20 minutes, no weights, and this resistance workout to build full-body muscle

This short resistance band routine strengthens your whole body and boosts your metabolism

Woman holding a resistance band squat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're looking to build muscle, you probably think you need to pick up a set of weights and take on endless bicep curls or dumbbell goblet squats. It's effective but not the only way to develop strength, as this 20-minute resistance band workout proves.

You just need a set of the best resistance bands to get started. These are a more affordable alternative to weights, are easy to store (as they often come with a carry case), and are lightweight enough to pack in your bag for on-the-go workouts.

But that doesn't make them less effective for muscle-building results; the bands come in several strengths to add resistance to many bodyweight moves, like those in fitness YouTubers Juice & Toya's 20-minute workout.

The duo explains that "this workout is great if you're looking to build muscle mass and strength without the use of heavy equipment" and that it's a great way to "get some movement in without a lot of impact on your joints."

There are two sets of 10 exercises; you'll do each move for 40 seconds and take a 20-second break before continuing. To get the most from the workout, follow along with the duo's demonstrations to perfect your form.

Watch Juice & Toya's resistance band workout

This exercise style is known as high-intensity resistance training (HIRT), where the aim is to train intensely for short bursts with only minimal breaks. This works your muscles hard but has other benefits too.

Keeping the intensity high raises your heart rate, increasing the amount of energy you burn during your workout. Sustaining this elevated heart rate also boosts your metabolism, the energy you burn at rest, for all-day fat-burning results.

If this sounds similar to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), that's because it is, but with one significant difference; HIRT workouts focus on strength-based moves, while HIIT is predominately designed around cardio exercise.

This is why many people take on a HIIT workout for fat loss if they want to drop pounds. Juice & Toya's routine achieves similar results while simultaneously developing full-body muscle with moves like resistance band lunges and push-ups.

If you're after a more targeted routine to strengthen your upper body, consider adding some of the best chest workouts with resistance bands into your schedule. The session develops muscle in your chest, back, arms, and shoulders with just five resistance band moves.

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.

In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.