Full-Body Resistance Band & Bodyweight Circuit Workout

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
Our content is meticulously researched and reviewed by an expert team of fact checkers and medical professionals. They ensure accuracy, relevance, and timeliness using the latest reputable sources, which are cited within the text and listed at the end of the article. Before publication and upon significant updates, we confirm factual accuracy, committed to providing readers with well-informed content. Learn more.

Getting a full-body workout doesn’t need to include specialized equipment or an expensive gym membership.

You can maximize your workout with just one piece of versatile, affordable exercise gear: the resistance band.

In my decade as a fitness trainer, resistance bands have become increasingly popular among my clients. Because of that, I continue to create effective full-body circuit workouts using resistance bands that offer challenge and variety to my clients.

Read on to learn what you need to know for a budget-friendly yet challenging full-body resistance band workout right at home.

Quick Summary

  • A full-body resistance band and bodyweight circuit workout offers an effective, versatile, and affordable way to build muscle and enhance overall fitness.
  • The workout consists of three circuits, each with a variety of exercises targeting different muscle groups, and includes rest periods between circuits.
  • Research in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that resistance band training decreased blood glucose levels by an average of 4.5 mg/dl, highlighting its health benefits.
  • As a fitness expert, I find resistance band workouts a fantastic option for those seeking a comprehensive, low-cost fitness solution that's adaptable to any skill level, especially when mixed with a pre-workout supplement that can maximize performance and muscle recovery.

Most Effective Full-Body Resistance Band Bodyweight Circuit Workout

Woman in fitness attire preparing resistance band

From building upper body strength to enhancing lower body mobility, the following circuit training will provide a challenging full-body experience.

Complete each circuit in order with a 30-second rest in between exercises.

Once you finish circuit three, rest and repeat each circuit for another round, and if the first round involves an exercise that targets one side, do the other in the second round.

Let’s get started.

Circuit One:

Using a resistance band for an exercise routine

Complete this circuit and then rest for 30 seconds.

Seated Row (45 seconds):

  1. Sit down and loop the band around your feet, holding the ends with each hand.
  2. Extend your arms at shoulder height and press your chest outward.
  3. Pull the straps toward you, bending your elbows until they are sideways.
  4. Slow release back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat

Overhead Press (45 seconds):

  1. Stand on the center of the band with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Raise bands above shoulders; elbows should be at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Push arms straight up, then slowly lower back down.
  4. Repeat.

High Knees (30 seconds):

  1. Secure a resistance band above your ankles.
  2. Take small steps and lift your knees as high as you can.
  3. Engage your core as you keep your back straight.

Windshield Wipers (30 seconds):

  1. Sit with the band looped around your inner thighs close to your knees.
  2. With knees bent and pushing out on the band for more resistance, move your knees to one side and then the other, in a windshield-wiper-like pattern.

Circuit Two:

Using a resistance band for an exercise routine in a different body part

You’ll rest for 30 seconds after this circuit.

One-Arm Lateral Raise (45 seconds):

  1. Begin by holding the band handle in your left hand and let the other end lay on the floor.
  2. Stand on the band and keep your left arm straight.
  3. Slowly lift to shoulder height.
  4. Lower back to start and repeat. Perform with the right arm in the next round.

Banded Lunges (45 seconds):

  1. Stand with one foot out in front of the other and the front foot on the band.
  2. Hold the handles in each hand and raise them to shoulder height.
  3. With your back and head straight, lower your hips until your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
  4. Raise and repeat.

One-Arm Biceps Curl (30 seconds):

  1. Step on the band with your left foot and hold the handle with your left hand just above the thigh. Engage your biceps to curl your hand up until you reach shoulder height.
  2. Lower and repeat.

Bridges (one minute):

  1. Lie on the floor with your knees at right angles; lace band around your thighs just above the knees.
  2. Keep arms at your side and knees pressing out against the band.
  3. Raise your hips and hold for 2-3 seconds, keeping your glutes engaged.
  4. Lower and repeat.

“Resistance bands might not look like much, but they can strengthen your muscles as effectively as more traditional weights. In many ways, bands put more tension on your muscles and work them longer during movements.”

- Christopher Travers, M.S.

Circuit Three:

Using a resistance band for an exercise routine for upper body

Follow this circuit with a 30-second rest before beginning circuit one again.

One-Arm Overhead Triceps Extension (45 seconds):

  1. Stand on the band and grip the handle with your left hand.
  2. Keep your core engaged, and raise your arm until it is behind your head.
  3. Your upper arm will be perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Slowly return to start and repeat.

Standing Chest Press (45 seconds):

  1. Stand on the band and hold a handle in each hand.
  2. Bring hands to shoulder height with palms facing forward.
  3. Elbows should be slightly behind the body.
  4. Stand tall, engage your core, and pull the band straight out in front of you.
  5. Slowly pull your elbows back and repeat.

Straight Leg Deadlifts (30 seconds):

  1. Stand on the band, holding a handle in each hand.
  2. Bend your body as if to grab an invisible barbell.
  3. Stand up straight.
  4. Lower back to start and repeat.

Plank Jacks (one minute):

  1. Place the band around your ankles and get into a push-up position.
  2. Jack both legs out to the sides until you feel stretching in your core and glutes.
  3. Bring your legs back to start and repeat quickly to keep muscle groups engaged.

Benefits of This Type of Training

Resistance band workout for chest

Drawing from my experience and a Sage Open Medicine study, I've seen firsthand how resistance band bodyweight exercises effectively build muscle, paralleling conventional fitness equipment [1].

In my coaching practice, I emphasize targeting specific muscle groups or the entire body with these exercises for comprehensive muscle strength and mass development

Another study, published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, showed a decrease in blood glucose levels by an average of 4.5 mg/dl in the resistance band exercise training compared to no change in the control group [2].

Additional benefits of the resistance band strength training circuit include:

  • Constant tension throughout the whole range of motion keeps muscles engaged.
  • Provides convenient and affordable home workouts.
  • Offer versatile customization to match your fitness level, thanks to the availability of bands in varying strengths.
  • Easy to transport for an on-the-go workout.
  • They help you maintain proper form, especially as you tire.
  • They are safe to use.
  • You’ll burn calories, lose fat, and build strength.

FAQs

What Builds More Muscles, Weights, or Resistance Bands?

You can build muscles equally with weights and resistance bands. A 2019 study showed that resistance bands offer the same strength and mass gains as free weights or other conventional gym equipment.

What Are the Disadvantages of Working Out With Resistance Bands?

The disadvantages of working out with resistance bands include breakage and difficulty quantifying progress. Unlike weights, resistance band material can break. Inspect them before each band workout.

Progress tracking is challenging because resistance is variable, unlike a fixed number of pounds on most weights.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6383082/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8219266/
Was this article helpful?
YesNo

About The Author

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
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.
Learn more about our editorial policy

You May Also Like

A person working out with resistance band legs
By Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT 3 months ago
Resistance Band Leg Workout (Tone Your Lower Body)
A person at a home gym doing resistance band push ups
By Christiana Mikesch, CPT 1 month ago
Resistance Band Push-Ups: How-To, Variations & Benefits
A woman doing high intensity interval training for her lower body
By Christiana Mikesch, CPT 21 days ago
8 Lower Body HIIT Workouts on a Circuit to Destroy Legs
A group of women doing bodyweight leg workout
By Christiana Mikesch, CPT 4 months ago
Bodyweight Leg Workout (Get Strong & Sculpted Legs)

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our scoring system is the result of objective testing data and subjective expert analysis by a team of fitness coaches and medical experts. Our scoring factors are weighted based on importance. For more information, see our product review guidelines.