Workouts

Two Resistance-Band Workouts That Take Less Than 30 Minutes

With one resistance band, you can tone your physique in 30 minutes or less. Here’s how.

Banded-Trunk-Rotation-Hers
Ian Spanier / M+F Magazine
Ian Spanier / M+F Magazine
Exercises 11
Equipment Yes

You’d be shocked at what can be accomplished with a single piece of rubber. And no, we’re not just talking about rehabbing an injury, working on mobility, or warming up before some other workout. We’re talking about getting seriously stronger, tightening your body, building lean muscle mass, and feeling great. 

The humble resistance band has a lot going for it. In fact, when com­pared with dumbbells and barbells, this flat, thick piece of elastic has certain advantages. For starters, its resistance increases the more it is stretched through a range of motion (what’s called “linear variable resistance”). This provides a training stimulus you can’t get with iron. It also means that you’ll experience less wear and tear on your joints—always a good thing. 

“I’d put band training right up there with any free-weight workout in terms of challenging the muscles and producing physique gains,” says Jim Ryno, a personal trainer and gym owner. “As an added bonus, the elastic resistance tends to put less strain on vulnerable joints like the knees, hips, and shoulders, but without sacrificing any intensity on the muscles. Make no mistake, a band workout can get you absolutely torched.” 

These things also run anywhere from just a few dollars for a single band to $40 for a set of four. So what are you waiting for? Grab a band, pick one of the following routines, and in 30 minutes or less, you can knock out a great workout.

30-minute Band Workout After a 5-minute warmup, perform the following exercises. Don’t rest more than 30 seconds between sets.

Exercise 1

Banded Pullup You'll need: Elastic Band, Pullup Bar How to
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3 sets
10* reps
-- rest
*On the third set, go to failure—do as many reps as possible while maintaining good form.

Exercise 2

Banded Lateral X Walk You'll need: Resistance Band How to
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3 sets
15 in each direction reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Banded One-Arm Chest Press You'll need: Resistance Band How to
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3 sets
10 per side* reps
-- rest
*On the third set, go to failure—do as many reps as possible while maintaining good form.

Exercise 4

Banded Power Jump You'll need: Resistance Band How to
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3 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Banded Pallof Press You'll need: Resistance Band How to
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3 sets
10 per side reps
-- rest

Exercise 6

Banded Upright Row You'll need: Resistance Band How to
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3 sets
10* reps
-- rest
*On the third set, go to failure—do as many reps as possible while maintaining good form.

15-minute Band Workout After a 5-minute warmup, perform the following circuit as many times as you can in 15 minutes.

Exercise 1

Banded Kneeling Hip Thrust You'll need: Resistance Band How to
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-- sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Banded One-Arm Row How to
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-- sets
15 per side reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Banded Front Squat You'll need: Resistance Band How to
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-- sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Banded Pushup How to
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-- sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Banded Trunk Rotation How to
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-- sets
10 per side reps
-- rest
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