Resistance band workout
Resistance band training is a great way to work your muscles without heavy weights or daunting gym equipment. Resistance bands are an affordable, lightweight item you can use just about anywhere, whether you’re at home, on holiday, or heading to a park to get some exercise during your lunchbreak. They’re great for all fitness levels, too, as resistance can easily be changed by using more length (easier), or less (harder).
What you need
You’ll find resistance bands for sale at most good sports equipment stores, ranging from $20-$40. Some gyms have them on hand for their members to use, too.
Try to do each move here for up to 1 minute. As time goes on and you gain strength, increase resistance.
1. Double bicep curl
Target area: Biceps
How-to: Place the resistance band under your right foot and wrap the ends of it around your palms to get the desired band length and resistance. Keep your chest open, shoulders relaxed and your core engaged, and slowly curl your hands up towards the front of your shoulders. Your upper arms should stay close to your ribcage as you use your biceps to pull the band up and then slowly lower back to start position. Repeat for 1 minute.
Target area: Lower back
How-to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place the resistance band under the balls of your feet and keep your back in its natural arch, shoulders down and knees slightly bent. Sit back, then hinge forward at the hips until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Wrap the ends of the band around your palms until you feel tension. Keep your back straight and core engaged, then push through your heels and hips, squeezing your glutes as you return to standing. Lower down to start position. Repeat.
3. Seated row
Target area: Upper back
How-to: Sit on the floor with your back straight and knees bent. Place the band around your feet and wrap the ends around your palms. Lengthen your spine, keep your chin tucked in and core engaged, and draw your elbows back in a rowing motion. Squeeze shoulder blades in at the end of each row. Repeat.
Target area: Glutes and thighs
How-to: Stand with feet hip-width apart and place the band under your feet. Hold the ends of the band in your hands, bring your hands to shoulder height and wrap the ends around your palms until you feel tension. Keep your back flat and hands in place as you bend your knees and elbows and sit into a squat position. Lower down so your thighs are as close to parallel to the floor as possible. Press through your heels and come back to stand. Repeat.
5. Overhead extension
Target area: Triceps
How-to: Wrap one end of the resistance band around your right hand. Place your right hand behind your head and bend your elbow so it points towards the ceiling. Let the band hang down the centre of your back. Hold the other end of the band with your left hand and wrap it around your palm until you feel tension. Holding your left hand in place, raise your right hand and try to straighten your arm. Lower right arm. Repeat on both arms.