For the lower body

Note: Warm-up for at least 10 minutes and talk to your doctor before doing any of these exercises.

Resistance Band Exercises For The Abs/Core

1. Resistance Band Reverse Crunch

Target – Lower abs, middle abs, upper abs, glutes (hips), hamstrings, and quads.

Resistance Band To Use – Ankle resistance band

How To Do
  1. Tie a nylon band at the midpoint of the resistance band. You can either tie it to the leg of a cot or secure it to the lower part of a door.
  2. Wrap the resistance band ankle attachment around your ankles and lie down on the floor, facing the door. Keep your legs hip-width apart, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Place your arms by your side, and palms flat on the floor. Make sure there is enough distance between the door/cot and your legs. This is the starting position.
  3. Exhale and lift your feet off the ground. Keeping your knees bent, bring them close to your chest. Keep your back flat on the floor.
  4. Inhale and push your legs away from your chest. Straighten your legs but do not let your feet touch the floor. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

2. Resistance Band Bicycle Crunches

Target – Obliques, abs, glutes, lats, hamstrings, and quads.

Resistance Band Use – Flat loop band

How To Do
  1. Put the mini continuous loop band on top of your shoes, right on the shoelaces.
  2. Lie down on your back. Keep your knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.
  3. Hold your head with your fingertips, with the thumbs at the back of your ears and the other fingers supporting the side middle part of your head. Keep your arms open. Lift your head. Do not tuck your neck in. This is the starting position.
  4. Lift both legs off the floor – like pedaling a bicycle. Bring your right leg toward your chest, and keep your left leg extended. As you do this, twist your body toward your right and bring your left elbow close to your right knee.
  5. Extend your right leg. Simultaneously, flex your left knee and bring it close to your chest. Twist your body to your left, and bring your right elbow close to your left knee. Do 2 sets of 15 reps.

3. Resistance Band Russian Twist

Target – Obliques, upper abs, middle abs, lats, and glutes.

Resistance Band To Use – Resistance band with handles

Steps To Do Resistance Band Russian Twist
  1. Sit on the floor and wrap a resistance band around the arches of your feet.
  2. Lift your legs, keeping the knees slightly bent. Pull your hands toward your torso. This is the starting position.
  3. Start by twisting your upper body toward your left and then twist to your right.
  4. Do not keep your feet down on the floor until you finish one set. Do 3 sets of 25 reps.

4. Resistance Band Side Bend

Target – External oblique, internal oblique, serratus anterior, and glute medius.

Resistance Band To Use – Resistance band with handles

How To Do
  1. Step on the resistance band. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold a handle in each hand. Keep your shoulders rolled back and chest out. This is the starting position.
  2. Bend on your right, and as you do so, pull your left hand up to the side of your chest.
  3. Bend on your left, and as you do so, pull your right hand up to the side of your chest. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

5. Resistance Band Plank Hold

Target – Abs, lower back, middle back, glutes, and shoulders.

Resistance Band To Use – Resistance band with handles

How To Do
  1. Wrap the resistance band around your waist. Kneel on the floor, tuck your thumbs inside the handles, and place your palms on the floor.
  2. Supporting your body on your palms and one knee, extend your right leg back.
  3. Extend your left leg back.
  4. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds. Do 3 sets of 30-60 seconds hold.

Resistance Band Exercises For The Legs

6. Resistance Band Leg Lifts

Target – Glutes, quads, hamstrings, and lower abs.

Resistance Band To Use – Tube resistance band with handles

How To Do
  1. Sit on a mat with your legs extended in front. Wrap a resistance band around your feet and hold a handle with each hand.
  2. Lean back and raise your feet off the floor, with the knees slightly bent.
  3. Pulse your legs up together. Lean back as your feet go down and come up as you raise your feet. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

7. Resistance Band Hamstring Curls

Target – Hamstrings, quads, and glutes.

Resistance Band To Use – Tube resistance band with an ankle attachment

How To Do
  1. Tie the resistance band to the leg of a cot and strap the ankle attachment on the right ankle.
  2. Lie down on your belly, cross your arms, and place your chin on your hands. This is the starting position.
  3. Lift your right leg and stop when your shin is perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Slowly, bring your leg back down to the starting position.
  5. Repeat it with the other leg. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

8. Resistance Band Lunges

Target – Glutes, quads, and hamstrings.

Resistance Band To Use – Resistance band with handles

How To Do
  1. Place the band underneath the curve of the right foot. Take a step forward with your right foot. Keep both knees slightly bent, elbows flexed, and hands near your shoulders. This is your starting position.
  2. Lunge down. Make sure your right shin is perpendicular to the right thigh.
  3. Get back up to the starting position and lift your left leg behind you.
  4. Place your left foot back on the floor and lunge down.
  5. Repeat this with your left leg. Do 2 sets of 12 reps.

9. Resistance Band Donkey Kicks

Target – Glutes, quads, hamstrings, lower abs, and shoulders.

Resistance Band To Use – Loop resistance band

How To Do
  1. Wrap the loop resistance band around your feet. Get on all fours, relax your shoulders, keep your spine and neck in the same line, and engage your core.
  2. Lift your right leg off the floor. Without extending your right leg, push your right foot up toward the ceiling.
  3. Bring it back to the same position.
  4. Complete one set of 12 reps and do the same with your left leg. Do 2 sets of 12 reps.

10. Resistance Band Abduction

Target – Inner thighs, outer thighs, and hamstrings.

