How You Can Build Muscle with Resistance Bands at Home

How You Can Build Muscle with Resistance Bands at Home

Want to workout but always finding excuses not to? It’s raining outside. There’s one more email to send. The kids need their dinner. You don’t want to pay for a monthly gym membership and your local gym is closed anyways. We’ve heard it all before.

Enter resistance bands! All you need is a little floor space and just 20 minutes to have a full-body workout - without even leaving the house!

How Can You Build Muscle with Resistance Bands as Compared to Weights?

In contrast to free weights, which mainly depend on gravity and provide resistance on a vertical angle, a resistance band lets you train in all planes of movement, which is super important for maximum muscle development. What this means, that if you are doing a Bench Press with weights you have to lay on your back and do the motion upwards. Whereas, you can do the same exercise with a resistance band however you want and in any direction. The resistance isn't coming from gravity, rather it's coming from the band itself. How cool is that!

The trick is to use the right resistance band, to target specific body areas with specific exercises, and to choose the correct resistance level.

Working out with a resistance band can provide you with the same benefits as exercising with weights in your gym. 


Where weights work via gravity, resistance bands work via their stretchiness. The more you exert tension and stretch them, the better they will work in helping you build muscle. They are as effective, if not better than weights in doing so [1]. Studies show that a 15 percent higher level of muscle activity and activation occurs during resistance training with bands as compared to weights.  [2]

In practical terms, this means that you can get buff and burn through lockdown fat without even leaving the lounge.

With most gyms closed down due to the current pandemic, resistance bands can be the perfect alternative. 

"Like dumbbells, resistance bands provide a level of resistance to help your muscles tear and become stronger. However, unlike dumbbells, resistance bands maintain constant tension on the muscles throughout the entire movement of an exercise, and therefore create greater muscle growth." explained celebrity trainer Luke Zocchi [3].

Whichever area you wish to build muscle on, resistance bands are the perfect way to go! So, let’s look at some of the most effective resistance band exercises for your body.

6 Must-Try Exercises Using Resistance Bands to Build Muscle

The following exercises are designed to target large muscle groups of your body:

1) Resisted push-up

Place the band behind your back and hold it in both hands. Keep your hand above your shoulders. 

Slowly move downwards until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Return to the starting position in a controlled movement. 

Pro tip: Keep your core engaged and spine straight. Do the repetitions in a controlled movement. 

Level: Medium | Area of Focus: Chest

The Resisted push-up exercise in action

2. Squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put the band over your shoulders and chest while crossing your arms.  

Bend your knees and lower your body into the squat position till your hips are at the level of your knees. Return to the standing position, to complete one repetition. 

Pro tip: Keep your knees stable above your feet and your core engaged. Look straight ahead. Keep your back straight. Keep your feet in contact with the floor, with even weight distribution throughout the exercise. 

Level: Hard | Area of Focus: Legs/Glutes

The Squats exercise in action

3. Biceps Curls

Stand on the resistance band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the band in both hands on each side of your body.

Pull the band upwards, bringing your fists towards your chest. Move your arm back down in a controlled movement.

Pro tip: Keep your elbows close to your body. Hold your upper body stable and your core engaged.

Level: Easy | Area of Focus: Arms

The Biceps Curls exercise in action

4. V-sit Chest Flys

Lie on your back and keep your feet above the ground at a 45-degree angle. Keep your head up and chin tucked. Place the band behind your back and hold it in both hands.

Move your stretched arms in front of your chest, bringing your hands together. Squeeze your chest muscles and make sure your elbows stay in line with your arms at chest height. Return slowly to the starting position to complete the repetition.

Pro tip: Keep your lower back flat on the ground at all times by tucking your lower ribs in. Only lower legs as far as maintaining correct form. Keep your legs straight throughout the exercise. The closer you bring your hands together, the more tension you will get. Apply closer grip for added tension.

Level: Hard | Area of Focus: Abs/Core 

The V-sit Chest Fly exercise in action

5. Reverse Butterfly

Hold the band in your hands, and keep them slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart. 

Pull the band to the sides while keeping your arms and wrist straight. Keep your arms and elbow at shoulder height. Squeeze your shoulder blades in the final position. Return to starting position while maintaining tension on the band.

Pro tip: Slightly bend your knees. Keep your upper body straight and your shoulders down at all times. Head above your body and chin slightly tucked.

Level: Medium  | Area of Focus:  Back

Reverse Butterfly exercise in action

6. Front Raise

Put your feet on the band, shoulder-width apart. Hold the band by your thighs. 

Slowly lift the band up until it is in line with your head. Keep your arms straight and knees slightly bent. 

Pro tip: Keep the band under tension and your core engaged. Release in a slow and controlled motion, with every repetition. 

Level: Hard | Area of Focus: Shoulders

Front Raise exercise in action

How many reps?

15 reps of each exercise and repeat the whole set 2 times.

STRAFFR - your Gym and Personal Trainer to go

With over 50 exercises for all major muscle groups on the STRAFFR App, you can train your whole body, just like you would with free weights or weight machines. 

The STRAFFR band allows you to complete a variety of exercises at different intensity levels. This customization gives you the most personalized workout possible to help you achieve your individual fitness goals.


Using the Workout Builder feature, you can customize your own workout routine with just a few clicks using your preferred exercises. You can even select which muscle group you want to target - be it arms, chest or legs and plan your fitness routine accordingly.

Whichever body area you want to train or improve, STRAFFR is here to achieve your individual fitness goals.

Thanks for reading! Head over to our website to download the Free STRAFFR App.

[1] Effects of a short-term resistance program using elastic bands vs. weight machines 

[2] Muscle activity during high intensity elastic resistance and free weight exercises

[3] Resistance bands are more portable and versatile than dumbbells