According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), about 82% of gym-goers also work out at home. While gym memberships and boutique fitness classes are still a norm, many people are drawn to both the flexibility and convenience of exercising at home. Not only are they in control of when and where they work out, they also get to choose what they do!
The “less is more” approach helps make fitness more accessible and affordable by using as little as one piece of equipment. One of our favorite full-body workouts includes a single resistance band, which you can purchase online or from most retail stores in your area.
Here are five band exercises to try at home. You can go through each exercise once or continue moving through them for an extended period of time if you’re up for an extra challenge. Just don’t forget to listen to your body and have fun with it.
For your glutes:
Strengthening your glutes is one of the best ways to avoid lower back pain and prevent injury! Place the band slightly above both knees, and lie on your back with your feet on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Exhale and engage your glutes as you raise your hips so they’re aligned with your shoulders and knees. Inhale as you lower down. Continue for about 15–20 reps.
For your legs:
Squats are compound exercises that work several large muscle groups at once, making them very efficient. Plus, they’re functional: We mimic a squat pattern throughout our daily lives! Wrap the band around both thighs, halfway between your knees and hips. Stand with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Hold your arms straight out in front of you or clasp your hands in front of your chest. Inhale as you squat down, and exhale as you return to standing. Focus on sending your hips back, so your knees align with your toes – and don’t extend past your ankles – as you squat. Focus on engaging your glutes and core. Continue for about 15–20 reps. If it helps, try this exercise in front of a chair, squatting as if you’re about to sit down.
For your core:
Start on your hands and knees, with the band wrapped around both legs, just above your knees. Extend your legs straight behind you with your toes on the ground, hip-width apart. Engage your core, including your glutes, so that your body remains in a straight line from head to heels. (Looking in a mirror helps!) Exhale as you lift your right leg slightly, and inhale as you lower it. Alternate legs for about 8–10 reps per side.
Note: If this seems too hard at first, try it on an incline by placing your hands on a bench or bar! You can also do a plank on your forearms instead of your hands. It’s a little harder for the core and easier on the wrists.
For your back:
Stand with a slight bend in your knees and your feet about hip-width apart. Hold one end of the band in each hand. Extend your arms in front of you, keeping them as straight as you can. Exhale as you pull the band out and toward your chest. Inhale as you slowly release the tension and bring your arms back in front of you. Continue for about 10–12 reps.
For your arms:
You can do this exercise standing or on your knees, whichever feels more comfortable! Place your feet on the middle of the band shoulder-width apart. Grab the ends of the band with both hands. Start with your arms down by your sides. Exhale and pull your arms up toward your shoulders with palms facing up. Inhale as you straighten your arms back down by your sides. Keep your glutes and core engaged for stability, and try not to “swing” your arms. Keep your elbows glued to your sides so that the only body part moving is your elbows! Continue for about 10–12 reps.
Do you have any other go-to exercises that you do at home? Try these five band exercises and let us know how it goes!