A Low-Impact Resistance Band Workout for Your Upper Body

When it comes to workout tools, resistance bands are often underappreciated. These stretchy, looped devices offer a ton of benefits—including effective, low-impact strengthening—but in many gyms they take a backseat to heftier equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells.

But not today. We’ve got a 25-minute Sweat With SELF workout that gives resistance band exercises the spotlight they deserve. The routine—created and led by Taylor and Justin Norris, cofounders of the LIT Method—features nine resistance band exercises that will seriously engage your muscles and get your heart pumping without straining your joints. You can easily do this workout at home and scale it up or down to match your fitness level.

Yet another perk of this workout: It emphasizes your upper body—particularly the back, shoulders, and arms. Strengthening these key areas can help anyone improve their posture, as SELF previously reported.

Ready to try this sweaty program? First, make sure it’s safe for you. If you’re injured or have joint pain, check in with a professional to determine whether a routine like this is a good idea.

Once you’re given the okay for this workout, grab a mat, a water bottle, and a resistance band. (If you’re new to resistance bands or to working out in general, start with a light resistance band. As you progress, you can amp up the intensity with a heavier resistance band.) Check out the video below. Or keep scrolling to get detailed resistance band exercise directions and GIFs of each move.

Workout Directions

Start with the dynamic warm-up. Do each exercise for 60 seconds with no rest between movements. When you’re done, rest for 30 seconds.

Next, move on to the circuits. There are three circuits with three moves each, and all moves use the resistance band unless otherwise noted. Do each move for 60 seconds with little to no rest. (It’s okay to take 5 to 10 seconds between each move to transition to the next.) At the end of the circuit, rest for 30 seconds. Do each circuit two times before moving to the next circuit.

Dynamic Warm-Up

  • Bodyweight Upright Row x 60 seconds
  • Jab x 60 seconds
  • Side Stretch x 60 seconds

Circuit 1

  • Squat to Biceps Curl x 60 seconds
  • Squat to Row x 60 seconds
  • Standing Crunch x 60 seconds

Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat the circuit once more.

Circuit 2

  • Bent-Over Row x 60 seconds
  • Biceps Curl x 60 seconds
  • Triceps Kickback x 60 seconds

Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat the circuit once more.

Circuit 3

  • Seated Row x 60 seconds
  • Seated Biceps Curl x 60 seconds
  • Seated Static Hold x 60 seconds

Rest for 30 seconds. Repeat the circuit once more.

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