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Total-Body Workouts for Women

The 4-Week Total-Body Band Workout

Take fitness to go with this one-month training plan to get out of the gym and into the best shape of your life.

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The sun is out, the skies are blue — it’s time to get out of the gym and take on fitness on your terms! This total-body band workout plan is packed full of quick, effective workouts you can do anytime, anywhere, in as little as 20 minutes.

All you need are a few lightweight bands to target every muscle in your body so you can build strength and torch body fat. Throw a couple of bands into your car, your purse or your carry-on luggage and bring your workout with you wherever you go.

How This Plan Works

Each week in this four-week plan kicks off with a new total-body band workout , which you will perform as an AMRAP — as many reps as possible — circuit. This means, you’ll set a timer and do as many repetitions as you can of each exercise for one full minute. At the end of the circuit, rest one minute, then repeat. You’ll perform the circuit three rounds total, resting one minute between each round. This adds up to 26 minutes of work, which if you factor in a couple of minutes for warm-up and cool-down, you can do this workout from start to finish in about 30 minutes.

You’ll also get bonus strength and sculpting workouts each week to supplement your total-body band workouts. These bonus workouts are a combination of high reps and heavy band resistance to push your muscles to the max . You better believe you’re going to feel the burn.

How to Use It

This plan is designed to fit your schedule. You can repeat your total-body band circuits up to three times each week (ideally with a day off in between) either on their own or with the additional bonus workouts. You also can do the bonus workouts on the days you don’t do circuits. Cardio is up to you, but you’ll have plenty of chances to get your heart rate up with just the workouts.

What You Need

This is a total-body band workout plan, so you will need at least one exercise band. There are a couple of different styles of bands , but for the circuits, you will need either a band with handles on each end or a continuous band. Modifications for how to use each band are included in the instructions for each week.

For the bonus workouts, you’ll need access to a pull-up bar, which you can find at a playground or attached to most squat racks. You’ll also need a hip-circle or “booty” band, which is a thicker band made of fabric you wear around your thighs.

Woman Doing Mini-Band Workout
(Photo: Getty Images)

Total-Body AMRAP Circuit: Week 1 

Most of these exercises are very similar to their dumbbell and cable counterparts. All you need to know is how to anchor the band. For squats, deadlifts, bent-over rows and shoulder presses, stand on the center of the band, hold the ends like you would a free weight and perform the exercise as you normally would. For the overhead walking lunge, hold the band with your arms extended overhead, keeping tension in the band as you lunge. For the band pulldown, hold the band (not the handles) slightly relaxed in front and overhead, pulling the band apart and down as you sweep your hands out toward the sides of your hips. Loop the band around your back for the chest flye, and if you want to add a bit of extra resistance, do the same for the push-up.

Exercises

  • Banded Front Squat
  • Banded Deadlift
  • Banded Shoulder Press
  • Overhead Walking Lunge
  • Banded Bent-Over Row
  • Banded Chest Flye
  • Banded Pulldown
  • Push-Up

Resistance-Band-Curl
(Photo: Cory Sorensen)

Total-Body AMRAP Circuit: Week 2 

This week, you’ll add isolation and total-body band exercises into the mix. As with the squat, you’ll stand on the band and hold the ends at your shoulders for the squat press, aka thruster. For the split squat, loop the band under your front foot and choke up on the bands to maintain tension as you bend both knees to lower down , keeping your back straight and chest up. Anchor the band in a door frame or loop it over a pull-up bar for the triceps pressdown, and loop the band around your feet, sitting with your legs extended in front of you, for the seated row.

Exercises

  • Banded Squat Press (Thruster)
  • Banded Split Squat (right leg)
  • Banded Split Squat (left leg)
  • Banded Lateral Raise
  • Banded Upright Row
  • Banded Triceps Pressdown
  • Banded Curl
  • Banded Seated Row

Banded One-Arm Triceps Kickback
(Photo: Cory Sorensen)

Total-Body AMRAP Circuit: Week 3 

Week three is all about stabilization and core strength. For the squat, hold the band overhead with tension the same way you did for the walking lunges in the week one circuit. For the back-kicks, balance on one foot and loop the center of the band around your kicking foot. Anchor the band at about hip height and hinge forward for the triceps kickbacks (both arms at the same time), then ditch the band for burpees and bicycles.

