You are here

The Resistance Band Cardio Workout

Tone, Tighten, and Torch Calories!

1 of 7

All photos

You already know a resistance band is a super-effective and convenient strength training tool, but did you know it's also an excellent portable piece of cardio gear? Whether you're looking for a fun alternative to tedious treadmill runs or just need to fit in a fat-burning session on the go, this routine makes it easy. You just need your body and a band!

How it works: Up to four days a week, do 1 set of the prescribed number of reps for each exercise, resting 30 to 45 seconds between moves. After you finish the entire circuit, repeat 2 more times (3 times total). For best body-shaping results, do a resistance workout like this total-body band workout on your "off" days.

You'll need: A resistance band with handles and access to a sturdy anchor point (a doorknob or a couch will work).

RELATED: The Single Dumbbell Workout

Shop All Resistance Bands

Resisted Boxer

2 of 7

All photos

Reps: As many as possible for 60 seconds

Anchor band securely and stand facing away from anchor point, holding the handles with elbows bent by sides. Step right foot forward and extend left arm out in front of chest (as if punching forward), palms down.

Quickly switch legs with a scissor jumping jack and punch right arm forward. Continue alternating as quickly as possible for 1 minute. Add more resistance by standing further away from the anchor point, or lessen the intensity by standing closer to it.

Squat Hops and Press Backs

3 of 7

All photos

Reps: As many as possible for 60 seconds

Stand with feet hip width, facing anchor, holding the handles with arms extended down by sides. Lower into a deep squat, pressing arms back by hips, palms up.

Quickly jump up, reaching arms in front of chest. Land in squat position, pressing arms back. Repeat as many times as possible for 1 minute.

Add more resistance (and challenge) by standing further away from anchor, or lessen the intensity by standing closer to it.

Standing Swim

4 of 7

All photos

Reps: As many as possible for 60 seconds

Stand facing the anchor point with feet hip width, knees slightly bent, holding the handles with arms extended down by sides.

Engage abs and trace a circle with left arm from front to back (as if doing the backstroke), allowing torso to rotate naturally into the movement. Repeat on opposite side. Alternate sides each time as quickly as possible for 1 minute.

Skating Squats

5 of 7

All photos

Reps: As many as possible for 60 seconds

Stand on top of the band with feet hip width (try looping it under arches of your sneakers), holding evenly onto handles with elbows bent by sides. Push hips back and bend knees to lower into a squat.

Immediately rise up out of squat, shifting weight into left leg and extending right leg out to side, lifting foot off the floor. Step right foot down to return to squat position and repeat on opposite side.

Alternate legs each time as quickly as possible for 1 minute. Adjust your intensity by pulling up higher on band for more resistance or keeping arms lower for less.

Opposition Jacks

6 of 7

All photos

Reps: As many as possible for 60 seconds

Stand with feet together holding onto both ends of folded band. Extend arms out to sides of shoulders, pulling ends of band as far apart as possible, drawing band in towards chest, and squeezing shoulder blades together.

Quickly jump feet apart and bring arms together in front of chest, shoulder-width apart (arms stay at shoulder height). Repeat as quickly as possible for 1 minute.

Zigzag Drill

7 of 7

All photos

Reps: 30 seconds of jumping in each direction

Place band in a straight line on ground and stand at the far right end, facing the band with feet together. Quickly hop over band, landing with knees soft, and then immediately jump backwards and slightly to the left.

Continue jumping over and back, moving down the band in a zigzag pattern, swinging arms naturally to move quickly back and forth for 30 seconds. Next, standing to the side of the band at one end, jump side-to-side, moving forwards and backwards up and down the length of the band for 30 additional seconds.

Photo credit: Vanessa Rogers Photography