Forget the gym — you just need a resistance band and 15 minutes to work your whole body

Man using resistance bands to do biceps curl
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Every home should have a set of resistance bands. They take up barely any space and can be used for a wide range of workouts to get stronger, improve cardiovascular fitness, or even help you to rehab injuries. 

This 15-minute resistance band workout created by fitness trainer fitbymik is suitable for beginners and experienced gym-goers alike — just pick the weight of your band accordingly and push as hard as you are able to during the timed work periods. 

You only need one resistance band for the workout, ideally one with handles that’s a light-medium weight — fitbymik is using a 20lb band — but you could also use a large looped band without handles. It would also be good to have a yoga mat for the workout, because some of the exercises are down on the floor.

During the workout you’ll be doing each exercise for 45 seconds then resting for 15 seconds before moving on. This is a no-repeat workout, so you’ll never do the same exercise twice, which some find more mentally stimulating than having to do several sets of the same move.

The variety of exercises involved not only means you get a great workout done while following it, you’ll also learn how to do all those moves so you can incorporate them into other training sessions in the future.

Watch fitbymik’s 15-minute resistance band workout

15 min RESISTANCE BAND WORKOUT | Full Body Routine | No Repeats - YouTube 15 min RESISTANCE BAND WORKOUT | Full Body Routine | No Repeats - YouTube
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Fitbymik demonstrates each move and does them for the full 45 seconds with you, so you can get the form nailed down. If you have a set of resistance bands at home but rarely use them because you’re not sure what to do, then this workout will give you a library of exercises to choose from.

There is a mix of compound and isolation exercises in the workout too. The latter target individual muscle groups, so moves like biceps curls, while compound exercises like squats hit several joints and muscle groups at once. 

Some exercises are also combinations of two moves to work both the upper and lower body at the same time. Exercises like a lunge with pulses into a row will hit your legs muscles and then your arms and back. 

It all adds up to be an effective session for strengthening muscles all over the body, and given that you’ll be working for a lot longer than you’ll be resting, the workout also gets your heart pumping to boost your cardio fitness. 

If you’re an experienced gym-goer you can push hard to fit as many reps as you can during the 45-second work periods to really raise your heart rate. And if you’re finding the session easy it’s simple to progress by using a heavier resistance band. 

The heavier the band the more important it is to focus on moving slowly and with control to ensure you’re doing each exercise with proper form, and also maximizing the time under tension for the muscles targeted. For more of a cardio session you can use lighter bands and aim to move fast and complete more reps during each move.

Do resistance bands work?

Whatever your fitness goals are, resistance bands can help you get there, so the answer to the question: do resistance bands work is an unequivocal yes. Like any piece of fitness equipment you just have to make sure you’re using resistance bands in the right way, and continuing to progress and challenge yourself as you get stronger and fitter.

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Nick Harris-fry
Senior Writer

Nick Harris-fry is an experienced health and fitness journalist, writing professionally since 2012. He spent nine years working on the Coach magazine and website before moving to the fitness team at Tom’s Guide in 2024. Nick is a keen runner and also the founder of YouTube channel The Run Testers, which specialises in reviewing running shoes, watches, headphones and other gear.

Nick ran his first marathon in 2016 after six weeks of training for a magazine feature and subsequently became obsessed with the sport. He now has PBs of 2hr 27min for the marathon and 15min 30sec for 5K, and has run 13 marathons in total, as well as a 50-mile ultramarathon.

He runs 50-80 miles a week and races regularly with his club, which gives him a lot of opportunity to test out running gear: he has tested and reviewed hundreds of pairs of running shoes, as well as fitness trackers, running watches, sports headphones, treadmills, and all manner of other kit. Nick is also a qualified Run Leader in the UK.