Recently someone asked me if I had any ideas about an exercise routine they could do with their resistance bands. I was surprised that this was a subject that I had not covered yet but was excited for the new idea. Resistance bands are super easy for travel, at-home workouts and even circuit training when you’re crunched for time. They are a great tool to use for lighter resistance and higher repetitions. Bands comes in all different styles and thicknesses. I recommend investing in a few different thicknesses of bands so you have some variety in ‘weight’ for your workout. The band that I used for my workout is made by Power Systems and is long enough to be wrapped around an anchor point. It also has an attachment that you can close into a door and it will stay. Bands are typically pretty inexpensive and depending on how often you use them, they should last you a good amount of time.
The workout I designed would work well as a timed circuit. This means that you complete one set of each exercise for a set amount of time and then start over at the beginning. I recommend doing three sets of each exercise performing each exercise for one minute with a 20-30 second rest in between to get yourself set up for the next exercise.
Your workout will consist of seven exercises:
Using a tree as an anchor point:
Squat to a High Row (not pictured)
Using your foot as an anchor point:
Squat to a Overhead Shoulder Press
Single Arm Tricep Extensions
CHEST PRESS: Wrap the band around the tree and face away from the tree to start with one foot in front of the other. It doesn’t matter what foot you have in front…whichever you prefer is just fine. Contrary to my picture, the band should be at chest height to start, my band is a little lower than it should be though i was still able to complete the exercise with correct form. The starting position for your hands is palms facing eachother. As you press the band forward, your palms will turn down towards the ground keeping your arms at chest height. As you come back to your starting position, your palms will end by facing one another once again. Remember for each exercise that exhalations are performed when the exercise is difficult and inhalations are performed when the exercise is easier. For example, the press forward is the hard part so you’ll exhale and inhale as your hands return back to their starting position.
CHEST FLIES: You will begin in the exact position as the chest press with your palms facing one another and your feet in a split stance. Again, the band should be at chest height and not quite as low as the picture shows. Begin the exercise by extending both arms straight out in front of you at chest height with your palms facing one another. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, (not 180 degrees and not 90 degrees but somewhere right in between those two angles) you are going to extend your arms to the sides until they are in line with your body. Press your palms back towards your starting position and repeat.
SQUAT TO A HIGH PULL
I failed to download this photo but you can always refer back to previous posts if you’re confused on form. This will be the only exercise where you will be facing the tree. Feet will be shoulder width apart and your arms will be extended in front of you at chest height. You will perform a squat with a good form… push that booty back and let your weight shift back into your heels not letting your knees cross the planes of your toes. Keep your arms outstretched until you begin to stand. As you stand, you are going to pull the band back towards you with your elbows high squeezing your shoulder blades together. Your arms will end at a 90 degree angle. As you begin to extend your arms back, you will perform your next squat and repeat this full body exercise.
SQUAT TO AN OVERHEAD SHOULDER PRESS
Start with your feet shoulder width apart with the band underneath each foot. You have control on the resistance you’re up against by how tight the band is when you step on it. If you need to make the resistance easier, simply give the band some slack and then step onto it. The exercise is performed similar to the last exercise but instead of a row you will perform an overhead shoulder press. Start by performing a squat with your hands at your shoulders and palms facing in front of you. As you stand from your squat you’re going to press the band up overhead and repeat by dropping your hands back to your shoulders while performing your next squat.
Start in the same position as the squat press with the same rules applying when it comes to how much resistance you can handle. Palms will be facing away from your body and you’re just going to curl the band up to your shoulders with your elbows staying close to your body and then return back to your starting position.
Grab the band with both hands holding it out in front of you about shoulder width apart. You can adjust the resistance if necessary by giving yourself a little more slack between your hands. Pull the band at chest height until your arms are fully outstretched at your sides and squeeze your shoulder blades at the end of your exercise. Bring your hands back to their starting position and repeat.
SINGLE ARM TRICEP EXTENSIONS
Step on the band with one foot giving yourself the appropriate resistance. Since we are doing one arm at a time, feel free to switch arms at the 30 second mark. Bring your arm up overhead and hinge at your elbow keeping it nice and close to your ear the entire time. Palm will be facing up to start the exercise and just press the band up until your arm is extended and lower back down to your starting position. Your elbow should stay high the entire exercise.
Like I said before, perform each exercise for one minute doing as many reps as you can with correct form in that time. Give yourself 20-30 seconds in between each exercise. Try to perform one set of each exercise before taking a longer break before you start your next full circuit. I plan on doing another band workout post in the near future so have fun with this one and stay tuned for more band excitement.