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No Resistance Bands? Try These Instead!

A woman using resistance band while working out in the living room.
Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock.com

Home workouts offer convenience and flexibility. You can get good sweat in without the hassle of driving to the gym. Resistance bands are a common and versatile tool for adding difficulty and variety to your exercises. However, if you find yourself without resistance bands, there’s no need to worry.

We’ve put together a list of five effective resistance band alternatives that you can use to maintain a challenging workout routine at home.

What Are Resistance Bands?

A person pulling a resistance band over their foot.

Before diving into the resistance band substitutes, let’s briefly understand what resistance bands are.

Resistance bands are elastic bands made of latex or other stretchy materials that provide resistance when pulled. This can help increase the difficulty of an exercise and help you achieve fitness goals.

They come in various shapes, sizes, and resistance levels, making them a versatile tool for strength training and flexibility exercises.

How Do You Use Resistance Bands?

A woman lying on the ground working out with a resistance band around her ankles.
EZ-Stock Studio/Shutterstock.com

Resistance bands are incredibly versatile and can be used for a wide range of exercises. They’re great for easy workouts and strenuous workouts, depending on your goals. Here are a few ideas to add to your next home workout routine:

Upper Body Exercises

Resistance bands are great for upper body workouts. For exercises like bicep curls, shoulder presses, or chest flies, anchor the band securely and hold the ends in your hands, creating tension as you perform the movements.

Lower Body Exercises

For leg exercises such as squats, leg lifts, or glute bridges, place the band around your thighs or ankles, and perform the exercises while keeping tension on the band.

Full-Body Workouts

You can get a great upper body workout done without fancy equipment. Resistance bands can be incorporated into full-body workouts by using them for exercises like rows, standing twists, or even assisted pull-ups.

Stretching and Mobility

Resistance bands are great for stretching and improving flexibility. Use them to assist with deep stretches, enhance your yoga practice, and improve your mobility exercise.

Resistance Band Alternatives

Set of bright multi-colored latex rubber bands for fitness.
Natalia Plekhanova/Shutterstock.com

Resistance bands are great, but they’re not the only simple exercise tool you can use. Here are some resistance band alternatives to add to your home gym.

Bungee Cords

Thanks to their length and stretch, a bungee cord can be a great substitute for resistance bands. They’re perfect for helping your stretches, mobility, and resistance exercises.

If you have some bungee cords in your toolbox, try pulling them out for your next home workout. Bungee cords come in different colors, lengths, and stretchiness so choose one that suits your specific workout needs.

HORUSDY 30-Piece Premium Bungee Cords Assortment Jar

This bungee cord variety pack has all the lengths you could need.

Dumbbells or Free Weights

Dumbbells or free weights are excellent alternatives to resistance bands for strength training. They offer a wide range of resistance levels, making it easy to adjust the intensity of your workouts.

If you want to use them for bicep curls, stand with a dumbbell in each hand, arms fully extended at your sides. Curl your arms, bringing the weights toward your shoulders, and then lower them back down slowly to increase resistance.

You can also use them to increase resistance during squats. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides while performing squats.

Core Fitness® Adjustable Dumbbell Weight Set by Affordable Dumbbells

These space-saving dumbbells will ensure you get a quality workout without taking up too much space.

Water Bottles or Weighted Household Items

If you don’t have easy access to dumbbells or other free weights, get creative by using water bottles, cans, or other household items as makeshift weights.

Ideally, you should fill empty water bottles with water or sand to create adjustable weights. Hold one in each hand for exercises like bicep curls or lateral raises.

You can also load a backpack with books or other heavy objects to create a makeshift weight for exercises like squats and lunges.

SIEROZUR 64oz Glass Water Bottle with Straw and Handle

This 64 ounce water bottle will provide some great extra resistance for your next home workout.

Nylon Tights or Leggings

For some exercises requiring resistance bands, all you’re looking for is a way to increase resistance around a certain part of your body or something you can stretch and pull. For these kinds of mobility and resistance workouts, you can consider using nylon tights or stretchy leggings.

It’s best to work with an old pair that you don’t mind ruining as you stretch it out. You can easily use these for mobility practice and improving your strength.


Whether you need them for style or mobility exercises, these tights will get the job done.


Remember that you don’t need fancy equipment to get a good workout. You can always achieve an effective workout using your own body weight as resistance. These exercises require no equipment and can be customized to your fitness level.

Pushups, squats, planks, and lunges are all great workouts you can do without any extra equipment. Increase or decrease your reps and workout time to find a workout regime that works for you.

QINSEN Womens Yoga Short Leggings 2 Piece Outfit

Treat yourself to a chic workout outfit and get motivated to achieve your fitness goals.

While resistance bands are a valuable addition to any home workout routine, there are several effective resistance band substitutes that can help you keep your fitness on track. The key is to stay consistent and challenge yourself progressively to achieve your fitness goals.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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