You only need 20 minutes and one resistance band to build muscle and strength all over

Woman performing a bentover row with a resistance band outdoors against a yellow background
(Image credit: Getty Images / Unknown)

Grab a resistance band and give this 20-minute strength workout a try to build muscle and strength across your entire body. Forget heavy barbells or dumbbells, you can give your workout an upgrade by adding variety to your regular squats, deadlifts, and push-ups. 

And you don’t need to spend hours in the gym lifting heavy to consider a workout “strength training.” The benefits of resistance band training have been shown by research to promote similar strength gains to conventional resistance training, meaning this versatile elastic band doesn’t need to be a backup when you’re short on equipment. 

Juice and Toya designed this quick 20-minute full-body strength workout to put the humble resistance band front and center. It’s high-intensity and targets your entire body, including the upper and lower body and abs. 

Grab one of the best resistance bands for home workouts and get it done.  

I recommend adding resistance band training to workouts whenever you want to mix it up. They slot nicely into gym bags for your gym sessions but also fuel home workouts, strength components of Peloton classes, and even park workouts if you prefer to train outdoors. 

Juice & Toya add, “this is a high-intensity workout which is great if you’re looking to build muscle and burn fat.” While this workout is challenging — it follows a 40-second on, 20-second off format — I wouldn’t categorize it as a typical fat-burning workout. Fat-burning exercise tends to incorporate more cardio elements than this one. Still, you could increase the intensity with a thicker resistance band or substitute some moves for cardio to ramp up your heart rate. 

We recommend watching the video for each exercise and tips on form throughout. Make sure you check in with a qualified trainer or medical professional if you’re new to exercise. 

Juice and Toya’s 20-minute resistance band workout  

Writer Sam performing a reverse planche push-up with fingers pointed backwards and chest close to the mat

(Image credit: Future owns/ Sam Hopes)

I like how varied this program is. It’ll work your muscles hard, including your shoulders, chest, back, legs, glutes, and core muscles. Moreover, the video takes you through comprehensive warm-up and cool-down stretches, but we recommend trying these five shoulder stretches to relieve tight shoulders and these stretches for tight hip flexors if you need some extra TLC for sore muscles. 

The 20-minute beasting is a testament to good programming using the resistance band for its best qualities rather than as a substitute for dumbbells or barbells. For example, you’ll test your mobility during exercises like the overhead lunges by pulling the band overhead and keeping your arms locked and shoulders back as you perform a lunge, which also requires plenty of core activation.

The duo has also incorporated some isometric exercises — this is another area that resistance bands shine. Holding the band taut without moving during movements like the loaded V-sit teaches the muscles to work against resistance while held under contraction, helping to build strength. Using a band increases intensity compared with bodyweight exercises like a plank, and studies have shown that the optimal intensity for isometric exercises is maximal or near maximal. 

I found this workout harder on the upper body than the legs, which isn’t surprising if you go heavy on the squats on leg day, but the higher reps and longer sets will still work muscles toward fatigue anyway. And the lateral lunges efficiently target the lesser-used outer glutes. I recommend having two bands on standby — one for the upper body and abs and one for the lower body. 

Your shoulders and abs will work hardest, especially during boxing, shoulder presses, alternating leg raises and presses, and sit-up rows. Brace your core to keep your torso stable rather than loading into your lower back, and try to lengthen through your spine to improve posture, moving through your entire range of motion.

The combo exercises allow you to work multiple muscle groups at once, making it an efficient and effective full-body workout to include the next time you fancy a sweat. Why not try this full-body workout or our favorite dumbbell Tabata workout for more inspiration? 

Sam Hopes
Senior Staff Writer - Fitness

Sam Hopes is a level III qualified fitness trainer, level II reiki practitioner, and senior fitness writer at Future PLC, the publisher of Tom's Guide. She is also about to undertake her Yoga For Athletes training course. Having trained to work with mind and body, Sam is a big advocate of using mindfulness techniques in sport and fitness, and their impact on performance. She’s also passionate about the fundamentals of training and building sustainable training methods.  When she's not writing up her experiences with the latest fitness tech and workouts, you’ll find her writing about nutrition, sleep, recovery, and wellness.