WORKOUT BANDS FOR AN EFFECTIVE WORKOUT
Have you ever seen workout bands? Maybe you have, and blew them off as too easy or maybe you just didn’t know how to use them. Well, I’m here today to share with you some of my favorite moves using these very versatile pieces of equipment. So let’s get to it!
*Most of these moves involve one side (left or right) at a time. If you want to do all the moves do two sets at 15 reps each to start. Do whichever side you want to start first, then do the second. Move to the next exercise. Don’t rush through this. Really feel the muscle contraction. Also, remember to warm up and cool down before any workout as well as stretch afterward to avoid injury. You are assuming any risk involved with doing the moves including using the bands. Consult your physician before beginning a new workout regimen. Please also check equipment for any issues or tears before using.
1. Tricep Extensions
Start with the band looped around one thumb and hold it at your chest and hold it firmly with your hand. Grab the other end with your thumb and extend your hand to your hip.
Once you’ve extended it to your hip hold for a second and then control it to the top. Repeat. (Elbow should remain close to the body. You’re basically only moving the bottom part of your arm.)
2. Donkey Kicks
Start on all fours with the band around one of your ankles and the other around the arch of your food. With one foot pointing toward the sky, press upward.
Once you press up, hold a second and slowly bring your knee back to starting position without touching the ground. Repeat.
These hurt-so-good. Start on your side with your knees in front of you and your heels closer to your butt. The band should be about mid-thigh for this exercise. Keeping your heels together, bring your top knee to the sky.
Hold and then slowly bring the top knee back to the bottom. Repeat. (Want an extra challenge? After you’ve done 15, hold the top knee a little longer at the top and pulse.:) )
4. Suspended Clam
This is a variation of the clam (above) and will work your butt slightly differently. Start in the same position as clam, but raise your feet behind you to the sky. Your top leg will now be slightly in front of you. Lift your top leg keeping your heels together.
Hold and then slowly bring the top knee back to the bottom. Repeat. (Want an extra challenge? After you’ve done 15, hold the top knee a little longer at the top and pulse.:) …Just like the clam, but this one will definitely challenge you.)
5. Renegade Rows
This is one of my favorite moves that I typically do with weights, but you can do it with bands too!
Start in a plank holding the band in your hands. (This may sound awkward, but the band is so flat as long as your holding on to it, it shouldn’t be hard to be in this position.) For a strong plank, there should be a straight line from your head to your feet. Keep your butt down and your belly up. Stabilizing yourself with one arm, pull the arm you’re working toward your arm pit.
Hold for a second and control it back down to the ground. Repeat. (To modify, drop to your knees while maintaining the 45 degree angle of the back from the top of your head to your knees.)
6. Abductor Kicks
This is one people do at the gym on a machine, but you can do at home with bands. Start with band around your ankles with feet about hip width apart. Keeping toes pointing forward at all times, extend your leg out.
Hold for just a second before controlling it back to starting position. (Tip: Don’t tilt to the opposite direction of your foot that’s going out. Try to remain as upright as possible.) Repeat.
7. Lat Pull Downs
This is also a common gym machine move that you can do …you guessed it, at home! Start with the band above your head but slightly in front of your face. Pull out and down to chest level.
Hold at your chest for a second before slowly releasing back to your starting position. Repeat.
8. Leg Lifts
Start in a strong plank position. Bands should be around mid-thigh. Keeping your leg straight and maintaining proper form in your plank, lift your heel to the sky.
Hold for a second before controlling your toe to the ground. Only tap the toe while doing your set. Repeat.
(To modify, drop to your knees while maintaining the 45 degree angle of the back from the top of your head to your knees.)
9. Glute Bridge
One of my favorites! Begin on your back with your knees pointing to the sky and your heels on the ground fairly close to your butt. Your feet should be about hip width apart. Be sure to push your knees out so they don’t track in during this movement. The band should be about mid-thigh. Pushing through your heels, push your hips to the sky.
Hold for a second before controlling back to the ground. Don’t touch your butt to the ground while doing the set to keep the tension there through your set. Repeat.
Good ol’ squats! For this one, band should be about mid-thigh and feet should be about hip width apart. You’ll just squat lowering your butt to the ground, keeping your ham strings parallel to the ground and keeping your chest up. (Don’t lean forward. Try to keep the weight in your heels.)
So I want to share with you that these are great moves and very effective for working the muscles. I’ve shared some modifications on a few of the moves, but want to say that you can also modify based on the strength of the band you use as well as range of motion. Just don’t go as deeply into the move if you can’t at this point. We all start somewhere. Sometimes, for some moves, I’ll use my heaviest band AND add another band to challenge myself more. Some of these moves challenge your balance which is GREAT because as we age, if we don’t work on our balance, it gets worse. Don’t let it atrophy…use it, don’t lose it! All of these moves should engage your core as well. Always keep it tight and use it to stabilize. Hey, if you want to try these, but aren’t sure if you’re doing them properly just record yourself and send it to me privately. I’ll be glad to take a look and help if I can.
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So I want to share with you a couple of things before closing out. These are the bands I use.
I love these because they come with five different strengths and a little bag so you can carry them with you. Even while you travel you can still get in a good workout.
Maybe this blog has you thinking about becoming a healthier, happier you. If so, I’d love to help you put a plan into motion. Fill out an application. (Filling out an application does not guarantee acceptance to a program.) Hey, make sure you sign up for my FREE e-mail and get a copy of my FREE e-book so you don’t miss out on any blogs or updates. Until next time…