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5 Moves to Do With a Resistance Band for a Full-Body Workout

This workout will tone you all over.

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exercise equipmentImage Credit: Geoffrey Ross

Add a Resistance Band to Your Fitness Routine

Feeling like you’re in a workout rut? Consider adding a resistance band to the mix. Resistance bands let you work your muscles from different angles—that means a more toned look overall. We’re spotlighting five different moves to do with a resistance band for a full-body workout. Here’s what you need to know before you start.

Choose the Right Band

The thicker the band, the more resistance it provides, so choose one that feels challenging to pull but not like you’re straining, which can hamper your range of motion and ruin your form.

Adjust to Your Strength

You can up the intensity of these exercises by shortening the band; to do so, wrap the ends loosely around each hand. Ideally, we should all be getting 30 minutes of fitness daily. But when time is tight, doing 10 minutes a day when you can fit it in makes a difference. Each of these moves has a lower-impact Easier Option. If you do those, you’ll find you can eventually move on to the tougher moves. As always, check with your doctor before starting a workout plan.

(Psst: Check out if you should eat before or after a workout.)

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How These Moves Works

Warm up

The first one-minute exercise will provide a brief warm-up to get your major muscles moving.

Gauge the intensity

Use a stopwatch, the timer on your phone or a clock with a second hand to keep track of the time. Your working muscles should feel ready to change to a new exercise by the end of each segment.

Customize moves to your needs

An Easier Option is provided for each of these moves. But do the tougher version for as much of the time as you can.

Cool down and stretch

You will do a less intense move, then stretch the major muscle groups you’ve just worked.

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resistance rope workoutImage Credit: Michael Alberstat

Balancing Biceps Curls

1 minute

Works: Biceps, abdominals and outer hips

A. Stand with left foot on middle of band and hold both handles in your left hand.

B. Lift right leg six to eight inches off the floor in a side lift and balance on your left foot as you curl left arm up, palm to shoulder and keeping elbow as close to your body as possible. Keep wrist straight, and squeeze outer hip muscle. Return to start position. Do this move for 30 seconds, then switch to right foot and do the move for another 30 seconds.

Easier option: For 30 seconds, do balancing biceps curls while holding just one handle in your left hand (hold the other handle loosely in your right hand).  witch to the right side and do the move for another 30 seconds.

(Try another arms workout that’ll have you waving goodbye to soft arms.)

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resistance rope workoutImage Credit: Michael Alberstat

One-Arm Extensions With Squats

2 minutes

Works: Triceps, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings

Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hold one handle in your right hand, reaching arm overhead, with elbow bent and pointing up, and band dangling down your back.

A. Move left arm behind your back, gripping the band at waist level.

B. Squat down as you straighten your right arm overhead, then return to starting position. Do this move for 30 seconds, then switch arms and do the move for another 30 seconds.

Repeat sequence.

Easier option: Do one-arm extensions with right arm for 20 seconds; march in place for 20 seconds; switch arms and do the move for another 20 seconds.

Repeat sequence.

(Psst: Here’s how to stretch your glutes.)

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resistance rope workoutImage Credit: Michael Alberstat

Side Shoulder Raises

2 minutes

Works: Front and sides of shoulders

A. Stand with left foot on middle of resistance band, holding a handle in each hand.

B. Keeping arms straight, raise them out to sides, then lower them back to start position. Do this move for 30 seconds. Switch feet and do the move for another 30 seconds.

Repeat sequence.

Easier option: Do side shoulder raises with right foot on band for 20 seconds; repeat with left foot for 20 seconds; march in place for another 20 seconds. Repeat sequence.

(Also, here’s what to do to get sculpted shoulders.)

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resistance rope workoutImage Credit: Michael Alberstat

Travelling Squats

1 minute

Works: Hips, glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings

A. Stand with both feet on middle of resistance band and hold a handle in each hand.

B. With your right foot, take a wide step out to the side, and squat. Bring left foot to right foot as you return to a standing position. Do three more travelling squats to the right. Switch feet and travel to the left four times. Repeat this right-to left sequence for one minute.

Easier option: Do travelling squats to the right for 20 seconds; march in place for 20 seconds; switch sides and travel to the left for 20 seconds.

(Looking for another way to stretch your hips? Try the Animal Flow Workout.)

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resistance band workoutImage Credit: Michael Alberstat

Rotator-Cuff Pulls With Alternating Lunges

2 minutes

Works: Calves, hamstrings, thighs, quadriceps, glutes, rotator cuffs and backs of shoulders 

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold middle portion of resistance band in both hands with arms bent, forearms parallel to floor, palms up and elbows touching rib cage.

B. Slowly pull band out sideways, moving hands away from each other (elbows still touching rib cage) as you do alternating reverse lunges (that’s when you step one leg back and drop into a lunge).

Easier option: Eliminate the lunges.

(Psst: Here’s the best way to slim your thighs and legs without exercising too hard.)

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Cool Down

1 minute

For 30 seconds, walk around the room, taking deep breaths.

For the remaining 30 seconds, gently stretch the major muscle groups you’ve just worked. You’re done!

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Next, learn how to have a full-body workout with a stability ball.

Best Health Canada
Originally Published in Best Health Canada