Resistance bands are a great tool for strength-training newbies. They help target specific muscle groups, improve coordination, and cost less than $15! If you're not sure where to start with a resistance band, each of these exercises will help you get acquainted with the new toning tool.
If you've never worked with a resistance band before, then basic upright rows are a perfect place to get started. You can focus on working out your shoulders and get a feel for the band's pull.
- Stand on the middle of a resistance band with your feet hip-distance apart; grip the handles of the resistance band. Your closed palms will be facing your body. Make the move even more challenging by holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Stand with your shoulders over your pelvis and your knees slightly bent.
- Keeping the handles close to your body, raise them to your shoulders, bending your elbows out to the sides.
- Then with control, slowly lower them to the starting position.
- This counts as one rep. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Everyone loves a good tush-toning move! Booty kicks with a resistance band are a great way to work your glutes and get creative with the band.
- Hold onto each end of your resistance band, and place the center of the band around the sole of the right foot. Then place your elbows and knees on the ground so your back is straight.
- Hold the band firmly, draw your belly in, and extend your right leg straight out behind you. Then draw your knee forward, but don't let it touch the ground.
- Repeat a total of 15 to 20 times; repeat with the left leg.
Keep reading for two more moves with the resistance band that work two muscle groups each!
If you want to get double the work with one move, then opt for shoulder-press steppers. This exercise is sure to test your coordination while also working your shoulders and outer thighs.
- Hold either end of your resistance band and then stand directly on the middle of it with your feet together. Bend your elbows so your hands are next to your shoulders. This is the start position.
- As you take a step to the right, straighten your arms so your hands are above your shoulders.
- Step your left foot in to meet your right, and lower your hands back to your shoulders with control, coming back to the start position. Take a total of 10 steps to the right and then 10 steps to the left.
- Repeat series two more times for a total of three sets.
Bicep Curls With Lunges
The basic bicep curl is one of the first moves you'll learn in a strength-training routine. But just like with the shoulder-press steppers, by combining bicep curls with lunges, you get to target two muscle groups at once.
- Stand with both feet together, holding the handle of a resistance band in either hand. Step your left foot onto the middle of the band.
- Take a step forward with your right foot, so there's about four feet between your right heel and left toes. Keep your arms by your sides.
- Inhale, and as you exhale, simultaneously bend your right knee and both elbows. Your front thigh will be parallel with the floor and your right knee directly above your ankle. You may need to widen your stance a little on this first lunge, just to make sure you have the correct alignment.
- As you inhale, straighten your front leg and both arms, coming back to the starting position. This counts as one rep. Fifteen reps equals a set; do three sets on each side.
Photo: Jenny Sugar