Resistance Band To Use – Wide loop resistance band

How To Do
  1. Place the loop band right above your knees and sit down on the floor with the knees bent, and heels on the floor. Place your hands beside you, and the palms flat on the floor.
  2. Open your legs by moving your knees apart. Feel the resistance.
  3. Hold it for a moment and then slowly bring your legs back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

Resistance Band Exercises For The Hips

11. Resistance Band Squats

Target – Glutes, hamstrings, quads, and lower abs.

Resistance Band To Use – Flat loop resistance band

How To Do
  1. Place the loop resistance band on your thighs. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart.
  2. Push out your hips and get into a “sitting” position. Make sure your knees don’t shoot beyond your toes.
  3. Hold the pose for a moment.
  4. Get back up in the standing position. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

12. Resistance Band Hip Flexion

Target – Glutes, quads, hamstrings, and lower abs.

Resistance Band To Use – Ankle resistance band

How To Do
  1. Wear one ankle attachment on your right leg and tie the other end to the leg of a table or cot.
  2. Turn around so that the table or cot is behind you. Also, make sure that the distance between you and the cot/table is enough so that you feel the resistance.
  3. Put your left foot ahead, bend your knees a little, flex your right elbow, and bring the right fist close to your chest. Your left arm should be extended and behind you.
  4. Lift your right leg, flex your right knee, and kick up. Flex your left elbow and bring your left arm toward your chest. Extend your right arm behind you. This will help you complete the movement with stability and precision.
  5. Lower your leg and bring it back to the starting position.
  6. Do the same with the left leg as well. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

13. Resistance Band Single Leg Deadlift

Target – Glutes, quads, hamstrings, and lower abs.

Resistance Band To Use – Resistance band with handles

How To Do
  1. Place the band underneath the arch of your right foot sneaker. Hold the handles of the resistance band with both hands. Keep your feet hip-width apart, shoulders rolled back, and chest out.
  2. Lift your left foot off the floor, let your hips act as the hinge. Bend your right knee slightly, keep your back straight, and bend your upper body to make it parallel to the ground. Stop when your hands should go right below your right knee.
  3. Hold this pose for a moment and get back to the starting position.
  4. Do it on the other side. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Resistance Band Exercises For The Chest

14. Resistance Band Staggered Chest Press

Target – Pectoralis major, deltoids, lats, and biceps.

Resistance Band To Use – Resistance band with plastic handles

How To Do
  1. Anchor the resistance band to a door anchor. Hold the handles and walk away from the door. When you feel the resistance, put your right foot in front of the left.
  2. Flex your elbows and bring your forearms close to your chest. Your elbows should point back, and palms must be facing the floor. Keep your knees soft. This is the starting position.
  3. Push your arms in front of you so that they are fully extended.
  4. Come back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat this by placing your left foot in front of the right. Do 2 sets of 12 reps.

15. Resistance Band Chest Fly

Target – Pectoralis major, deltoids, lats, and triceps.

Resistance Band To Use – Resistance band with plastic handles

How To Do
  1. Anchor the resistance band to a door. Hold a handle in each hand and walk away from the door. Extend your arms and join the palms together. This is the starting position.
  2. Open your arms laterally. Use controlled motion to do so. Squeeze your shoulder blades.
  3. Bring them back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

Resistance Band Exercises For The Arms

16. Resistance Band Tricep Extension

Target – Triceps, lats, deltoids, and rhomboids.

Resistance Band To Use – Resistance band with plastic handles

How To Do
  1. Hold the handles and step on the band with your right foot. Place your left foot a step ahead.
  2. Extend your left arm up, with your elbow directly above your shoulder, and the resistance band at the back of your shoulder. This is your starting position.
  3. Flex your left elbow and lower your left forearm behind your head.
  4. Pause for a moment and bring your forearm back to the starting position.
  5. Do this with the other hand as well. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

Resistance Band Exercises For The Back

17. Resistance Band Lateral Raise

Target – Deltoids, lats, and chest.

Resistance Band To Use – Resistance band with plastic handles

How To Do
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Step on the resistance band and exchange the handles so that the band crosses right in front of your shins. Pull the resistance band away from your body, bend your knees a little, roll your shoulders back, and keep your chest up. This is the starting position.
  3. Pull your hands up and stop when your arms are parallel to the ground.
  4. Lower your arms slowly back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

18. Resistance Band Seated Row

Target – Lats, chest, rhomboids, and triceps.

Resistance Band To Use – Resistance band with no handle

How To Do
  1. Sit down on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Wrap a therapy resistance band underneath the curves of your feet. Keep your back straight, chest out, and shoulders rolled back. This is the starting position.
  3. Flex your elbows and draw them back. Squeeze your shoulder blades. Do not lean back.
  4. Slowly, extend your hands and bring them back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

Conclusion

Resistance bands are cost-effective and good for strengthening and toning the entire body. You must also eat healthy food, stop nighttime binging, get 7-8 hours of sleep, and reduce emotional fatigue by meditating or spending time with yourself. Do these, and you will regain your physical and emotional strength. Good luck!

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Do resistance bands actually work?

Yes, resistance band exercises are very effective when it comes to toning and strengthening the body.

Can you lose weight with resistance bands?

Yes. Resistance bands can aid fat loss. You will build lean muscle mass and body strength and improve balance and stability with resistance band exercises.

Do resistance bands build muscle?

Resistance band exercises help build lean muscle mass. These exercises won’t help you build muscle for, say, a bodybuilding competition.

Is it OK to use resistance bands every day?

Yes. Target different body parts on different days to prevent muscle fatigue and soreness.

Are resistance bands better than free weights?

Resistance bands are mainly used for rehabilitating an injury. The chances of getting injured with resistance bands are less compared to free weights. These exercises are easy to learn, the bands are lightweight and portable, and you can do any of these exercises anywhere, at any time!

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.
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