If you don’t have the time or access to a gym, you can still get a workout in. All you need is a mini band and a regular resistance band without handles. I absolutely love these exercises and use all of them when I can't get to a gym.
Mini Band Lateral Walks
Place the band around your ankles, bend your knees slightly, and hinge at the hip slightly.
Keeping your toes straight ahead, take a small step to your left, following with your right foot. Make sure to keep the toes straight ahead the entire time and keep the slight bend in the knees and hips. Repeat for 10-15 steps per side to light the hips and glutes up.
Mini Band Hip Bridge
Place the band around your ankles and slide it up your shins until it is just under the knees.
Take a seat on the ground and lay on your back, bring your heels towards your butt with knees pointed to the ceiling. Driving through the heels, push the hips up until they are fully extended squeezing the glutes at the top. Make sure to keep the band spread apart, not allowing the knees to collapse inward towards each other. Control the descent to the bottom and repeat for sets of 10-15 reps to work your glutes hard.
Band Tricep Extension
Grab your longer resistance band and find a vertical or horizontal pole to anchor it to. Loop the band around the pole or anchor. Bring one end back through the loop so the band is securely attached to the anchor. If you are using a horizontal pole, stand next to the band and grab the bottom of the band, pinch your elbows tight to your sides. Keeping the elbows pinched, extend the forearms down towards the ground bending only at the elbows. Control back to the top and repeat for 10-15 reps.
If you attached the band to a vertical pole, grab the end of the band and face away from the anchor. Split your stance with one foot in front of the other, lean forward slightly and allow the arms to come overhead. Bend at the elbow and allow the hands to come behind the head completely. From this point keeping the upper arm in place, extend the hands forward until the elbow locks out. Return and repeat for 10-15 reps.
Band Resisted Push Up
Place a long resistance band across your shoulder blades and hold the ends in your hands. Get into a push-up position with the band draped across your shoulders. Perform a perfect push up with elbows tucked slightly to the side, core tight, and butt tight, in line with the body. When you reach the bottom, press up to the top. As you go higher in the push up you will feel tension increase from the band. This is a great way to increase the difficulty of the lockout of the push-up. Repeat for multiple reps based on your strength level.
Band Pull Apart
Hold your longer resistance band in both hands. Arms outstretched in front of your body. Palms down. Hands shoulder width apart. Pull the band apart, squeezing the shoulder blades together as tight as possible until your arms are fully extended out to the sides. Control slowly on the way back in and repeat. To increase difficulty hold both sides of the band and to decrease hold only one side of the band in your hands. Repeat for 10-15 reps per set to build the upper back and open the chest up.
Band Seated Row
Loop a band around a solid object, low to the ground, so you create two “handles”. Take a seat on the ground and grab the handles. Sit up tall with legs outstretched in front of you. Keep the torso in the same position. Row the bands back squeezing the lats and upper back tight until the bands reach the chest. Return slowly to the starting position and repeat for 8-12 reps per set.
Band Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
This move is the most technical band exercise. But it's also the most challenging and can offer great benefits to the lower body.
For this, you need a low table, chair, couch, or bench to place one foot on. Set up in a split stance, similar to a lunge position, but place the back foot up on the elevated surface. From here, drop the back knee down towards the ground while keeping the chest and front leg completely vertical. Once you get close or reach the ground return to the top. To add resistance with the band, loop one end around the front foot and place the other end over one shoulder. It should end up across the chest and back resting on the opposite shoulder. Perform the resisted movement just the same, with added resistance at the top. 8-12 reps per set are perfect.
This is one of the best exercises using a band to build the low back, glutes, and hamstrings.
Place the long band over your head so one end is resting on the traps and shoulders while the other end hangs in front of your body. Place the hanging end underneath your feet and stand up tall. Hinge at the hip by pushing the hips straight back, keeping a slight bend in the knees and back flat. Hinge until your upper body reaches parallel with the floor, again keeping the back flat. Return to the top by reversing the motion and squeezing the glutes hard at the top. This movement is best performed in higher rep sets of ten and above, even going as high as 25 reps a set.
ABOUT JOHN PAPP
John Papp is a certified personal trainer, body transformation specialist, sports performance coach, published fitness writer, and aspiring fitness model based out of Xceleration Fitness in Auburn Hills, Michigan. His goal is to help change lives through health and fitness.