5 Resistance Band Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk

Designed to get you fitter and stronger in a shorter amount of time

resistance band
Image: iStock

If you sit in an office nine to five, Monday to Friday, AND have a hot body, you fall into one of two categories:

  1. You’re genetically blessed; lucky you, eat that chocolate cake.
  2. You’re familiar with early mornings, hovering chair squats, and avoiding the elevator.

If you answered number two (like the rest of us), you’d understand the daily struggle to fit in exercise with a full-time desk job. You may have tried a few ways to sneak in an office workout, all to no avail, but before you haul a treadmill into your office, à la Jackie Frank, did you ever think of using resistance bands? Resistance bands have been around for a long time, but according to personal trainer and owner of Flow Athletic, Ben Lucas, they’re having a moment right now, and it’s no surprise why. They’re an easy, versatile way of toning and strengthening the body or upping the ante on a workout, and they can be done anywhere, anytime.

There is so much that you can do with them from leg exercises in a Barre class, to chin ups in a functional training class and entire workouts in the new ReXist360 class, says Ben, referring to the new class at Flow Athletic which uses ReXist360, a resistance training system developed in the United States and brought to our shores by Ben and his team.


The ReXist360 classes use a resistance band that straps to your thighs, so it is secure on you for the entire session, giving you resistance through every exercise you do,” says Ben. “It was created for athletes, and with them in mind, the thickness of this particular band was designed so that it does not pull on your lower back or any other joints that may be harmed if working with resistance bands incorrectly.

ReXist360 focuses mainly on your core, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and outer and inner thighs and is designed to get you fitter and stronger in a shorter amount of time, which explains the overwhelming response from Flow members.

“Although we initially thought the system would be used within our other strength classes, it has been so popular that we have added several stand alone classes into our timetable,” says Ben.

We asked Ben Lucas to share with us some simple but effective resistance band exercises that you can do at your desk so that next time you’re an hour deep into a conference call, you can make the pain worthwhile… make sure it’s not a video chat.

Five resistance band exercises for a workout at work

1. Leg pulses

  1. Using a smaller band, put your feet inside of it and pull it up onto your thighs, about mid-way (you don’t want the band to sit too close to your knees as you risk injury, and you don’t want it to sit too high as it won’t do anything).
  2. Now pull your legs out until you can feel the resistance from the band
  3. Slowly pulse your legs out an inch and keep repeating that for 15-20 reps. Make sure you are engaging your glutes and core while doing this and if you feel uncomfortable pressure on your knees or back, try pulling your legs in closer together

2. One Side Leg Pulse

  1. Plant both of your feet onto the ground and then lift your right leg off the ground slightly.
  2. Engage your core and squeeze your glutes, then start pulsing the right leg to the side. Make sure that your core stays tight and still so you can also get a good ab workout out of it too
  3. When pulsing your leg, move the entire leg from the hip to the knee and the ankle. If you only pulse with the knee, you may risk injury
  4. Try to do 15 a side per set

3. Arm Pulses

  1. Put the band around your forearms, and raise your arms at 90 degrees, so your shoulders are in line with your elbows and your wrists are facing straight toward the roof
  2. Now slowly separate your arms away from each other, feeling the resistance on the band as you do it, then bring your arms in an inch, hold, and then push them out an inch again
  3. Continue this movement for 20 reps

4. Bow and Arrow

  1. Holding the resistance band in both hands, straighten your left hand towards the computer, and pull the right hand towards your shoulder, ensuring that you can feel a little pinch in your shoulder blade as you do it. Rotate your body slightly to the right; you should now be in a bow-and-arrow-type position.
  2. Keep the left hand still and strong as it will be your anchor but pull the right arm back, keeping the entire arm level with your shoulder.
  3. Slowly release the pressure on the right arm, and then pull it back again for another rep
  4. Do 12 reps per side. Engage your core through this entire exercise for added benefit

5. Russian Twists/ Rotations

  1. Holding the band in front of you in both hands, suck in your stomach, and slowly rotate towards the right. Your core, shoulders, and hands should be in line and track to the right together.
  2. Slowly bring yourself back to the starting position, then do this on the other side.
  3. Try to do 8-10 reps aside.
  4. Try to keep the resistance band tight the entire time.

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