A quick 15-minute upper-body resistance band workout

When I travel, I always bring a resistance band with me if I plan to do at least a little bit of working out. An exercise resistance band is an elastic piece of tubing, which is incredibly transportable and gives you the ability to complete a variety of functional movements for the entire body.

Resistance band workout via A Lady Goes West

Why work out with a resistance band? The band allows you to apply constant resistance at different parts of the movement in any plane (i.e. straight up and down, side to side or rotational), whereas dumbbells and free weights always have the force of gravity working against them and only really work best in the vertical plane.

You can do some crazy and advanced moves with resistance bands, always offering a strong core component and balance challenge. Yet, I actually find that some of my favorite band moves are quite simple.

When in need, grab a band

As I’m currently away from the gym for the holiday, I was looking for a quick way to work my upper-body at home, and therefore put together just a few moves in one routine (a perfect complement to a walk, run or bike ride, by the way). I found this routine so effective, I wanted to share it with all of you. I’ve done this particular line-up of exercises a handful of times and am always feeling just the right amount of burn.

If you’re in need of an easy way to get some muscle work at home, you should definitely consider purchasing a band. A few good resistance bands include this braided one and this light one, but I primarily use this medium one as my go-to. And bands are good for a few things. In fact, in addition to resistance workouts, I also use bands to do some upper-body mobility moves to warm up my body, as well as stretch the back of my hamstrings.

15-minute upper-body resistance band workout

*Disclaimer: While I’m a personal trainer, I’m not your personal trainer. Please consult a professional before trying a new workout routine. Proceed with caution, my friends.

All you need to do is warm up, grab a band and get to work. You can even do this one without shoes, folks. In fact, I did it in my pajamas last week. No impact, no cardio, just some good old-fashioned resistance. 

15-minute upper-body resistance band workout via A Lady Goes West

Here are links to proper form demonstrations for all of the moves …

Bonus points: Finish up with a one-minute forearm plank, then some upper-body stretching and shoulder dislocates to send you on your way.

Got a few minutes? Try this short and fierce upper-body resistance band workout ... #fitness #FitFluential #SweatPink Click To Tweet

For more short at-home routines, check out my Fitness page. Have an awesome day!

*There are affiliate links in this post.

Questions of the day

What’s your go-to short workout?

Do you have a favorite upper-body exercise move?

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36 Comments

  1. Omg I used to do the EXACT same workout in my room when I was in undergrad and grad school and needed to stay home and throw something together! Maybe I’ll do it today in tribute!

  2. Ah the resistance band… such a great piece of equipment and so easily portable! I usually go to my TRX which isn’t too different from the bands when I need a tough and quick workout. I always love rows and chest presses!

  3. Hi, Ashley! I have a random question for you :). I’m going to visit my parents for Thanksgiving, and there is an Orange Theory studio close to their house, so I wanted to try it out. I went to the website, and I signed up for a “free session” for first time visitors, but it never sent me an email or anything withadditional information about it. Would you mind telling me if there is anything else I need to do? I would like to book the session soon since I’m sure the classes fill up quickly (especially since a lot of people will be off work). Any info would be appreciated! Thank you!

    1. Hi Susie! Call the studio directly to get your first class free– it’s better to do over the phone. They sometimes only like to give it free to local residents though…?? Good luck!

  4. Love this! Short, sweet, and minimal equipment. (Plus a short workout makes me less guilty for the extra glass of white wine…) Happy Thanksgiving Ashley!

  5. The machines at my gym have been so crowded lately and I was just noticing all the resistance bands yesterday thinking ” I wish I knew what to do with those…” Ashley to the rescue πŸ™‚ Looking forward to trying this workout. Happy early Thanksgiving!

  6. I love packing my resistance bands to do travelling workouts. My favorite thing to do is make up a circuits made of an upper body, lower body and cardio move.

    Favorite upper body move would be shoulder press or bicep curls.

  7. Can’t wait to give this one a try! I find the most benefit from using resistance bands for upper body workouts, rather than free weights…. must be the constant tension. Thank you and have a wonderful day!

  8. I have some resistance bands that I bring along with me on the rotations where I know I won’t have a gym! :] Pinning this so I can do em’ next time!

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