Resistance bands are one of the most versatile and least expensive pieces of equipment you can add to your at-home gym. They’re great for targeting those hard to reach muscles, like the glutes and inner core. Mini bands, which are tighter band than a regular length resistance band, can also add a new level of challenge to a body weight workout, and are great for pre- and post workout stretching.
Try the below workouts using mini bands. Keep the working muscles engaged for the entire movement. Resistance band workouts are tough because, as opposed to other equipment, like free weights where your body is only fighting gravity, mini bands keep your body under resistance for the entire range of the movement.
Workout 1: Upper Body Burner - 12 minutes
40 seconds of work, as many reps are you can get
20 seconds of rest between each set
Banded Hammer curls:
How to: Wrap mini band around wrists and hold taut — pushing against the band. Keeping the resistance tight, and your upper arms stationary, curl your forearm up towards your shoulders. Be sure not to loosen your hold on the bands.
How to: Wrap the mini band around palms of your hands. Keeping elbows straight pull the band apart as if you are trying to rip it. Make sure to keep your shoulders engaged as well.
How to: Get into a high-plank position with the band wrapped around hands in the same way as the pull-aparts. Keeping in the plank position, walk your hands a few steps in one direction then come back to center. Repeat this to the left, right, forward and back. Try three steps in each direction. Be sure to keep the band taut.
Workout 2: Core Killer
40 reps of each movement
Standing Knee Tucks:
How to: Stand with feet hip-width distance. Wrap the mini band around the middle of each foot. Fold arms in crunch position by the sides of ears. Lift the left knee toward chest and crunch right elbow toward left knee. Do your best to touch your knee to your elbow without rounding the shoulders. Return to starting position and repeat on the other side. Continue alternating. Do 20 on each side.
Bike Ab Crunches
How to: Start in a seated position. Loop the band around your feet, knees should be loosely bent, heels are resting on the floor. Lean back to about 45 degrees until you feel your core engaged. Arms are bent with hands lightly touching the back of your ears. Begin rotating at the waist, bringing your right elbow to your left knee as right leg straightens. Then twist to bring the left elbow to the right knee as the left leg straightens. Continue to alternate repeating this movement 20 times on each side.
How to: Start in a plank position on your hands with the mini band around feet and wrists directly under shoulders. Keep your core engaged. Begin to lower chest to a push-up as you draw the right knee to touch the right elbow. Push back up to starting position. Repeat 20 times on each side.
Workout 3: Glutes on Fire- 22 minutes
1 minute max effort of each movement
30 seconds of rest between movements
Banded Glute Bridge
How to: Lie on back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Loop the mini band around legs right above the knees. Push knees out and begin to feel the resistance from the band. With glutes squeezed tight and band held taut, raise hips, hold for about 2 seconds, and then slowly lower. That is one rep. For a more advanced movement, raise hips and from this position, alternate straightening each leg one at a time. Remain in the bridge position for the entire time you are performing the alternating leg raises.
How to: Stand straight and loop band around the mid-thigh. Push the band out with your knees while performing your squats. Sit back and down, keeping your weight in your heels throughout the entire squat.
How to: Keeping the band in the same position as the banded squats, drop into a quarter length squat, dropping your glutes slightly. From this position begin stepping the left foot one direction followed by the right. Take three steps in one direction before shuffling the other way. Stay in your quarter squat the entire time.
How to: Loop the band around both legs right above the knees and come down to the ground on one side leaning on your elbow. Stack your feet one on top of the other. Begin the movement by pressing your knees away from each other, and working against that band’s resistance. Perform this movement for 30 seconds on each side.