Resistance bands are a lightweight alternative to machines that add tension to your muscles throughout your exercises. With resistance band training, you have a reduced chance of injury and increased muscle stimulation. Whether you use them for your warm-ups and cooldowns or build an entire strength training routine based around resistance bands, they’re one of the most convenient ways to build muscle fast. 

Many men think resistance bands are for beginners who can’t handle tons of weight yet, but this misguided idea only makes those men lose out on what could be a great workout. Read on for the 25 best resistance band workouts all men should add to their home workouts to build and tone muscle.

(Note: Want our elite trainers to guide you in resistance band workouts? Start your Fitplan free trial today!)  

1. Shoulder Circles

A quick exercise that opens up your shoulder joints and primes your shoulder blades for other bodyweight moves like pull-ups or deadlifts, shoulder circles are a great way to prevent injury during the rest of your resistance band workout. 

How To Do It:

Take one resistance band and hold it with both hands so that it extends over your waist. Stretch it so that you feel the resistance. At this point, your arms should make two sides of a triangle with the resistance band making up the bottom side.

Pull your shoulders back and then move the band up above your head without letting it lose tension. Keep going to pass the band behind your back until it is back down to waist level. Reverse the movement slowly to get back into the starting position for one rep.

(Note: You can download the Fitplan App for free on Google Play!)

2. Pull-Aparts

If you want to experiment with different grips while you continue to open up your shoulders, pull-aparts should be part of your warm-up. 

How To Do It:

Take either end of a resistance band in each hand and hold it up so that your arms are parallel with the ground and the band is at shoulder height. Pull with both arms until the band reaches its maximum resistance level, then slowly move your arms back to the starting position. That’s one rep.

3. Banded Squats

Squats are always a fantastic exercise because they target important muscle groups like your glutes as well as your quads and hip abductors. Your back and core are also involved, so you’ll build balance and stabilization strength, too. 

How To Do It:

For beginners, you can loop the band around your legs somewhere a bit above the knee. A more challenging variation has one end of the band under both feet and the other over your head resting on the back of your neck. 

Stand with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart and your hands at either side or out in front of you for balance. Lower yourself back as if you were going to sit down and keep going until you’re in a squat position and your thighs are parallel with the floor, then rise back up to the starting position.

Banded squats are a great way to utilize resistance bands.

Helpful Hint: Learn more exercises you can do with no additional equipment in our Bodyweight Essentials Fitplan!

4. Deadlifts

Don’t panic, these are much easier to do than traditional deadlifts with a barbell. They concentrate more tension on your glutes and hamstrings than the banded squats do.

How To Do It:

Step on the middle of your resistance band and grab either side in each hand. Stand up to get into the starting position. Lower yourself by bending your knees, taking care to keep your upper body straight, and hinge at the hips to move your torso forward. Go down as low as you can but not any lower than you would in a squat.

5. Bent-Over Rows

The form in these resistance band rows is very similar to what we just saw in the banded deadlifts. However, this move opens up your back muscles much more. 

How To Do It:

Step on the center of the resistance band and take the ends in your hands. Hinge at the hips and keep your back straight as you lean forward. Bend your knees so that your shoulders are just in front of the tips of your toes. 

Now, proceed to pull up on both ends of the resistance band simultaneously. Try to fight the tension in the resistance band until your arms are at 90-degree angles. 

Chest Exercises

6. Banded Push-Ups

Setting up for this move can be slightly confusing, but once you’re in the position you’ll be cranking out push-ups that will target your pecs and triceps.

How To Do It:

While standing, hold out a loop band with two hands and then twist one end once so that there’s an X in the middle. Place the X over your head until it’s between your shoulder blades. Now you can get down into a push-up position with the ends of the band on each palm.

Get down with your hands flat and resting directly beneath your shoulders. Hold your lower body up with your toes. Engage your arms and shoulders before going down, then push through your palms to rise back to the starting position.

Helpful Hint: Our Complete Physique Fitplan is chock full of more chest exercises for chiseled pecs!

7. Chest Press

You can set up an anchor point for this exercise or you can just make an X like we did for the last exercise. Either way, the stance is super important to get the most out of the resistance chest press.

How To Do It:

Set up an anchor point and then stand with your back to it so the band runs over your forearms, or else wrap the band around you and take the band in your palms the same way. Stand with your right foot forward and your left foot behind you. 

