During this unusual and challenging time of self-isolating and finding ways to train at home, one of our favourite low-cost products to utilise in-house is glute, leg and arm workouts with resistance bands.
Resistance bands are a great workout tool, not only because they’re super affordable, transportable and versatile, but because they can help target larger muscles as well as smaller stabilising muscles. Plus, research shows that engaging in elastic band resistance training improves balance, function and flexibility.
To introduce you to resistance band workouts, we’ve put together a total body workout plan that’ll strengthen your core, tighten your glutes and add definition to your arms. This is a workout you can do anywhere, even in a small space of your house. You can also modify the workout for any fitness level. All you need is one thing… a resistance band.
Choosing a Resistance Band
To start, we recommend the lowest strength band – in our band pack this is the colour green. However, if you have been incorporating strength training into your routine regularly, you may be able to use a heavier resistance. To determine what that will be, perform a few of the exercises with different bands to find the one that you can stretch completely to the end of a move.
Once you’re able to do 10 repetitions with your starting band, you can increase to 15 repetitions. Once that becomes too easy for your body, you can increase to the next band at an increased resistance level (from x-light to light, or medium to heavy). Keep in mind that your lower body may progress to the next band before your upper body. The leg and glute muscles are larger and stronger than the upper body.
Browse the Blitz Resistance Loop Band Set here.
Resistance Band Workout Structure
We’re breaking down the exercises into four categories:
- Lower body
- Upper body
- Advanced plank circuit
LOWER BODY EXERCISES
10 x Standing Side Taps [Each Leg] Band Positioning: Around the ankles
With the band around your ankles, pull your naval in towards your spine and bend your knees so that your bottom is reaching back. Place your feet open as wide as your shoulders. This is a modified squat position and you’ll stay here for the exercise!
Tap your right foot out to the right, feeling the tension on the band, and then bring it back to center so, that the feet are just as wide as the shoulders. Then tap the left foot to the left and feel the tension on the band, and then bring it back to center. Repeat this for 10 taps to each side.
This works the gluteus medius (the muscle on the outside of the hip) and also the thighs. It’s also a bit of a cardio move since you’re tapping from one side to the other without a break.
10 x Standing Reverse Taps [Each Leg] Band Positioning: Around the ankles
From the same position as the standing side steps, this time instead of stepping to the side, you’ll step back with each foot and tap. You’ll feel the tension on the stationary leg as well, making this a total leg and glute workout move.
10 x Standing Adductor Lift [Each Leg] Band Positioning: Around the ankles
Standing straight up with your abs drawn in, lift the right leg out to the side, and then bring it back in. The tension that the band adds can be felt on the eccentric and concentric movement — as you push the leg out and as you pull the leg back to center. This is primarily working the gluteus medius, and also the stabilizing muscles of the legs and the standing leg that’s balancing you. Repeat this 10 times and then switch to the left side.
10 x Standing Banded Squat Band Positioning: Around lower knee
Step the feet out as wide as the hips, pull the naval in, and bend at the knees to sit back with your glutes. Act like you’re sitting back into a chair, and then drill down through the heels to stand back up. The band helps activate the glutes with the tension around the legs, and also helps stabilize your body for a more properly formed squat. Repeat this 10 times.
10 x Standing Lateral Band Walk [Each Leg] Band Positioning: Around lower knee
Step into the band with both feet, and pull the feet as wide as the hips to create tension on the band. Lower down into a half squat position while pulling your naval in towards your spine, and pressing down through the heels of your feet. Then shift your weight over to your left side, and step sideways to the right. Bring your left foot slightly in, keeping tension on the band, and continuing to side step to the right like this for 10 steps. Then repeat to the left.
10 x Donkey Kicks [Each Leg] Band Positioning: Around stationary foot and on top of moving leg
From your hands and knees, pull your naval in towards your spine. Make sure your hands are underneath your shoulders with your fingers spread wide and pressing down through your fingers and your hands.
Open your knees just as wide as the hips, and make sure the knees are under the hips. Then, press the right leg up so that it’s in a 90 degree angle, and then press up through the foot to work the glute and hamstring of the right leg. You’ll also be stabilizing with the left leg and working the left glute.
10 x Fire Hydrant [Each Leg] Band Positioning: Above knees
From your hands and knees, pull your naval in towards your spine. Get into the same positioning as above, and instead of reaching your leg back behind you, reach the right leg out to the side. This is a motion similar to a dog peeing on a fire hydrant! Open the right leg out to the right side, and then bring it back towards center. Repeat this 10 times, and then switch to the left leg.
10 x Banded Clam Shell [Each Leg] Band Positioning: Around upper thighs
Lying down on your right side, prop yourself up with your right forearm on the ground on a 90 degree angle. Bring the legs slightly forward of your hips, and pull your naval in towards your spine. Then, bend the knees so that your legs are at a 90 degree angle also. Keep your feet pressing together as you open your top knee up away from your bottom knee as if you’re opening up a clam shell. Repeat this 10 times, and then switch sides or move onto the next exercise.
10 x Side Lying Banded Leg Shifts [Each Leg] Band Positioning: Around the ankles
Lying down on your right side with the band around your ankles, press your right forearm into the ground at a 90 degree angle. Bring the legs slightly forward of your hips and pull your naval in towards your spine. Then pull the left leg straight up away from the right leg, and lower it back down. Maintain tension on the band throughout the whole exercise. Repeat for 10 repetitions and then switch sides or continue on to the next exercise.
10 x Side Lying Inner Thigh Leg Lifts [Each Leg] Band Positioning: Lying on your right side, step into the band with your left foot and wrap band around your right shoe.
Lying down on your right side with your left leg behind you and your feet in the strap, pulse the right leg up 10 times. This is working the inner thigh!
