9 Beginner-Friendly Resistance Band Exercises

They'll hit everything from your arms to your glutes.

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Trainers share their go-to resistance band exercises for beginners.

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No experience? No prob —  try these resistance band exercises for beginners. “With bands, you’re able to build up your strength to do bodyweight movements that you may not have been able to do before,” says Lexes O’Hara, a trainer at Blink Fitness. Do three sets of 10 reps each.

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Just learning to squat? Connect your resistance band securely to a door at belly button height, O’Hara suggests. “Keep your arms slightly bent. Make sure the resistance is enough to pull you forward, but not enough to throw off your form.” The band will help you stand up.

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Get into a plank position with your forearms under your shoulders. “Place a resistance band around your thighs and step your feet slightly wider than your hips,” advises Michelle Ditto, the training development manager for Pure Barre. Stay on your knees if you need to.

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To improve your form: “Place a resistance band around your thighs and step your feet slightly wider than your hips,” Ditto suggests.

Can’t do a push-up yet? Loop the band under your hands and around your upper back, stay on your knees, and practice the move from there.

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Lateral Shuffle

If you have a handle-free resistance band, loop it around your lower thighs. Keep a slight bend in your knees and step sideways in a lateral shuffle. You can move a little faster once you gain confidence, building your hips, thighs, glutes, and cardio strength.



“Set up your band from a low point on the door,” O’Hara says. Or you can stand on the middle of the band instead. “Grab the handles. Start from a standing position and then push your hips back, only slightly bending your knees.” Your glutes and hamstrings will love it.



Sitting all day? O’Hara has the antidote for your back and shoulders. “Set up your resistance band right around chest level. From there, you’ll grab the handles and pull with your elbows tucked in and shoulder blades squeezed together.” Goodbye, text neck.

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Bicep Curls

Want to feel that sweet pump in your biceps? Step on your resistance band right in the center, grab the handles, and go. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides and your glutes squeezed so you don’t accidentally engage your low back.

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Overhead Press

If your resistance band’s long enough to accommodate this one, it’ll be great for your shoulders and upper back. Step on the center of the band and curl both arms so that the handles are resting at your shoulder level. Press both hands over your head. Lower slowly.


Tricep Press

Set up the same way you did for your overhead press. But this time, keep your elbows near your ears and do not move your upper arms. Instead, let the bands slowly pull your lower arms down toward your neck. Then press back up toward the ceiling.

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