By Lucy Gornall
Looking for a full body resistance band workout that you can do from the comfort of your own home? Look no further.
Although ‘comfort’ may be a little misleading. My six-move resistance band workout will work key areas including your quads, glues, biceps and shoulders - and make them burn!
Adding a set of the best resistance bands to your home gym kit is a no-brainer, as they're small and easy to store - but highly effective. Not only can resistance bands be used during familiar exercises to increase resistance, they also force your body to maintain stability throughout entire moves, and can be used alone to work smaller muscles you may not otherwise have felt working.
Before you get started on the moves below, a tip for you. If your bands are a single piece of material as opposed to a complete hoop, tie the ends into a loop when needed - and decrease the size of your loop to increase the intensity.
Ready to join the band brigade? Below are my six key exercises for a full-body resistance band workout. And once you've completed this, check out chest workouts with resistance bands too!
1. Glute Bridge
Great for: hamstrings and glutes
Place the resistance band around your legs, just above the knees. Lie on your back with your feet on the floor, bending your knees to a 90° angle. Rise up with the hips until shoulders, hips and knees form one straight line. Squeeze your glutes as you do this. To up the burn, raise your toes throughout. Aim for 20 reps.
2. Clam Shell
Great for: activating the glutes and strengthening hips. Ideal for runners!
Keep the resistance band above knees. Lay on your side, stacking both legs on top of each other at a 90° angle. Lift your top knee, ensuring your feet stay touching, until you feel resistance from the band. Lower back down to the bottom knee. Repeat slowly, 15 times each side.
3. Crab Walks
Great for: quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves
Step into the band, so it’s wrapped around your legs, just above knees. Keeping the chest up and core tight, drop into a half squat. Walk to the left, keeping resistance in the band. After 10 steps, change direction. Aim for 10 steps each side without rising from the half squat. Rest and repeat 3 times.
4. Bicep Curl
Great for: biceps - duh!
Use a long, un-hooped band. Stand on the band with both feet and hold both ends, one in each hand. Start with your arms down by your side, with the palms facing in. Ensure there is tension in band – wrap it around your hands if you need to increase this. Bend your elbows to lift band towards shoulders, keeping the elbows and upper arms close to body. Slowly curl back down. Do 12 reps on each side.
5. Seated Row
Great for: back, shoulders and biceps
In a seated position, place an un-hooped band around the soles of your feet. Contract your back muscles and drive the elbows and shoulders back. Hold for 3 seconds, then slowly extend forward. Repeat 10 times.
6. Walking Plank
Great for: core muscles
Place the band around your wrists. Get into a high plank position, keeping your hands under the shoulders. Walk your right hand forward as far as it will go, then bring the left hand to meet it. Ensure there is resistance in the band at all times. Then step your left hand back, followed by the right. Repeat 15 times.
- Resistance bands vs weights: what's best for getting the most out of your workout?
Lucy is Health and Fitness Editor at various women's magazines, and also Editor of Woman&Home Feel Good You. She has previously written for titles including Now, Look and Cosmopolitan. She lives and breathes all things fitness; she works out every morning, and mixes it up with runs, weights, boxing and endless box jumps. She is also a Level 3 personal trainer and teaches classes at various London studios, primarily Digme Fitness. Lucy is pre- and post-natal trained and helps new mums get back into fitness after the birth of their baby. Lucy claims that good sleep, plenty of food, and a healthy gut (seriously, it's an obsession) are the key to maintaining energy and exercising efficiently. Saying this, she's partial to the odd Negroni on the dance floor with her friends.
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