A challenging resistance band workout to hit the entire upper body.

Resistance bands are among the most versatile pieces of equipment you can own. They provide you with versatility to train with whatever intensity you choose. In this article, we present a hardcore workout that combines resistance bands with bodyweight exercises to deliver a hardcore workout that targets every muscle of your upper body. 

The Workout Strategy

In order to maximize the intensity of this workout we will make use of the following workout techniques:

  • Supersets
  • Combining resistance and bodyweight exercises

Supersets involve performing two exercises back to back, with no rest between them. The two exercises may be for the same muscle group or for opposing muscle groups. In this workout we will be performing exercises for the same muscle group. This will greatly increase the intensity of the second exercise, which will be performed to failure. That is the point where you can no longer perform the exercise with proper form. 

The second exercise that you will perform on each superset will be a bodyweight exercise. Because there is no equipment set up, you are able to get straight into it without any break.

The Exercises

Band Chest Press





Attach the resistance band to a door-frame. Stand 6 feet away from the door-frame facing away from it with your knees slightly bent. Position one foot slightly in front of the other. Grasp the handles in an overhand position and place your hands at shoulder level.Press the handles forward, bringing them together to meet in line with your chest. Forcefully contract the pectoral muscles.Slowly return to the start position.

Push Up




Start from a standard plank position. Your hands should sit directly under your shoulders (this is closer than most people position their hands). Place your feet together and think of your body as a single unit in a straight line from head to toe. Look down at a slight angle to ensure proper spinal alignment. Your scapula should be in a retracted position.

Lower down under control until your chest is hovering about an inch from the ground. Now contract your arms, back and chest as you push through the floor to return to the top position. Be sure to come all the way up so that your arms are fully extended and your shoulder blades fully retracted.

One Arm Band Pulldown


Connect your band to the top of a door or other upright positioned about 18 inches above your head. Grab the band with one hand and then step back about three feet from the upright so that your latissimus dorsi is fullys stretched at full extension. Place your rear leg back and bend your front knee. Now from a fully extended position, pull your arm down and in until your elbow touches your hip. Return and repeat for the required number of reps. Repeat on the other side. 

Pull Ups


Grab a pull up bar with a slightly wider than shoulder width grip. Position your legs slightly out in front of your body with your toes pointed down, your butt squeezed and your thighs flexed. Do not bend your knees.  Look at the bar as you pull yourself up with the goal of touching your chest to the bar.

Overhead Shoulder Press


Stand with the resistance band under your feet, which are shoulder width apart. Hold the handles with an overhand grip and raise the handles to shoulder width, palms facing away from your body.Simultaneously press the bands overhead to touch in the top position. Your arms should move in a slightly arching position. Slowly return to the start position.

Handstand Push Ups


Position yourself about a foot away from a wall, get down on all fours with your palms on the floor. Now put your feet on the wall behind you and walk your way up the wall to the point where your body is as close to vertical as you can get it.

Perform a push up by lowering your head to the floor. You must touch your head to the floor and then completely extend your arms to lockout to complete one rep. 

Band Curls




Stand with feet shoulder width apart and the resistance band under your mid feet (wear shoes). Hold the handles in an underhand grip at waist level. Bend at the elbows to curl the handles up to your chest. Keep your elbows in at the sides and forcefully contract your biceps in the top position. Return to the start position.

Close Grip Pull Ups



Grab a pull up bar with an underhand grip that is about six inches between pinkies.. Wrap your thumbs around the bar and strongly retract your scapula. Open up your chest and tense your lats. Pull up from your back and arms to bring your sternum up to the bar. Your goal is to bring your chin over the bar in the top position. Slowly lower but do not go all the way to a fully extended position. If you do go into the dead hang position, you will lose the load in your back and shoulders. Do not allow momentum to assist your ascent.

Band  Tricep Extensions




Attach the resistance band to a door-frame. Stand 3 feet away from the door-frame facing away from it. Hold the handles in an underhand grip with your arms in front of your face. Keep your elbows in at the sides of your head throughout the movement. Straighten your arms to extend them forward, keeping the elbows in (imagine that you are holding a basketball between your elbows). Return to the start position.

Reverse Dips


Position yourself between two benches. Place your hands on the bench behind you and your feet on the one in front of your. Lower your body to extend your triceps to full extensions then forcefully contract them to return to the start position. 

The Workout

Superset #1

Band Chest Press - 3 x 15 / 12 /10


Push Up - 3 x failure

Superset #2

One Arm Band Pulldown


Pull Ups - 3 x failure

Superset #3

Overhead Shoulder Press


         Handstand Push Ups - 3 x failure

Superset #4

Band Curls


Close Grip Pull Ups - 3 x failure

Superset #5

Band  Tricep Extensions


Reverse Dips - 3 x failure


This workout will hit each muscle group in turn with a high degree of focused intensity. You’ll be doing just two exercises back and forth for three supersets. Rest for sixty seconds between supersets. Remember to push yourself to failure on the second exercise in each superset. At the end of your four sets, that muscle should be wasted. Then it’s time to move on to the next one.

You’ll get through the workout in a little less than an hour. If you’ve done it right, you will be sore for at least the next 48 hours (in that muscle building, satisfying feel good sort of way). So, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to recover and grow between each session!


Once you’ve given this workout a try, we’d love to hear your feedback. Comment below to share your experience. Be sure to keep checking our Facebook page for future videos, articles and training programs.

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