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Workouts for Women

Mix-and-Match Workout: Resistance-Band Blast

An inexpensive set of bands turns this full-body workout into a strength-building session that’s easy on the joints.

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This fast-paced circuit designed by Jim Ryno, owner of Iron House home gym design in Alpine, New Jersey, consists of six hard-hitting exercises using a resistance band that train all the major muscles of the body. 

Since everyone’s band setup is a little different, you need to have some flexibility on how many reps you do per set. The lighter the band, the higher the reps; the heavier the band, the fewer the reps. Also, wrapping the band around your hands or feet will make it shorter and increase tension. 

Here are some ranges to shoot for, depending on the bands you have:  

  • Light: 15 to 20 reps
  • Medium: 12 to 15 reps
  • Heavy: 10 to 12 reps 

This workout is written with a medium-weight band in mind; adjust up or down from here if your bands differ. 

Check out more installments of the Oxygen Mix-and-Match Workout series!

The Resistance-Band Blast Circuit

Do these moves back-to-back with minimal rest in between. Rest 60 seconds between rounds, and complete three rounds.

Exercise Reps/Time
Resistance-Band Thruster 12-15
Resistance-Band Reverse Lunge 12-15 (each side)
Resistance-Band Upright Row 12-15
Resistance-Band One-Arm Triceps Extension 12-15 (each side)
Resistance-Band Low-Mount Reverse Crunch* 12-15
Resistance-Band Push-Up** 12-15
Rest 60 seconds

*Perform regular reverse crunches without the band if this version is too difficult or inconvenient.

**Perform regular push-ups or modified push-ups (knees on the floor or hands elevated on a chair) if resistance-band push-ups are too difficult.

Do: Make band adjustments midworkout to skew easier or harder so that you’re challenged in the prescribed rep range. 

Don’t: Go too fast on the negative portion of the rep. In other words, don’t let the band pull you and “snap” on the way down. Control the negative on every rep to keep tension on the muscles for better strength gains. 

Exercises

Resistance-Band Thruster

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Stand with both feet on the band about shoulder-width apart and hold the handles at shoulder level, elbows bent and palms facing forward. Kick your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat. When your thighs come parallel to the floor or below, explosively extend your knees and hips to stand back up, using that upward momentum to extend your arms straight up overhead to full extension. Lower the handles back to the start and go into the next rep. 

Resistance-Band Reverse Lunge

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Stand with your right foot on top of the band and hold the handles at your shoulders, elbows bent. Take a large step back with your left foot, bending both knees to lower into a deep lunge until your rear knee touches or nearly touches the floor. Return to standing and continue, alternating sides.  

Resistance-Band Upright Row

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Stand on the band with both feet and cross the handles one over the other to your opposite hands. Hold the handles in front of your thighs with your palms facing your legs. Drive your elbows up toward the sky, leading the move with your elbows, until the handles come underneath your chin. Pause briefly, then lower to the start.  

Resistance-Band One-Arm Triceps Extension

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Stand with one or both feet on the resistance band and hold the ends (or handles) in one hand. Raise one arm above your shoulder alongside your ear with your elbow bent. Keep your upper arm in place as you press the band up toward the sky to extend your elbow. Pause briefly, then lower to the start. Complete all reps on one side, then switch.

Resistance-Band Low-Mount Reverse Crunch

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Anchor a resistance band to a stationary object at floor level, then sit facing the anchor. Secure the handles over each foot, then lie completely back along the floor. Place your hands under your lower back for stability, if desired.  Keeping your legs together, drive your knees up toward your head until they make a 90-degree angle with your hips or slightly beyond. Pause briefly, then lower to the start.

Resistance-Band Push-Up

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Hold a resistance band across your upper back and shoulders and get into a push-up position with your head, hips and heels aligned, hands placed just outside shoulder width. Bend your elbows to lower down to the floor, keeping your arms tucked to your sides. When your chest touches down, press back up explosively. You should feel resistance from the band by the top of the rep; if you don’t, shorten it further to increase tension.