UPPER BODY EXERCISES
10 x Rear Delt Pull Band Positioning: Around the forearms
Bend the elbows at a 90 degree angle so that your arms are parallel to the ground. Reach the arms forward and then bend the elbows and bring the arms towards your chest as you squeeze your upper back. This works the medial deltoid, rear deltoid, scapula, and biceps. Repeat 10 times.
10 x Banded Open and Close Band Positioning: Around the forearms
Bend at the elbows and bring your arms up into a goal post position at chest level. Open and close the arms to work the upper arms and upper back. Repeat 10 times.
10 x Tricep Extension With Band [Both Arms] Band Positioning: Hold band with your left hand on your chest, and your right hand holding onto the band below
Using your left hand, press the band to your chest. Use the right hand to press down against the band into a tricep extension, and then come back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times and then switch sides.
10 x Bicep Curl 1 With Band Band Positioning: Standing on knees, step right foot forward into a lunge, and then wrap the band underneath one knee
Put the right hand through the band in an open-face position to start. Then, pull the right hand with the band up towards the shoulder into a bicep curl, and release down. Repeat 10 times and then switch sides.
10 x Bicep Curl 2 With Band Band Positioning: Around the forearms
Hold the bands on outside of your forearms with the palms face up and your elbows hugging in towards your side body. Then, curl the hands up towards your shoulders into a bicep curl, and lower back down. Repeat 10 times.
10 x Shoulder Press With Band Band Positioning: Around the forearms
From the same positioning as above, curl the arms up into a bicep curl and use this as your starting position. Then press arms up over head with abduction against the bands, and then lower down to the start position. Repeat 10 times.
10 x Shoulder Side Raise With Band Band Positioning: Around the forearms
Start with your arms parallel to your body, elbows bent at a 90-degree angle (to create two goal posts in front of your abdomen) with palms facing each other. This is your starting position. Then pull the arms out to the side and up like wings as high as your shoulders with elbows still bent (you should have created a straight line from your shoulder to your elbow).
10 x Bentover Row With Band Band Positioning: Step on the band with right foot and lower down onto your left knee. Lean forward and hold onto band with right hand.
For this exercise, pull the band up by hugging your elbow into your side and squeezing the right shoulder blade in towards the center of your spine, and then release the arm down. Continue pulling up and then releasing down for 10 repetitions, and then switch sides.
10 x Banded Bridge Band Positioning: Band below the knees is easier. Band above the knees is more challenging.
Lying down on your back, bend your knees with your feet on the ground as wide as your hips. Bring the band around your upper thighs. Take a deep breath in, and then exhale as you pull your naval in towards your spine, and tilt your pelvis so that your hips are coming close to your ribs.
Slowly roll up into a bridge position, pressing against the band and opening the legs wide. As you come up into the bridge position with your back off of the ground, hold it at the top. Then, pulse the legs and the band out to the sides for 10 counts. Slowly lower the back down onto the ground vertebra by vertebrea and then repeat for 10 times.
10 x Banded Lower and Lift Band Positioning: Band below the knees is easier. Band above the knees is more challenging.
Lying down on your back, wrap the band around your upper thighs. Pull your naval in towards your spine and reach the legs straight up towards the ceiling. Open the feet wide enough to put tension on the band, and then lower the legs down as far as you can without lifting your back off the ground. Then bring the legs back up to center. Repeat for 10 repetitions.
10 x Banded Toe Taps Band Positioning: Band below the knees is easier. Band above the knees is more challenging.
Lying down on your back, bend your knees with your feet on the ground as wide as your hips. Bring the band around your upper thighs. Take a deep breath in, and then exhale as you pull your naval in towards your spine. Tilt your pelvis so that your hips are close to your ribs.
Bring the knees up into a tabletop position at a 90 degree angle. Open the legs to put tension on the band, and lower the feet towards the ground. Keep the knees bent. Then bring the knees back up to the starting position, and repeat for 10 times.
10 x Banded Criss-Cross Band Positioning: On top of left shoe and on Botton of right shoe.
With the band wrapped around your shoes, lie down on your back and bend the knees up into a tabletop position. Place your hands behind your head. Exhale and curl up into a crunch position. Extend the left leg and curl up towards the right knee, and then switch. Bicycle the legs and criss cross your chest to work the internal and external obliques. Repeat 10 times to each side.
5 x Plank Push Ups With Banded Arms [Both Arms] Band Positioning: Around the outer wrists
Come up onto your toes into a plank position. Press down firmly with your hands and make sure your shoulders are over your wrists. Pull your naval in towards your spine, and keep your back flat.
From here, step your right hand out to the right, pulling on the band, then lower down into a push-up. For a modification, this can be done on your knees. Then, walk the hand back to center, and walk the left hand out to the left. Lower down into a push up, and come back to center. Repeat this for 5 push-ups on each side. This works your core, chest, back, and upper arms.
10 x Plank Jumps With Banded Ankles Band Positioning: Around the ankles
Press up into a plank position from your hands and knees. Pull your abs in tight, and then jump both of your feet out and then back in to center. Keep tension on the band even as you come back to center so that the band stays taught around your ankles. This works your core, shoulders, arms, gluteus medius, thighs, and hamstrings.
10 x Plank Banded Booty Lifts [Both Legs] Band Positioning: Around the ankles
Come into plank position with your shoulders over your wrists and your feet as wide as your hips. Keep your right leg straight as you lift it up a few inches off the ground, and then place it back down. Repeat on the left side. This will really burn the hamstrings and the glutes! Repeat each side 10 times.
For more home fitness equipment to workout at home, browse our full collection at www.blitzsport.com/fitness.