Are Resistance Bands Your Key To Bigger Muscles In 2023?

Warning: I’m about to blow your mind.

Some of you may not like what I’m about to say.

Some of you may even think I’m wrong.

Here goes…

You do not need to be repping heavy weights in the gym to build muscle.

You don’t even need iron to work your muscles out… or machines… or all that fancy stuff that comes with your gym membership.

Do you know what you can replace all this flashy nonsense with?

Yep, that’s right, resistance bands. 

I’ve noticed that people have the same view on what the “best” exercises look like:

  1. Bench press
  2. Deadlift 
  3. Shoulder Press
  4. Thousands and thousands of bicep curls in the mirror.

They are all tried and tested, and of course, they do work.

By all means, I’m not saying they don’t.

But unless you are consistently going to the gym and overloading the exercises, you aren’t getting a lot out of it.

Not all of us can sit in the traffic after work to get to a busy gym.

The art of using a resistance band is its simplicity.

It’s cheap and it’s can be used at home. An ultimate solution to your problem. 


Can You Even Build Muscle With Resistance Bands?

This may seem like an odd question, given the theatrics we just opened with, but it’s probably the first thing on your mind.

An easy way for me to put it is…


Of course, you can.

Although they may look flimsy and rubber, they provide an efficient method of resistance to your muscles.

Not only this, they increase the time under tension massively, instead of giving you the extra rest between each rep. 

They get all the muscles involved.

You probably know that hypertrophy is the act of breaking down your muscle fibers to rebuild them bigger and stronger. But, what do we need to do for this to occur?

Nutrition, resistance, mechanical tension, and muscle damage are all important aspects to get more volume on your muscles.

Most importantly though…

Progressive Overload

A method of strength training, progressive overload is the art of putting more strain on your muscle over time.

Albeit usually by adding more weight.

I can sense the panic while you think weights are the only way to do this.

The solution?

Resistance bands have a variety of different resistances, as well as giving us the ability to increase the reps and volume of our workout, to ultimately aid us in building muscle.

We will discuss this, later on, to help you decide on the best resistance bands for you. 

You can skip to it if you like, but you’ll be missing out on some awesome exercises to help build muscle with resistance bands.

My Top 5 Resistance Band Exercises

What person would I be if I didn’t throw some examples of great exercises that can help you build bigger muscles, solely with resistance bands?

These are my favorite exercises for each muscle group, however, if you want something a little more extensive, here’s free resistance band-only workout plan, click the link here for the printable version. 


Whilst I’m feeling generous, I even have a free Ebook waiting for you at the bottom with a sample program you can print out and use anywhere!

This goes into way more depth about plenty of the exercises.

Be sure to check it out before it’s too late.

Anyway, let’s get into my list.

#1 – Resistance Band Lying Chest Press

Resistance bands give you the opportunity to build a fuller chest, without needing a barbell to bench press.

Now, you may need a variety of resistance bands to hit different parts of the chest, but this simple exercise is my favorite for giving you the perfect burn in every muscle in the chest. 

How To Do It

  1. Grab the resistance band which gives you just enough resistance to push out 8-12 reps.
  2. Lay on your back with the resistance band underneath your shoulder blades, leaving two “loops” for your hands.
  3. Grip the loops in an underhand grip, like you would grab a barbell. Do not flare your elbows.
  4. Engaging your core and planting your feet, push the resistance band up to the ceiling.
  5. Hold this position for a second, then slowly control it back down to increase time under tension.
How big can you get with resistance bands - man with resistance band dping floor press
How big can you get with resistance bands - man doing floor press with resistance band

#2 – Resistance Band Shoulder Press

Boulder shoulders – who doesn’t want them? 

Resistance bands are an excellent method to allow you to increase the volume of your shoulders.

The shoulder press is, again, another simple variation of an exercise you would perform in your gym, without the need for a barbell or weights.

This exercise tends to work the deltoid (or the front part of your shoulder), the chest, the lats, and parts of your back. It’s really a jack of all trades.

How To Do It

  1. Get a relatively low resistance band for this one.
  2. Stand with the band in two hands in an underhand grip.
  3. Using both feet, step on the lower parts of the band. Plant your feet as letting it fling into you can hurt.
  4. With the resistance band in your hands, lift toward the ceiling, fully extending your arms.
  5. Hold this position for a second, then slowly bring it back down. I tend to do this exercise until failure. 
How big can you get with resistance bands - man with resistance band doing shoulder press
How big can you get with resistance bands - man doing shoulder press with resistance band

#3 – Resistance Band Donkey Kick

Working your legs with a resistance band is the only bane I could find.

Trying to squat with it does work, however, it’s kind of difficult to increase the load and make the exercise more difficult.

Luckily for you, I’m a pro with the band, and I’ve found a few exercises that burn the glutes and hamstrings flawlessly.

One of these is the donkey kick. 

A truly underrated exercise, that if we use with the correct form and apply our good mate progressive overload, can be a beast in adding size to our legs.

