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


BANDED PULLUP You’ll need: Elastic Band, Pullup Bar How to Banded Pullup –

Banded-Pullup-Hers thumbnail
sets, 10*reps, rest
*On the third set, go to failure—do as many reps as possible while maintaining good form.


BANDED LATERAL X WALK You’ll need: Resistance Band How to Banded Lateral X Walk –

Banded-Lateral-X-Walk-Hers thumbnail
sets, 15 reps in each directionrest


BANDED ONE-ARM CHEST PRESS You’ll need: Resistance Band How to Banded One-Arm Chest Press –

Banded-One-Arm-Chest-Press-Hers thumbnail
sets, 10 per side*reps, rest.
*On the third set, go to failure—do as many reps as possible while maintaining good form.


BANDED POWER JUMP You’ll need: Resistance Band How to Banded Power Jump –

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sets, reps, rest


BANDED PALLOF PRESS You’ll need: Resistance Band How to Banded Pallof Press –

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sets, 10 per side reps, rest


BANDED UPRIGHT ROW You’ll need: Resistance Band How to Banded Upright Row –

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sets, 10*reps, rest.
*On the third set, go to failure—do as many reps as possible while maintaining good form.

15-MINUTE BAND WORKOUTAfter a 5-minute warmup, perform the following circuit as many times as you can in 15 minutes.


BANDED KNEELING HIP THRUST You’ll need: Resistance Band How to Banded Kneeling Hip Thrust –

Banded-Kneeling-Hip-Thrust-Hers thumbnail20 reps, rest


BANDED ONE-ARM ROW How to Banded One-Arm Row –

Banded-One-Arm-Row-Hers thumbnail
15 reps per side


BANDED FRONT SQUAT You’ll need: Resistance Band How to Banded Front Squat –

Banded-Front Squat Hers thumbnail
15 reps


BANDED PUSHUP How to Banded Pushup –

Banded-Pushup-Hers thumbnail
10 reps


BANDED TRUNK ROTATION How to Banded Trunk Rotation –

Banded-Trunk Rotation Hers thumbnail
10 reps per side