7 Resistance Band Moves to Tone Your Entire Body
It’s natural to think that to get stronger, you need to lift heavy things. But thanks to resistance bands, that’s not actually true. Resistance bands are super light pieces of stretchy rubber that you can use to tone your entire body. They come in different resistance levels—the stretchier the band, the less strength it takes to work with it. And because they’re so small, you can store them anywhere and throw them in your suitcase when you travel. Here are seven moves that, when done together, hit every major muscle group. Try to get through three sets of 10 to 20 reps of each:
- Work your back with a seated row: Sit on the floor with legs out in front of you and your back straight. Loop a resistance bound around the bottoms of your feet, grab an end in each hand, and pull the band until your hands touch your chest. Return to start and repeat.
- Work your legs and shoulders with a squat/overhead press: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and a resistance band under your feet. Holding the ends of the bands in each hand, squat down while simultaneously pushing your arms overhead. Return to standing position and repeat.
- Work your abs, glutes and thighs with a seated thigh abduction: Start in a seated position on the floor and wrap a band around your thighs. Lift your legs up so that your calves are parallel to floor (you’ll have to lean back to stay balanced, so keep core engaged). Hold the ends of the band in your hands so it’s tight around your thighs and push legs out to sides. Return to middle and repeat without lowering legs.
- Work your arms, chest, back and core with a tougher push-up: Perform a normal push-up (either on toes or knees) but add a resistance band. Stretch the band across your back and hold an end in each hand. As you push up, you will also be pushing against the band.
- Work your quads with a leg press: Lie on a yoga mat on the floor with the band wrapped around one foot, holding the ends in your hands. Lift that foot slightly and slowly bend knee until leg is at a 90 degree angle. Pause then push leg back out to a straight position. Repeat on one leg before switching to the other leg.
- Work arms, shoulders, back and chest with a band pull-apart: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding an end of the band in each hand. Keep hands shoulder height and pull band until arms are stretched out straight at your sides. Bring arms back in to chest and repeat.
- Work your triceps with an overhead triceps extension: Sit on a chair with the band under your butt, holding an end in each hand. Stretch your arms straight overhead, then bend your elbows and lower your hands behind your head. Press arms overhead, lower, and repeat.
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Photo credit: Dave Crosby