7 Best Full-Body Power Band Workouts (Build Muscle Strength)

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Published by Christiana Mikesch, CPT | Senior Coach
Last updated: March 12, 2024
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As a certified personal trainer, many clients ask me for specific workouts they can do at home with limited equipment on the days they don’t have time for the gym.

Recognizing that they can effectively work out their entire body with just a few resistance bands and a yoga mat, I spent a week researching the proper selection of exercises that strengthen muscles and provide a leaner appearance.

Also, I teamed up with five other fitness coaches and a few clients to create easy and powerful full-body workouts using resistance bands to make muscles strong.

Quick Summary

  • The best full-body power band workout for building muscle strength includes resistance band squats, seated rows, and triceps extensions.
  • You can do a full-body workout that includes everything from a banded squat to an overhead press in your own time at home.
  • Research suggests that you can achieve effective strength building with just a few sets, even if you have only 20 minutes for a resistance band workout.
  • I've often noticed that clients are surprised by how much strong, lean muscle they can build using heavy resistance bands without using any free weights.

7 Full-Body Resistance Band Exercises

Performing body workouts using power bands

Here's a full-body workout we tested with clients; you can adapt it to your schedule, ranging from one set with eight reps in about 15 minutes to three sets at 12 reps in about an hour.

1. Resistance Band Squats

Resistance band squats intensify the classic squat by incorporating a resistance band, effectively targeting the glutes, quads, hip adductors, and core.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Begin by standing tall with both feet centered on the band.
  2. Hold a handle in each hand and pull them up to shoulder level.
  3. Engage your core and lower your buttocks as far as possible before pushing back up.

As a fitness trainer, I emphasize the importance of prioritizing good form over speed in lower body exercises to ensure increased time under tension and achieve better results, supported by research from the National Institute of Health [1].

“Research shows that increasing your muscles’ time under tension can increase metabolic response.”

- Jennifer Mathe, MS, CSCS 

2. Seated Rows

The seated band row is both effective and safe for developing upper back muscles and biceps, thanks to its low-impact nature.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Attach the resistance band to a door hook and sit on your exercise mat.
  2. Ensure there is adequate tension with your arms fully extended, gripping the handles.
  3. Pull the handles toward your chest, feeling the tension build up between your shoulder blades.

As a fitness coach, I recommend keeping your core braced and maintaining good posture to prevent injuries, as supported by a study published by the National Institute of Health [2].

3. Biceps Curls

A woman performing bicep curls using resistance band

The Resistance Band Bicep Curl provides a unique and enjoyable way to strengthen your biceps, using the band's resistance for toning and strengthening without dumbbells or barbells.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Stand on the resistance band with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Hold a handle in each hand with palms facing forward.
  3. Choose to either complete a full set with each hand or alternate between both arms with each repetition.

4. Triceps Extensions

The resistance band tricep extension uniquely builds arm strength by working against the band's tension rather than lifting traditional weights like dumbbells or barbells.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Start by standing on the resistance band with your left foot and grabbing the handles.
  2. Pull your left hand up over your head until your arm is straight.
  3. Slowly bend your elbow, lowering your hand behind your back, and then push it back up.

Based on my training experience, you'll likely notice immediate tension in your upper arm when performing this exercise.

5. Banded Deadlift

A woman holding her band performing deadlift

The banded deadlift involves attaching resistance bands to the barbell, providing an additional challenge to enhance the traditional deadlift exercise.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart on a looped resistance band.
  2. With your knees slightly bent, reach down for the resistance band handles.
  3. Raise your upper body up again, feeling the tension increase on the bands.

Based on my training experience, you're likely to feel the strain in your core and hip flexors while doing this exercise.

Learn More: How to do Deadlift with Resistance Band

6. Chest Press

The Resistance Band Chest Press offers a unique way to build chest strength, working muscles against band tension instead of traditional dumbbell weights.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Attach the band to a door hook and position your right foot slightly in front of the left.
  2. Slightly bend your knees for stability and hold a handle in each hand next to your shoulders.
  3. Starting with your elbows bent, push your hands forward.
  4. Hold your arms extended for a second and then return to the starting position.

7. Shoulder Press

The Resistance Band Shoulder Press strengthens shoulder muscles and enhances body stability by pressing the band upward with the deltoids.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Stand on the band with both feet and lift the handles to shoulder level. This action creates tension from the start, effectively targeting your shoulder muscle groups.
  2. Push both hands above your head, holding your arms straight for a second
  3. Gradually lower them back down.

As a fitness trainer, I consistently advise my clients to ensure they maintain a straight body throughout the movement, prioritizing safety and effectiveness.

Advantages Of Using Resistance Bands

A muscular woman pushing her resistance band

The main advantage of a full-body resistance band workout is the ability to target multiple muscle groups through compound exercises, as per Physio Pedia [3].

This efficient approach allows you to work on more muscles in less time, providing greater benefits than isolation exercises in a short period, making 20 minutes of functional strength training more effective.

Additionally, you save on costs, as there's no need to invest hundreds of dollars in a complete set of dumbbells.

Related Articles:

Are There Downsides?

Yes, there are some downsides to using bands instead of free weights. One drawback is the variable tension throughout an exercise movement with bands.

Unlike free weights or cable machines, bands provide increasing and decreasing tension, which can be less manageable.

Over the years, I've noticed in my clients' training that the resistance of bands tends to decrease gradually, posing a challenge in tracking and adjusting for specific fitness goals.

FAQs

Can You Build Muscle With Power Bands?

Yes, you can build muscle with power bands. Similar to using weights, it all comes down to getting the right level of tension and strain on muscles and then repeating the movement to achieve hypertrophy.

How Long Does It Take To See Results From Resistance Bands?

It can take as little as a few weeks to see results from resistance bands. It all depends on how often and for how long you train. And the more you increase the tension and lower your reps, the better the results should be.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3285070/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9256291/
  3. https://www.physio-pedia.com/Compound_Exercises
  4. https://www.livescience.com/what-is-hypertrophy
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About The Author

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
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Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
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Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
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