This resistance band workout from Victoria Beckham's trainer will tone your arms and shoulders

Train your upper body with this six-move resistance band workout

Personal trainer Louisa Drake perpares for an upper body resistance band workout
(Image credit: Creative Two)

At Fit&Well, we believe a great workout can be done from home with minimal kit. All you need is a set of resistance bands and you can easily build strength and muscle in your living room or backyard. 

This resistance band workout from celebrity trainer Louisa Drake ticks all of our favorite boxes: it's accessible, adaptable and it takes less than 20 minutes to do. 

The workout will target your upper body, leaving your shoulders, biceps and triceps feeling stronger in no time. (If you're looking for a full-body routine, try our full body resistance band workout instead.)

To do it, perform each of the exercises for 30-70 seconds with minimal rest in between, then repeat the routine two to five times in total. 

Louisa Drake
Louisa Drake

Celebrity trainer Louisa Drake has worked with various stars, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, Felicity Jones and Rooney Mara. She has a background as a professional dancer and weaves various disciplines, including Pilates, barre and yoga, into her training plans. She is also the brains behind the Louisa Drake Method, an online training platform. 

The workout

  • Band pull apart, 30-70 seconds
  • Lat pull-down, 30-70 seconds
  • Incline row, 30-70 seconds
  • Overhead triceps extension, 30-70 seconds
  • Standing chest press, 30-70 seconds
  • Standing bicep curl, 30-70 seconds

1. Band Pull Apart

Personal trainer Lousia Drake performs a band pull apart

(Image credit: Creative Two)

Time: 30-70 seconds Sets: 2-5

  • Stand with your knees slightly bent, feet shoulder-width apart. Grip the middle section of the band in front of you at shoulder height with an overhand grip, palms facing down. Inhale to prepare.
  • Keep your arms extended with a soft bend at the elbow. Exhale and pull the band out laterally, until your shoulder blades contract.
  • Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
WeluvFit Workout Resistance Bands: was $29.99, now $16.99 at Amazon

WeluvFit Workout Resistance Bands: was $29.99, now $16.99 at Amazon

Save 43% Resistance bands offer a convenient way to train. You can use them at home or pack them in your bag and take them with you when you travel. This early Black Friday deal has brought the price of this multipack of bands down to less than $20. 

2. Lat Pulldown

Personal trainer Louise Drake performs a lat pulldown

(Image credit: Creative Two)

Time: 30-70 seconds Sets: 2-5

  • Grab the middle of the resistance band and bring your arms straight up over your head. Inhale to prepare. 
  • Exhale as you pull the band down and back behind you, bending your elbows. Return to the starting position and repeat. 

This movement can also be done by attaching the middle of the band to an overhead base or anchor point, holding one end of the band in each hand, and then bending your elbows to pull down your hands in line with your chest. Both variations can be performed standing or kneeling.

3. Incline Row

personal trainer Louisa Drake performs an incline row

(Image credit: Creative Two)

Time: 30-70 seconds Sets: 2-5

  • Standing with feet hip-width apart, place the resistance band under your feet. Cross the band in front of you and hold the ends in each hand, palms facing your thighs. Inhale to prepare.
  • Exhale and pull your elbows up level with your hips or slightly higher, bending your elbows out to the sides. Lower back to the starting position and repeat.

4. Overhead Triceps Extension

Personal trainer Louisa Drake performs a tricep extension

(Image credit: Creative Two)

Time: 30-70 seconds Sets: 2-5

  • Standing with feet hip-width apart, place one end of the resistance band under both heels. Hold onto the other end of the band and pull it over your shoulders. Your hands should be together behind the head and the elbows bent. Inhale, this is your starting position. 
  • Exhale as you extend both arms up to the ceiling. Engage your torso, keep the ribs relaxed and your shoulders down while maintaining a neutral spine.

5. Standing Chest Press

Personal trainer Louisa Drake performs a chest press

(Image credit: Creative Two)

Time: 30-70 seconds Sets: 2-5

  • Place the band around your back and under your arms. Plant your feet hip-width apart or adopt a split stance with your left foot forward and right foot back. Extend your arms directly in front of your chest, holding the ends of the band with an overhand grip (palms facing down), ensuring that your hands are shoulder-width apart. Inhale, this is your starting position.
  • Exhale as you pull the band to your chest, bending at the elbows and outwards to bring the ends of the band towards you until your hands are in line with your chest. It is important that there is still some tension in the band when in this position. If there isn’t, you will need to adjust your hands to grip further down the band. Return to the starting position and repeat. 

6. Standing Bicep Curl

Personal Trainer Louisa Drake performs a bicep curl

(Image credit: Creative Two)

Time: 30-70 seconds Sets: 2-5

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with your feet placed over the middle of the band. Grab an end in each hand, starting with your arms down at your sides, palms facing forward. Inhale to prepare.
  • Exhale and pull your arms toward your shoulders by bending at the elbow until you get a good bicep contraction. Slowly lower back down and repeat.

Looking for more workout ideas? Check out our resistance band leg workout, to build lower-body strength

Lou Mudge
Fitness Writer

Lou Mudge is a Health Writer at Future Plc, working across Fit&Well and Coach. She previously worked for Live Science, and regularly writes for and Pet's Radar. Based in Bath, UK, she has a passion for food, nutrition and health and is eager to demystify diet culture in order to make health and fitness accessible to everybody.

Multiple diagnoses in her early twenties sparked an interest in the gut-brain axis and the impact that diet and exercise can have on both physical and mental health. She was put on the FODMAP elimination diet during this time and learned to adapt recipes to fit these parameters, while retaining core flavors and textures, and now enjoys cooking for gut health.