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37 Killer Resistance Band Exercises To Burn Up Your Muscles Anywhere

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Jet-setting to a tropical oasis? Bouncing across the country for business, perpetually stuck in hotels 24/7? Don’t want to splurge for a full gym membership? All of those situations can force your workouts to instantly deteriorate, or evaporate altogether.

And for seasoned gym vets it might even create an insatiable panic attack.

Relax, there’s a simple fix that provides infinite access to resistance training all day, errrryday. On-the-go. Riding a paddleboard. In a faraway tropical land. In your living room. Wherever. And it costs a fraction of what most gym memberships run for one month.

Just make resistance bands a staple in your fitness arsenal.

They’re so potent, versatile, and flexible—bands fit snugly in a carry-on bag, and you can bust them out in the middle of a pool—that one set can virtually replace an entire gym’s worth of equipment and replicate most major exercises. Granted, they don’t completely rival the strength, mass-building, or body-sculpting potential of free weights, but they’re a phenomenal stopgap to fill the void and make fitness feasible when you’re stuck gym-less.

Plus, you might even grow from system shock. Band training is an impactful way to emphasize muscular endurance, build muscle tone, and develop explosive strength — especially if muscle size isn’t a top priority. And if you’re constantly crushing free weights, it’s a stellar way to confuse your muscles, galvanize growth, and combine elements of cardio with explosive resistance training. That helps torch body fat.

Start pumping elastic. We’ve compiled a master list of 37 killer resistance band exercises, split up by muscle group.

Pick your individual favorites and/or combine a lineup into a do-anywhere workout circuit. And if you’re looking for a pre-baked, end-to-end workout plan, we’ve got that fired up as well. Ready to go to battle? Here’s all you need:

 

37 Killer Resistance Band Exercises — LEGS


 

 

Resistance Band Exercise 1: Front Squats


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How To:

Video Demo — Front Squats
  • (1) Place your feet on top of a band and hold the handles with an overhand grip. Bring your hands up to shoulder height.
  • (2) Squat all the way down until your quads are below parallel. GET LOW.
  • (3) Powerfully explode up and return to a standing position.

 

 

Resistance Band Exercise 2: Squat & Presses


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How To:

Video Demo — Squat & Presses
  • (1) Place your feet on top of a band and hold the handles with an overhand grip. Bring your hands up to shoulder height.
  • (2) Squat down until your quads are below parallel with the floor.
  • (3) Powerfully explode upwards and press the handles overhead. Hold for 1 second.
  • (4) Lower the handles, squat down, and repeat. The motion should be fluid and continuous without stopping.

 

 

Resistance Band Exercise 3: Reverse Lunge & Rows


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How To:

Video Demo — Reverse Lunge & Rows
  • (1) Loop a band around a pole (or use a door attachment) slightly below chest height. Face the band.
  • (2) Take a large step back and do a reverse lunge. Keep your core tight and back upright.
  • (3) Slowly release the bands, return back up to a full stand, and powerfully row the bands into your core. Row in on your way up.
  • (4) Repeat for the opposite leg and continue to alternate.

 

 

Resistance Band Exercise 4: Squat & Rows


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How To:

Video Demo — Squat & Rows
  • (1) Loop a band around a pole (or use a door attachment) slightly below chest height. Face the band.
  • (2) Do a squat.
  • (3) Stand up and row the bands into your core.

 

 

Resistance Band Exercise 5: Lying Hamstring Curls


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How To:

Video Demo — Lying Hamstring Curls
  • (1) Loop a band around a pole or hook it to the bottom of a door. Using an ankle attachment, attach the bands to one of your legs. If you have 2 ankle attachments, do it with both legs at once.
  • (2) Lie in prone position, face down.
  • (3) Brace your core, stabilize your body, and powerfully contract your hamstring. Your foot should come up and in towards your butt.
  • (4) Complete a full set and repeat for the opposite leg (or just do 1 set if you’re using both feet).

 

 

Resistance Band Exercise 6: Side Lunges


How To:

  • (1) Stand on top of a band with only your right foot. Keep it stationary. Bring your hands up to shoulder height.
  • (2) Take one step out to the left and lunge down with your left leg — your hands don’t move. GET LOW.
  • (3) Powerfully press through your left foot and return back up to a full stand. Complete a full set and switch sides.

 

 

Resistance Band Exercise 7: Glute Kickbacks


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How To:

Video Demo — Glute Kickbacks
  • (1) Get on your hands and knees and hold both handles under you chest. Loop the band around the arch of your right foot.
  • (2) Keep your core tight and back flat, contract your butt, and powerfully kick your right leg out as far as possible.
  • (3) Hold it for 1 second and slowly return back to starting position. Complete a full set and switch legs.

 

 

Resistance Band Exercise 8: Lying Hip Abductions


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Image: Well-Girl

How To:

Video Demo — Lying Hip Abductions
  • (1) Lie on your right side with your legs stacked. String a resistance loop around your ankles.
  • (2) While bracing your core and upper body, powerfully contract your butt and raise your left leg straight up into the air. Hold it for 1s and return back to the bottom.
  • (3) Complete a set, flip over, and repeat for the opposite side.

 

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Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
  • Chance Toledo

    Why would you describe the exercises one way and provide pictures of models doing them incorrectly?

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