The resistance band is a great tool to have; it gives even the toughest workouts an extra boost. You'll feel a more intense burn in your muscles, which means you'll see results fast! Plus, it's lightweight and easily portable, unlike dumbbells and other weights. It increases the intensity of your workout the same way weights would, but it's less of a hassle getting it to the gym! You can incorporate the following moves into your own fitness routine, or you can do all eight in a row for a full-body workout.
This is a great warmup move for your entire body.
- Step 1: Stand with your feet just under your hips and lift the toes to slide the band underneath the arches. Cross the band once and grab a handle with either hand. If you have a lot of slack left, reach through the handles and grab onto the band itself. As you're standing, create a slight bend in the knees to protect your joints.
- Step 2: Step one foot out to the side using the glutes and outer thigh muscles to work against the resistance band. Bring the other leg back under the hips, then continue to step in the same direction for three to four reps, then reverse with the other leg.
You'll feel this move in your glutes and obliques, but it's also great for working your hip flexors!
- Step 1: Stand with the band secured under both of your feet, standing hip-width apart. Pull the band tightly so there is no slack.
- Step 2: Exhale and lift one leg out to the side and off the floor. The standing leg will be slightly bent to help your balance and protect your knee joint. You'll feel this in your outer thigh and butt of the lifting leg. Return it under the body, but don't put all of your weight on it – instead, send it out again for another rep!
These take your typical lunges to a whole new level! If lunges are hard on your knees, try a reverse lunge instead.
- Step 1: Begin with your feet hip-width apart, then place the resistance band under the arch of one foot. Step the other leg behind you far enough to drop into a proper lunge. Hold the resistance band on either hand with the palms facing out in front of you.
- Step 2: Go ahead and drop into your lunge, making sure your knees create two 90-degree bends – the distance of your back leg might need to be adjusted. As you lunge, pull the band upward in a curling motion. Keep your elbows at your sides as you draw the palms toward the shoulders. Push yourself up out of the lunge and release the band back to the starting position.
Strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and lower abdominal muscles with this move. Push through the resistance band for a strong lower body!
- Step 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Hold the resistance band in either hand and drape it across your pelvis. There should be little to no slack in the band.
- Step 2: Exhale and squeeze the glutes to lift your hips off the floor. The trick here is to also engage your lats to keep the resistance band tight and hands on the mat. For more muscle engagement, you can flex the feet and dig the heels into the floor. Make sure you're using your glutes and not your lower back to lift and lower yourself.
Go for your best biceps yet with this move! The resistance band will provide opposition so you can tone and tighten those muscles.
- Step 1: Start by placing two feet on top of the resistance band. Keep feet shoulder width apart and remain standing upright.
- Step 2: Pick up the ends of the bands with each hand, then curl the arms up toward the shoulders with palms facing upward. Pause then slowly straighten the arms back out.
Work all aspects of your arms with this killer move! You'll find yourself making up excuses for showing off those guns in no time.
- Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, slight bend in the knees, abs tight, arms down at your sides and a hand on each handle of a resistance band. Have the palms face each other in front of the pelvis and make sure your securing the band under the arches of your feet. Roll the shoulders back and down.
- Step 2: Keeping a slight bend in the elbows, exhale as you lift your arms out to the sides. Do not lift them any higher than your shoulders. If you need more resistance. reach your hands through the handles and grab directly onto the band itself.
- Step 3: Inhale as you lower your arms to the starting position or just to the outside of your hips for more muscle engagement.
Keep your triceps in check with this move. You'll extend your arms behind you to really target your triceps.
- Step 1: Stand with feet hip-width apart stepping on top of the resistance band. Hold one handle of the band with either hand and hinge yourself forward with a straight back. Bend the arms at 90 degrees with the elbows tucked into your sides. Make sure you have no slack in the band – if you do, reach your hands through the hands and grab onto the band itself.
- Step 2: Keep your back straight, head in line with your torso and upper arms glued to your sides. Exhale and extend both arms behind you. Squeeze the triceps or back of the arms, and only extend the arms far enough to feel the triceps contract. Sending them too far behind you can harm the rotator cuffs of the shoulders.
- Step 3: Inhale and bring the hands forward again without allowing the elbows to move away from the body.
This move may require you to be seated, but don't get too excited! You'll wrap the resistance band behind your feet to give your arms one last workout.
- Step 1: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and loop the resistance band securely around the arches of your feet. Send your hands through the handles and grab onto the actual band instead for more resistance.
- Step 2: Keep your back straight and shoulders away from the ears. Exhale and bring the elbows against your ribcage and behind you until your hands are at your chest. Squeeze the shoulder blades together and pause at the top of the movement. Inhale and release with control.