You only need these six moves to build muscle without weights

This short resistance band workout builds upper body muscle and core strength

Woman exercising with resistance bands at home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Common wisdom suggests that you need to spend hours at the gym lifting weights if you want to build muscle. But that's not the only way. Instead, you can use this six-move resistance band workout to develop strength across your whole body. 

You can use a set of the best resistance bands (opens in new tab) as an alternative to weights, as the graded bands come in different strengths, allowing you to still use the progressive overload (opens in new tab) technique to increase the load as you get stronger.  

Although resistance bands are generally a lot more affordable than weights, this Black Friday deal on the Whatafit Resistance Bands Set is half price at Amazon (opens in new tab) right now, bringing the cost of a five-band set down to less than $20. 

now $19.98 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Whatafit Resistance Bands Set | was $39.66, now $19.98 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

This set comes with five bands, ranging from 10lbs up to 50lbs. There's a clip and handle for each one, so you can use them alone or attach the included door anchor and ankle straps. you even get a carrying bag to keep everything collected together for easy storage. 

Once you've got a set of bands to hand, you'll be ready to take on fitness YouTubers Tiff x Dan's (opens in new tab) resistance band workout. There are just six moves, and you'll aim to do between 12 and 15 repetitions of each and repeat the routine three times for muscle-building results without weights. 

According to the duo, to get the most from your training, you can "determine the resistance with your bands, but try to push yourself to get a little stronger by increasing your resistance and time under tension throughout this workout."

Watch Tiff x Dan's six-move resistance band workout

A post shared by TIFF + DAN | AT HOME WORKOUTS (@tiffxdan) (opens in new tab)

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There are some workout staples like deadlifts and good mornings alongside bent-over row variations. If you're new to strength training or could use a refresher, you can use Dan's demonstrations to practice your technique before starting. 

Although the routine focuses mostly on your upper body, it can also strengthen your lower half. You might have learned how to deadlift with dumbbells (opens in new tab) before, and the process is similar here, except you loop a single band around your feet and hold onto it with both hands. 

Deadlifts are a type of compound exercise where you work multiple muscles simultaneously. This makes them an efficient way to build full-body muscle, even when you're primarily strengthening your chest, arms, back, and shoulders. 

If you want to to dedicate some time to your legs and core, this lower-body resistance band workout (opens in new tab) is an excellent option. Alternatively, if you enjoy working out with weights and have one of the best kettlebells (opens in new tab) nearby, learning how to do kettlebell swings (opens in new tab) is a great way to work your whole body and boost your metabolism. This compound move builds core strength, raises your heart rate, and develops full-body muscle.

now $19.98 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Whatafit Resistance Bands Set | was $39.66, now $19.98 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

This set comes with five bands, ranging from 10lbs up to 50lbs. There's a clip and handle for each one, so you can use them alone or attach the included door anchor and ankle straps. you even get a carrying bag to keep everything collected together for easy storage. 

James Frew
Staff Writer

James is a London-based journalist and Staff Writer 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.