How To Do It

  1. The easiest variation to the donkey kick is done by attaching one end to a pole or vertical bar.
  2. Get on all fours, and place the other end of the resistance band underneath your working foot, or around your thigh.
  3. Engage your core and keep your back straight.
  4. Kick back your leg at a 45-degree angle, exhaling and squeezing your glutes as you extend.
  5. Lower your leg slowly, while inhaling, to keep tension in your leg. 
  6. Repeat for 8-12 reps then switch your legs.
How big can you get with resistance bands - man with resistance band doing donkley kick
How big can you get with resistance bands - man doing donkey kick with resistance bands

#4 – Resistance Band Bicep Curl

Another pretty easy exercise where a barbell can be substituted for a resistance band – there’s a very similar pattern going on here…

To build huge arms with a resistance band, we need an exercise that covers our triceps and our biceps.

For the biceps part, I recommend the bicep curl.

A trusty exercise that can add volume and strength to the bicep. 

How To Do It

  1. With a shoulder-width stance, stand on the resistance band.
  2. Grip the band with both hands, with an underhand grip.
  3. Start with your arms extended down fully.
  4. Curl your arms, so that you are pulling your knuckles toward your shoulders.
  5. Tense your bicep at the top of the exercise, then slowly lower your arms back down.

The tricep extension with a resistance band is fairly similar.

Just move the resistance band behind your back with an underhand grip.

Extend the arms fully and return to the original position.

Do not shift your elbows from the starting position.

How big can you get with resistance bands - maning showing how to perfrom bicep curls with a resistance band
How big can you get with resistance bands - man doing bicep curls with resistance band

#5 – Resistance Band Seated Row

My final exercise for you to perform with a resistance band is a back workout that’ll give you wings.

No, not literally – but it will make your lats a lot bigger.

The seated row is a variation of a bent-over barbell row or a seated cable row.

It also works the rhomboids, making it an excellent full-body back exercise for definition and volume.

How To Do It

  1. Take a seat on the ground with the resistance band around your feet, and extend your legs.
  2. Hold the other end of the resistance band in both hands with an underhand grip. 
  3. Start with your arms fully extended, horizontal to the floor.
  4. Concentrating on your back muscles, pull the band towards you. Exhale as you pull, and squeeze the shoulder blades together.
  5. Hold this position, then control the band to its original position. Complete until failure.
How big can you get with resistance bands - man with resistabces band doing a seated row
How big can you get with resistance bands - man doing seated row with resistance bands

How Big Can You Get With Resistance Bands

Without trying to sound to cliche, the sky really is the limit.

As stated previously, bigger muscles are a result of progressive overload.

This is obtainable with resistance bands via increasing the tension of the band or increasing the number of repetitions.

When starting as a beginner, you can probably get away with having a band with low tension.

When you start getting stronger, though, you are going to need to purchase some more equipment. 

It’s all very similar to the normal free-weight formula – as one weight gets easier, move to the more challenging one.

If you don’t feel the muscle burning or fatigued after a set, it’s probably time to move up a resistance.

This will only work up to a point.

Most advanced bands will provide about 100-150 pounds of resistance.

When you start to get bigger and more advanced, this will start to become a bit of a dilemma.

For exercises like the bicep curl or tricep extension, this most likely won’t occur, as the weight required stays relatively low. 

For the chest press or shoulder press, though, you will require more weight at some point that resistance bands can’t provide.

Your only option will probably be free weights.

If you are looking for some free weight exercises, here are my top exercises to perform on a bench.

Pros And Cons Of A Resistance Band


  1. Workout anywhere you like (even your desk!).
  2. Increase the intensity of an at-home workout.
  3. Keeps the muscle under constant tension.
  4. Cheaper than a gym membership.
  5. Helps to incorporate all muscles aiding with core balance.
  6. Improves your posture.
  7. Less risk of injury than with a free-weight.
  8. Resistance bands are great for stretching and warm-ups.
  9. The same band can be looped to increase the resistance level.
  10. Perfect for beginners.


  1. Quite difficult to measure how much weight you are working with.
  2. Bands go up to a certain resistance limiting how heavy you can go.
  3. Can find yourself buying a new band often.
  4. Not necessarily the route advanced people should go.

The Best Resistance Bands For Building Muscle

There are all sorts of resistance bands on the internet for you to choose from.

Mini bands, tube bands, and therapy bands just to name a few.

What I would recommend to you if you are looking to build muscle are power resistance loop bands or the tube bands with the handle.

They are both pretty self-explanatory.

The power resistance bands are your standard flat bands with a loop in the end.

These are your highest resistance.

The tube band with the handle is great for the more technical exercises.

They are great for your shoulder presses or your rows as they can be easily anchored.

The weights still go relatively high, just not as much as the power band.

If you have no idea where to purchase your band, then my friends from Dmoose can hook you up with some high-quality resistance bands!

Final Words

If you ask me, a resistance band will always be the way forward if you are a beginner looking to gain muscle, and don’t want to spend a lot of money on a gym membership.

To an experienced lifter, I may advise differently – but hey, you never know. 

If you are progressively overloading by adding resistance, increasing the reps, and increasing the volume of the workout, then guess what?

You are going to build muscle.

It’s all about understanding the science behind building muscle and using that to our advantage.

If you want to know more about training with resistance bands, when and where you want, then get your FREE copy of my Ebook – Train Wherever The F*ck You Want!