Tag Archives: muscle workouts

Total Body Resistance Band Exercises

There are tons of ways to workout your muscles…cable machines, using your own body weight, dumbbells, and so forth. And they’re all great–it’s important to switch it up! However, today I want to approach the technique of resistance bands. I use resistance bands every day with clients. And I use them with all levels, from a near-eighties woman to a tough and strong girl in her 20s. There are so many ways to use resistance bands to your benefit. And they come in different levels! Usually the easiest are yellow, then green, to red, then blue, and finally black. Typically. Some do vary, though. There are so many ways to use them for all muscle groups. I’m gonna show you a few ways you can use that band at home, today! And I obviously couldn’t keep a straight face in the pictures…sigh.

1. Curls. Stand on your band, roughly shoulders-width apart. Grab the two handles, make sure the resistance is enough. Now pull the handles up in a curl movement, just as if you were doing it with dumbbells. This exercise is extraordinarily effective for working the biceps. You will be surprised! It’s important not to spring back to starting position after you finish the concentric (curling upwards) motion of the rep. Have control the whole way through.

Curl up!

Curl up!

2. Side step. This is one to focus on the hips. Step on the band, just like before, but this time start with your feet together. Now step to the side, as big of a step as you can. You will feel it in the outside of your hips. Your leg is going to want to snap back, but don’t let it! Slowly let it come back to the other leg. Now, step the other way, again taking a big step and really challenging your legs.

photo 4 (8)

3. Rotator cuff strengthener. Rotator cuff injuries are one of the most common you will find in all people. It’s so easy to injure because it’s overused, and typically weak. Very easy to tear. SO how do we strengthen it?! It’s easy. Tie one side of your resistance band around a pole, a chair leg, something that will stick. Now grab the other handle and step far enough away to give yourself proper resistance. Now, keep your arm close to your body and turn it like a door hinge towards your chest. Slowly go to and fro, feeling it in your shoulder. Switch sides.

photo 1 (9)

4. Rear delt flyes. Here’s another one for the shoulders, but this time for the rear delts. Grab a band, the actual band, and not the handles. Hold your arms straight out. The farther you put your hands on the band, the easier, and the closer you put your hands together, the harder the resistance becomes. Holding the band, you want to pull it so that your arms end up completely away from the starting point. Then slowly let your hands come back together. You really want to squeeze the shoulder blades together. Repeat.

DON'T SMILE

DON’T SMILE

5. Squat press. Make sure you have a fresh band for this one with no holes. Bad things happen when resistance bands snap (as Chris can attest to), so ensure yours has no tears. Now place your feet on the band, shoulder-width apart. Grab the handles. Perform a squat (properly) and as you are coming up from a squat push your hands upwards for a shoulder press. This is a total body workout. Repeat. This squat can also be combined with the curl as seen above.

and press!

and press!

6. Chest press. Loop the band around a pole or some sturdy object. Grab both handles and face away from the pole. You want to really get far enough away so that the resistance is tight. Press forward so that you’re working your chest. Slowly come back. Repeat.

photo 2 (6)

7. Hamstring stretch. Had to throw this one in for last. So many people disregard the importance of stretching and quickly skip it (myself included, sometimes). However, it is vital to keep your body flexible and loose! For this one, you want to lay on your back, hook the band around your foot and use the handles to pull your foot upwards towards the sky and to your body for a deep hamstring stretch. Once that feels stretched, move to the other side.

photo 3 (6)

Now that’s only seven of the many exercises you can do with the wonderful resistance bands. Try these out and get creative–you can make up your own. Use resistance bands to stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

merp

merp

15-Minute Triceps Workout

Finding it hard to squeeze a workout in? 

In this life of ridiculous busy-ness, it’s hard to get a chance to stop, put on your workout clothes (which for some reason feel tight, perhaps because they haven’t been used in a week and a half), and get into the mode. Let alone actually drive/walk/bike/bus to a gym! Big breath, you don’t need to do huge workouts every day to stay in fit. Remember that it’s exercise AND nutrition. They’ve got to walk side by side if you want results.

And another thing before I show you some exercises, is to remember how important strength and resistance training is. This means working out your muscles. No, it’s not just for boys. It’s for us big girls too. And it’s really important for your health! Think cardio is the only way to burn calories? Think again. When you rip up those muscle fibers while pushing yourself during any muscle workout (let’s take leg press), your body has to work hard after the workout as well in order to repair those fibers. Which means your body is burning calories after the workout to try and repair those fibers as quick as possible. Quads burn after that leg press the next day? Fibers are torn so it makes it sore to walk around. So muscle workouts = more calories burned afterwards. 

Onto the 15-min workout. It could be even less. It depends on the number of reps, sets, and exercises you do. I chose to do three. I actually did them watching “The Help,” figuring it was a movie I should watch and always looked good (it was). Here’s the three I did:

1. One-Arm Triceps Extension

Pretty simple. Get a weight you’re comfortable with (I started with 12 lbs and moved up to 18 lbs for my last set) and either sit or stand. Extend the weight with one arm over your head and then lower it down (with control) towards your back. Keep everything slow and controlled until your form is good. Now do the other arm. 

Reps: 12, Sets: 4

2. Two-Arm Triceps Extension

So it’s basically the same thing (read above) but with two arms holding the weight. This allows you to use a heavier weight than the single-arm. I started with 15 lbs and ended my last set with 21 lbs. 

Sets: 4, Reps: 12

3. Skull Crushers 

English: an exercise of triceps

English: an exercise of triceps

You can either do this with a bar or weights. I chose to do it with weights (dumbbells) simply because I don’t have a bar here at the apartment. Start lying down with your weights or bar extended in front of your chest and then slowly lower until your hands are right at your forehead. Then push out again. That’s one rep. Get why it’s called a skull crusher? I went around 15 lbs for this one.

Reps: 10, Sets: 4

So there you have it. A three-exercise workout that left my triceps feeling tired. You will too if you do them properly with the right number of reps and sets. Your core will also be worked if you keep it tight and do the exercises correctly. Do what feels good for you. Never push it to the point of injury, but push yourself to get that last rep. Comment below if you have any questions. Enjoy!

PS– If you are interested in getting a free training plan and/or consultation or just have some questions, please email us at alana.ppowell@gmail.com