Whether you've mastered the at-home workout or are just getting into a fitness routine in the new year, there's one key piece of equipment that can help level up your living room workout game: the mighty resistance band. It'll help you strengthen all the muscles, from your core to your arms, legs, and glutes, and you can also fit in your sock drawer. Did we mention they're cheap, too?
"Resistance bands can be used by all fitness levels to add versatility to your workouts," says Ashley Joi, CPT, a Sweat Factor trainer. "You're able to build strength like weightlifting without actual heavy weights to carry around," she adds.
While the portability is a definite plus, the point of exercising with resistance bands is working on the stabilizing muscles, which support larger muscle groups (and can also help your posture and reduce the risk of injury), Joi says. Anyone can work with resistance bands to up their strength in a low-impact way, in fact, she adds that it's a super safe and comfortable prenatal workout. Plus, you're really getting a full-body muscle toning workout when you're using the bands. "You can target just about every muscle group in your body with resistance bands. You'll never underestimate the power or a resistance band when the next day you wake up feeling that soreness in your muscles," says Joi.
How it works: Aim to do this entire sequence 3 times through for a 15-minute workout. For each resistance band exercise, work for 45 seconds and allow yourself a 15-second rest period. You can take a 1-minute break between each full round, too.
If you want to add some cardio moves in at the end of each round to get your heart pumping, try some mountain climbers, jumping jacks, high knees, bodyweight squats, or butt kicks, Joi says.
You will need: A mat or towel if you prefer to work on that, a chair, and loop resistance bands of any color, in varying resistances. For your larger muscle groups, such as legs, glutes, quads, and hamstrings, Joi recommends the medium-heavy bands. You might choose light-medium bands for your biceps and triceps, she says, but ultimately it's up to your comfort level and tension preference.
1. Leg Curl
This move targets the hamstrings, and the core muscles too.
2. Out-in Taps
This targets the abductors and adductors, two groups of muscles that surround your hip joint.
3. Leg Extension
This move targets primarily your quad muscles.
4. Triceps Kick Back
This move targets the tricep muscles in the back of your arms, and you can do it seated or standing.
5. Bicep Curls
This is another move that targets the arm muscles, specifically the biceps, and can be done seated or standing.
HomeBODIES is our new recurring column bringing you beginner-friendly workouts you can do from the comfort of home.
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