As you guys know, I am a massive fan of getting my butt into the gym. I love lifting heavy weights, trying out new exercises and watching other people train as motivation. But being a single mum, life can be hectic and getting into the gym for a workout isn’t always possible for me. I also live in an apartment, so there isn’t really an option to have an at home gym. Instead, I am always looking for different ways to get a good workout using minimal equipment and this is where the Resistance Band comes into play.
Resistance bands are light, easily portable, and easy to store, cheap and come in a variety of different strengths and styles. So there really is a band for every exercise and every level. If I go away on holiday or travel interstate, I will often take a couple of bands with me so that I can work out in the hotel room. Here’s a few of my favourite exercises:
Often a forgotten muscle, this exercise works the hip abductors, which we use every day getting in out and cars and any sideways movements.
- Stand sideways with your right side closest to the wall
- lean your hand against a wall for balance
- place the band around your ankles and with the left leg, extend it out to your side, keeping the leg straight
- Return to starting position and repeat.
Make sure you switch sides and complete the exercise on both sides of the body.
Lateral band walks
Another great exercise for the sideways, lateral movement.
- Stand with the band around your ankles
- Get into a quarter squat position with your weight centred
- Remaining in the squat position, take a step sideways with your right foot
- Then follow with your left foot, ensuring legs remain hip width apart
- Complete 3 sideways steps and then go back the other way
Remember to keep your core tight and engaged and your butt back while you squat
Just as they say in the name, these are great for working those glute muscles.
- Stand with the band around your ankles
- Hold your hands together at about chest height for balance
- Step the right leg back and onto your toes so that the band is tight
- With the weight now in your front left leg, kick your right leg back keeping it straight and return to starting position
It’s important to maintain a tight core during this exercise, you should feel a squeeze in your glutes.
Glute bridge pulse
Another good glute exercise that also works the hip abductors.
- Lie on your back with the band around your knees
- Bend your knees with your feet and hand flat on the floor
- Raise your hips and butt off the ground creating a bridge
- Marinating this position, keep your feet together and push your knees out to the sides and back in. That’s one rep.
Squeeze through your glutes and core to maintain position.
This exercise can be made harder, depending on how wide your stance is.
- Stand upright, holding the band in both hands and looping the other end under your feet.
- Start with your hand by your sides, palms facing outwards
- Keeping your elbows tucked into your sides, curl your hands up towards your shoulders
- You should feel a squeeze in your bicep
- If you widen your stance, the band will tighten, causing more resistance for the exercise
This exercise works the middle of your back and lats.
- Step onto the band with feet about shoulder width apart
- Grasp the band with both hands, palms facing inwards
- Bend the knees, brace through the core and lean forward slightly at the hips, maintaining a flat back
- Keep your elbows tucked in close to your body
- Pull the resistance band back, squeezing through your shoulder blades
Shoulder lateral raise
Working through the shoulders
- Stand on the band, feet about shoulder width apart
- Hold band with hands at the side on your body, palms facing inwards
- With only a slight bend in the elbow, raise your arms out, away from your body until parallel with the floor
– Lower back down
Squat with an overhead press
This is a great compound movement, working legs and shoulders
- Stand on the band with feet shoulder width apart
- Hold the band at shoulder height with palms facing outwards
- Squat and while doing so press your arms above your head
- Make sure you are sitting back in your heels
So get yourself some resistance bands and get moving!