In the starting position, your arms should be out at your sides at 90-degree angles like you were wearing a jetpack. Push up and out with your fists until they come together a short distance in front of your body, then slowly return to the starting position to complete one rep. 

8. Chest Flye

Change the starting position of the chest press slightly and you’ll be doing banded chest flyes in no time. Pair them together in a routine for a fast-paced HIIT workout. 

How To Do It:

Put one foot forward and the other back. Make an X with the band and wrap it around you so that X is between your shoulder blades. Instead of holding your arms at right angles, hold them out to each side with the elbow joint almost straightened. Bring your fists together without lifting your arms and then slowly move back to the starting position. 

9. Resistance Band Rows

This seated exercise is a nice way to prepare for unilateral rows with machines or heavier weights. 

How To Do It:

Sit down on the floor or a mat with your feet together and heels on the ground. Wrap a loop resistance band around your feet so that it’s on your soles. Then, take the other end of the band in your hands. 

Your arms should be almost straight once you have the band at its lowest tension. Keeping your back straight, pull back on the bands until your arms are by your sides at right angles. Slowly move back to the starting position.

Helpful Hint: Tune up your athletic performance with our Mobility Master Fitplan!

10. Banded Overhead Press

Target your traps, delts, triceps, and pectorals with this overhead move. Just make sure you have a resistance band that can stretch past your full height.

How To Do It:

Take a loop band and step on it with both feet. Then, take the other side of the loop up to shoulder-height with your palms facing up. It should look like you’re holding an invisible barbell. 

Extend your arms past your head until they’re fully extended and then slowly bring them back down to your shoulder level. You might have to move your head forward slightly or push behind you a little to get your hands to their top height. 

Back Exercises

11. Banded Superman With Lat Pulldown

Combining two exercises, this banded superman variation will strengthen your upper back and lower back in addition to strengthening your latissimus dorsi, which will give you a broader back and better posture. 

How To Do It:

Pass your resistance band behind a tall vertical pole to it’s anchored and you won’t have any snaps or kickbacks. Lie down on your stomach far enough away for the band to have some tension when you take it in your hands. 

With the band in hand, put your arms out and forward, like Superman flying. The width doesn’t matter that much. Next, lift your legs and arms so that you’re planking and hold that position. While you’re planking, pull your arms toward your sides so that the resistance band stretches, then return to the starting position. 

12. Good Mornings

Target your hamstrings, lower back, and abs with this simple exercise. 

How To Do It:

Place a fairly thick resistance band around your shoulders and slip it down so it runs across your upper back and shoulder blades. Then, step into the remaining ring one foot at a time. When you stand up, the band should stretch to make a kind of O shape. 

Hinge at the hips and lean forward until your torso is parallel with the ground and then rise back to the starting position. You may not be able to stand up completely straight and your knees will likely be bent slightly, but that’s all fine.

Resistance bands are a versatile piece of equipment for many workouts.

13. Single Arm Row

You might be used to doing these with a barbell, but you can still get a ripped back doing them with nothing more than a resistance band.

How To Do It:

Set up an anchor point for your resistance band or wrap it behind a vertical bar and then take the free end in one hand. The active arm should be crossing your chest. Get down on one knee with the inactive leg forward. 

Your active arm should be extended as if you’re shaking the resistance band’s hand. Pull that arm back toward your body until it’s at a right angle, then slowly return to the starting position.

Helpful Hint: You can also get a chiseled back with the exercises in our Viking Strength & Function Fitplan!

14. Banded Dumbbell Shrugs

The movement may not be explosive, but these shrugs will get you some huge traps and help build strength for other lifting exercises. 

How To Do It:

Wrap either end of the resistance band around two dumbbells and then step on the center. Lift the dumbbells off the ground as you stand up and hold them at hip level, getting as much tension on the band as you can. Slowly shrug your shoulders and then let them drop again.

15. Assisted Pull-Ups

You’ll need a long and elastic band for this one. There are even specific models built for pull-ups. If you’re trying to increase your pull-up count, try this move.

How To Do It:

Loop the resistance band around a pull-up bar and then bring it down so you can put the other end around either your foot or knee. You can also put both legs into the band if you want. Once the band is in place, grab the bar with an overhand grip, pull your shoulders back, and lift yourself up until your head clears the bar. Lower down to complete one rep.

Arm Exercises

16. Biceps Curls

You can ditch the free weights and dumbbells or combine them with a resistance band for the best workout. 

