Strike up the band — the resistance band, that is. Resistance bands are must-have toning tools in every exerciser's arsenal. These easy-on-the-joints bands are a safe alternative to heavy weights and offer great results without a gym membership.

Grab a band and try the following exercises at home, at the office, or on vacation.

Lunge biceps curl
Targeted muscles: biceps, core, hamstrings, glutes, and quads

  • Holding one handle in each hand, position the band beneath your right foot and take a step back with your left foot.

  • Simultaneously lower your body and pull the handles up into a bicep curl. Your left knee should be hovering above the ground with your right knee positioned directly over your ankle. Your palms should be facing up toward your shoulders.

  • Complete 12-15 repetitions on one leg, then repeat on the opposite side.

Upright row
Targeted muscles: traps, deltoids, and core

  • Begin by standing on the band with your feet shoulder-width apart and cross the handles so the band forms an "X" in front of your body.

  • Engage your core, keep your knees slightly bent, and pull the handles up toward your armpits. In the upward phase of this exercise, keep your neck relaxed and elbows pointing straight out from your body.

  • Complete 12-15 repetitions.

Russian twist
Targeted muscles: obliques and core

  • Start in a seated position, with the center of the band placed at the bottom of your feet. Your hips and knees should be bent at 90-degree angles, while your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor.

  • Keep your back straight and hold the handles firmly as you twist your torso slowly to the right then to the left. That's one repetition.

  • Continue rotating from side to side for 30 total repetitions.

Earn it.

Ashley B. Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more, visit