Exercises

  • Overhead Squat Holding Band
  • Banded Back-Kick (right leg)
  • Banded Back-Kick (left leg)
  • Banded Pull-Apart
  • Banded Hammer Curl
  • Banded Triceps Kickback
  • Burpee
  • Ab Bicycle

Total-Body AMRAP Circuit: Week 4

Every week, the exercises get more challenging, and this week is no exception. Frog hops are similar to the hip-thrust motion of a kettlebell swing, using the momentum to hop forward with each rep. For the archer pulls, hold the band outstretched with one hand while you pull back with the other arm as if drawing back an arrow. Feel free to choke up on the band or even double up on the resistance, if needed.

Stand on the band and hold both ends straight overhead for the squat. Then loop the band around your back or anchor it behind you for the chest press. Stand on the band for the curls and triceps press , then hit the floor to finish with ab bicycles.

Exercises

  • Frog Hop
  • Banded Archer Pull (right arm)
  • Banded Archer Pull (left arm)
  • Banded Overhead Squat
  • Banded Chest Press
  • Banded Alternating Curl
  • Banded Triceps Overhead Press
  • Ab Bicycle

Bonus Workouts 

Each of these bonus workouts targets a specific muscle group or area of the body. They use decreasing reps, failure sets and band assistance to build strength.

Booty Burner

Equipment required: Hip-circle band

This is a great five-minute workout finisher to target every angle of your glutes. It’s a short, fast circuit with as little rest as possible between exercises. Begin with 30 repetitions of each exercise, then perform 20 reps of each, then 10 reps. Try to get through all three rounds without any rest.

Wear the hip-circle band around your thighs, and lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Push your knees out and back in for the butterfly, working against the resistance of the band. For the frog bridge , abduct your knees and press the bottoms of your feet together, then push into the sides of your feet to lift your hips into a bridge. Lower with control, keeping tension in the band throughout. Bring your knees back in line with your hips and place your feet back on the floor for the glute bridge, pushing against the band slightly throughout the movement to engage the glutes. You can repeat this entire pattern for up to three rounds.

Exercise Sets Reps
Banded Butterfly 3 30, 20, 10 (decreasing each set, no rest)
Banded Frog Bridge 3 30, 20, 10 reps (decreasing each set, no rest )
Banded Bridge 3 30, 20, 10 reps (decreasing each set, no rest )

Back Builder

Equipment required: Pull-up bar, band

This is a straightforward strength-building workout with heavy resistance and high reps. Loop the band over a pull-up bar for the pulldown and around the upright for the standing row. A continuous band works best for the band-assisted exercises, but if you don’t have one, you can place your toes on a box or chair instead.

Exercise Sets Reps
Straight-Arm Band Pulldown 4 10-12
Band-Assisted Pull-Up 4 To failure
Standing Band Row 4 10-12
Band-Assisted Chin-Up 4 To failure

Rest one minute between sets.

Leg Sculptor

Equipment required: Hip-circle band

This is another short and sweet workout that will give your legs a killer pump. Wearing the circle band around your hips, start with squats, lowering your hips all the way down, extending halfway up, lowering down again, then standing all the way up for every rep. As soon as you finish your chosen rep range, go right into the squat jump. Rest your upper back against a bench or chair, or just lie on the ground for the banded hip thrusts, then rest one minute before repeating the entire circuit two more times.

Exercise Sets Reps
Banded 1.5 Rep Squat 3 15-20
Banded Squat Jump 3 15-20
Banded Hip Thrust 3 15-20

Rest one minute between circuits.

Core Strengthener

Equipment required: Pull-up bar, band

This is a great band workout to add for focused core work and building strength for gymnastics exercises and pull-ups. Secure the band over the bar, and place your feet in the other end for assisted toes-to-bar. Keep the band anchored to the bar and kneel on the ground holding the ends of the band at your shoulders for the kneeling crunch, performing it the same way you would for the cable crunch with rope version. Stand up, grab both ends of the band and finish strong with a woodchop.

Exercise Sets Reps
Band-Assisted Toes-to-Bar 4 Max reps
Kneeling Band Crunch 4 16-20
Banded Woodchop 4 16-20 (per side)

Rest one minute between sets.