How To Do It:

Stand on the middle of a resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Pull the band up to your hips with both hands as you stand straight. From there, mimic the motion of a biceps curl with both arms and lower back to complete one rep.

17. Bench Press

Add a resistance band to your regular bench press for an even greater chest and biceps workout. 

How To Do It:

Wrap one end of the resistance band around one end of the barbell past the weight plate. Then pass the band under the bench to do the same on the other side. Lie down with the bar at chest height and get an overhand grip on the bar, then take the bar off the rack and push through your chest to fully extend your arm. 

If this is your first time doing banded bench presses, make sure you have a spotter to help.

18. Two-Arm Triceps Kickback

Give your triceps some attention with this simple move. 

How To Do It:

Stand on the resistance band in a forward lunge position or with both feet, depending on what you’re comfortable with. Grab the outside of the band with both hands and pull your arms back with your palms facing behind you. Keep your arms at your side with elbows bent to get into the starting position. 

You’ll be hinged at the hip throughout this move. Pull the band until your arms are straight and raised above you. Then return to the starting position.

Helpful Hint: Build huge arms with our Zero to Hero Fitplan!

Leg Exercises

19. Hamstring Curl

Don’t neglect leg day and get top-heavy! This hamstring curl will help you avoid that fate.

How To Do It:

Secure your resistance band and then lie on your stomach with the other end of the band wrapped around your ankles. Slowly lift both legs until your shins are perpendicular to the floor, then lower them back down. 

20. Glute Bridge

This simple exercise can be more challenging with a resistance band set up the right way.

How To Do It:

Lie on the ground like you were going to do a sit-up. Step on a resistance band with both feet and then run the other side up over your waist. Your arms can be out to each side. Slowly lift your waist so that there is a straight line from your head to your knees. Hold that position for a few seconds. 

21. Lateral Band Walk

This is one of the best workouts for your gluteus medius and you can also get your upper body involved by carrying kettlebells or free weights.

How To Do It:

Wrap a resistance band around both feet, then stand with them shoulder-width apart. Slowly take two large side-steps to the right, then go back to the start. Repeat with two steps to the left and back to the start.

Core & Abs Exercises

22. Wood Chopper

This core exercise will also help you build stronger shoulders. 

How To Do It:

Stand on a resistance band with one foot and grab the other end with the opposite hand. Put your other hand on the resistance band a bit lower down. Put your feet shoulder-width apart and clench your glutes and abs before pulling the resistance band up over the shoulder opposite your foot on the resistance band. 

That opposite arm should be fully extended. Bring both hands beneath the hip of the side closest to the resistance band for a full rep. 

23. Banded Sit-Ups

These are just like normal sit-ups with the added bonus of constant tension. 

How To Do It:

Place your feet under two free weights for stability and wrap a resistance band around an anchor point behind you. Get into the traditional sit-up position and lift your hands up to take both ends of the resistance band.

Engage your core and lift your upper body until it meets your bent knees, then slowly lower back down to the starting position. 

Full-Body Resistance Band Workouts

24. Banded Barbell Deadlifts

Don’t try this one unless you’re already very comfortable with traditional deadlifts

How To Do It:

Wrap both ends of a resistance band around the barbell and leave a loop lying on the ground. Before you get into the deadlift, step on the remaining loop.

Put your feet halfway under the bar and hinge at the hip to bend over and grab the bar. Lift the bar until you feel it click, making sure that your core, back, shoulders, and legs are all engaged. Lift the barbell up to your thighs and then to your waist, straightening as you do so, then reverse the movement to complete a rep.

Helpful Hint: Learn more about compound exercises in our Professional Secrets Fitplan!

25. Branded Burpees

Here’s a strong finisher that will add some cardio to your routine and help you reach complete muscle exhaustion. 

How To Do It:

Anchor your resistance band and then wrap it around both ankles. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and then drop down into a push-up position. Complete one push-up, then rise back up. For cardio, add an explosive plyometric jump as you get back to the standing position. Land softly and then go back into the push-up position to start your next rep.


Resistance bands are a great way to give your entire body a workout at a home gym or pretty much anywhere else expensive gym equipment isn’t available. Mix and match some of the banded exercises in this guide to get a tough workout that can help achieve any fitness goals.

(Note: Want our elite trainers to help you tone and strengthen your whole body? Start your Fitplan free trial today!)  

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