You only need this one affordable piece of equipment for a full-body workout

Skip the weights and opt for a resistance band instead with these simple but effective workouts.

Woman using resistance band outdoors at park
(Image credit: Getty)

Working out can often feel overwhelming, with endless machines and equipment at the gym to choose from. But sometimes it’s best not to over-complicate things, especially when you can get a great full-body workout using one simple and affordable piece of equipment: the resistance band.

The best resistance bands are perfect for home workouts and are also super lightweight, meaning you can easily throw them in your bag and take them to the gym. With varied lengths and levels of resistance, there’s a band for every ability and strength level. They’re a great way to build muscle too, and can help you work on the form and quality of your movements.

If you’re after a full-body resistance band workout you can do at home, or at the gym, without queuing for machines, qualified personal trainer Pippa Sealey is here to help. She’s put together a workout that will target your entire body - all you need is a short and a long resistance band.

Full body resistance band workout

This workout is broken down into supersets, which means you'll perform a pair of exercises back-to-back. Each exercise below has a certain number of repetitions you should aim for; you should finish performing the repetitions for the first exercise before you move onto the second. 

Once you've done the set number of repetitions for each exercise, you can rest for 30 seconds, then repeat the sequence two more times. This means you'll do each superset three times in total.

1. Banded glute bridges x 12

Pippa Sealey performing glute bridge movement with resistance band

(Image credit: Pippa Sealey)
  • Lie on your back with your feet about shoulder-width apart and shins vertical to the floor, with a short resistance band above your knees.
  • Move your hips from the floor into a bridge position, while engaging your glutes and keeping your feet flat. 
  • Return to your starting position. That's one repetition. 

2. Banded lateral walks x 20

Woman doing banded lateral walks with resistance band

(Image credit: Getty)
  • In a standing position, bend your knees so you are in a half squat and place the short resistance band above your knees.
  • From there, abduct your hip (move your leg away from your body) in order to take a small step to the side. Repeat this for 10 reps before returning to do 10 on the other side.  

Repeat the above superset (exercises one and two) for three rounds in total. 

3. Banded push-ups x 8

Pippa Sealey performing banded push-up with resistance band

(Image credit: Pippa Sealey)
  • Put a long resistance band over your mid back and underneath your hands in order to add more resistance to the concentric (upwards) part of the movement. 
  • In a plank position (or with your knees on the floor if you need), lower your chest to the floor, then extend your arms to push yourself back up to the starting position. 

4. Banded pull aparts x 12

Pippa Sealey performs banded pull-aparts with a resistance band

(Image credit: Pippa Sealey)
  • Place your hands about shoulder-width apart on a long resistance band at about chest height. 
  • Retract your shoulder muscles in order to pull the band apart, as shown in the image above. 
  • Return to the starting position.  

Repeat the above superset (exercises three and four) for a total of three rounds.

5. Banded shoulder presses x 12

Woman doing banded shoulder-press in park with resistance band

(Image credit: Getty)
  • Stand on the long resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the band at chest height with your palms facing upwards. 
  • Extend your arms upwards in a straight path until the resistance band is overhead. 
  • Lock out your arms at the top before slowly returning the band to your chest. 
  • Keep your torso straight and maintain a slight pelvic tilt to make sure your core is engaged in this movement. 

6. Banded bent over rows x 12

Pippa Sealey performing banded bent over row with resistance bands

(Image credit: Pippa Sealey)
  • Stand on a long resistance band with your feet about shoulder-width apart. 
  • Start in a bent-over position by hinging at the hips and leaning your chest forward. Make sure your back is straight, your core is engaged and your shoulders are retracted throughout this movement. 
  • Pull the band from just below your knees into your stomach, engaging muscles in your back and biceps. 

Repeat the above superset (exercises five and six) three rounds in total.

7. Banded hamstring curls x 15

Pippa Sealey performing banded hamstring curls with resistance band

(Image credit: Pippa Sealey)
  • Anchor a long resistance band to an object near the floor, like a table leg or the bottom of a squat rack. 
  • Lie on your front and put the band on the back of your heels with your ankles flexed.  
  • From here, drive your hips into the floor and curl your legs to bring your heels towards your glutes. 

8. Banded kickbacks x 15

Pippa Sealey performing banded kickbacks with resistance band

(Image credit: Pippa Sealey)
  • Banded kickbacks are a glute dominant exercise to get a great lower body pump. 
  • Start in a table top position for the kickbacks, with your hands anchoring the long resistance band to the floor. 
  • Put one heel into the other end of the band and extend your leg backwards by using your glutes. 
  • Keep your back straight and core engaged so there is no arch in your lower back. 

Repeat the above superset (exercises seven and eight) for a total of three rounds. 

Tips and advice

This workout is a great way to switch-up your routine as a resistance band can help target muscles you might not usually use in the glutes, shoulders and chest. Although Sealey suggests repeating each set three times – which should take between 30-40 minutes – you can repeat them as many times as you like to make the workout shorter or longer.

Separating full-body workouts into sections to target different muscles will not only ensure you’re engaging your entire body, but it also allows you to mimic the benefits of popular workout splits (for example, when people target their legs on one day and their chest on another) even if you’re short on time.

This is a workout you can repeat on a regular basis, increasing the resistance level of the bands you use over time to make it more challenging. This will allow you to progressively overload the difficulty, helping you build muscle and improve your strength. You can also use the resistance bands to warm up and stretch after a workout, which is important in order to avoid DOMS and help your body recover properly. 

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.