Fake a Cable Machine at Home With This 20-Minute Resistance Band Workout for Full-Body Strength

Using long resistance bands can mimic the feeling of working out on cable machines.
Image Credit: Halfpoint Images/Moment/GettyImages

Adjustable dumbbells, treadmills and weight benches bring some of the comforts of gym workouts to your home, but there are some machines that are harder to make room for. One piece of equipment you may be missing is the cable machine.

Luckily, you can replicate many of your favorite moves with a long looped resistance band. Using a sturdy anchor, like a pole, stair railings or door, you can imitate the resistance of cable machines with bands. By maintaining tension throughout the movement, you can promote muscle fatigue, which helps the muscle grow at a faster rate.

To make the exercise more challenging, simply choke up on the resistance band to make it a little tighter. That will also simulate the feeling of using heavier weights.

This quick resistance band workout trains your arms, legs, shoulders and butt. Be sure to use a longer resistance band for these exercises instead of a mini band. Complete 12 reps of each exercise for 4 rounds. You'll feel like you're back in the gym again.

Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we've got something for everyone.

Move 1: Resistance Band Triceps Extension

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Sets 4
Reps 12
Body Part Arms
  1. Anchor your resistance band to something taller than you and tie it in a loop.
  2. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and hold one end of the resistance band in each hand with your arms at 90-degree angles.
  3. Pull your arms straight down to the sides of your body, fully extending your arms.
  4. Slowly return your arms to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 12 reps and 4 rounds.

Move 2: Resistance Band Upright Row

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Sets 4
Reps 12
Body Part Shoulders
  1. Anchor your resistance band by standing on top of it with your feet hip-distance apart.
  2. Stand up straight with the band in your hands and your shoulders down away from your ears.
  3. Pull the band up close to your body up as your elbows flare out to your sides, keeping the chest open.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 12 reps for 4 rounds.

Move 3: Resistance Band Row

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Sets 4
Reps 12
Body Part Back
  1. Wrap your resistance band one time around an anchor point, leaving both sides free.
  2. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and hold one end of the resistance band in each hand with your arms straight in front of you.
  3. Keeping your shoulders down away from your ears, squeeze your shoulder blades together to bring your arms back, finishing at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Slowly return your arms to the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 12 reps for 4 rounds.

Move 4: Resistance Band Hip Abduction

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Sets 4
Reps 12
Body Part Legs
  1. Anchor your resistance band around something close to the ground.
  2. Turning to the side with your feet hip-distance apart, wrap your resistance band around the leg farthest from the anchor point.
  3. Keep the resistance band in front of the leg closest to the anchor point.
  4. Lift the leg farthest from the anchor point to the side.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position
  6. Complete six reps before switching sides.

Tip

Place one hand on the wall or hold onto a chair for extra balance assistance.

Move 5: Resistance Band Hip Extension

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Sets 4
Reps 12
Body Part Butt and Legs
  1. Anchor your resistance band around something close to the ground.
  2. Facing the anchor, wrap the free end of your band around one foot.
  3. Square your hips to the anchor with your feet hip-distance apart.
  4. With a slight bend in your knees, kick back the leg with the resistance band into full extension.
  5. Return slowly to the starting position.
  6. Complete six reps before switching sides.

Tip

Place one hand on the wall or hold onto a chair for extra balance assistance.