One Workout You Can Do Anywhere, Anytime (PHOTOS)

Carly Pizzani | Mar 12, 2014 Healthy Living

Resistance Band WorkoutWouldn't it be amazing to have your own home gym? All the latest equipment, available anytime, without having to travel or pay membership dues at a gym? For most of us, a home gym is not even close to a realistic option. There is one piece of equipment, though, that is inexpensive, takes up very little space, is super-portable (great for traveling!), and on top of all this, it will give you an awesome workout at home!

What is it? A resistance band.

Bands can be used to replace traditional strength-training equipment like dumbbells or barbells and can easily adjust to make an exercise easier or harder. Not sure where to start?

This workout uses two different types of band -- one with an anchor that can be used in a door-frame, and one that's a simple loop to go around your legs -- and will help you work various parts of the body, from your shoulders to your lower body.

Ready to work out? Have you tried #6 yet? 

 

Image via Carly Pizzani

  • A Workout You Can Do ANYWHERE (PHOTOS)

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  • Bent-Over Row

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    Rowing exercises are a great way to utilize a resistance band. For this move, step on the band with one foot to anchor it, get into a bent-over position, then row your arm up, either with your elbow in close to your body (pictured) or with your elbow out for a wide row. 

    If your balance is not great, use your other hand to steady yourself on a piece of furniture or a wall. You could also use a chair to rest your elevated foot on for support.

  • Overhead Press

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    Stepping on the band with your foot, press the handle up over your head to work your shoulder. You can try this with your palm facing forward (pictured), or keep your elbow in tight and palm facing inward to do a narrow overhead press. Repeat on the other side.

    Want to get more bang for your buck? Add a squat to this exercise; squat, then do your press as you stand up.

  • Plank Step Outs

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    Plank step outs with a resistance band are a great way to strengthen your gluteus medius, the muscle on the side of your hip. This is a particularly great exercise for runners. 

    For this move, you'll need a band that forms a loop. You can buy one that's looped, or if you have a long band, tie a knot in it. With the band just above your ankles, get into a plank position, then step one foot out to the side, then back to center. You can alternate legs or, for a greater challenge, try it on one side at a time, without setting your foot down to the floor between repetitions.

  • Narrow Press

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    Get into a staggered split squat stance, with one foot anchoring the band. Press the handle forward and up to mimic the movement of a bench or cable press. You can do this as a narrow press with palm facing in (pictured), or try it with your palm facing down and your elbow out to the side for a wide press.

    Add a lower body challenge to this exercise by squatting in your split squat stance every time you press.

  • Lunge and Row

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    If your resistance band has an anchor on it (a fabric loop with a plastic ball attached), then you can use a door in your home to set up your own cable machine. You can shut the band into the door-frame either at the top of the door (pictured) or at the bottom.

    Facing the door with a handle in each hand, lunge backward and row the band back as you do. You can alternate sides or row on one side at a time.

    Other exercises you can try using a door-frame include triceps extensions (called skull crushers!), a press with a forward lunge, or a chop exercise. Get creative -- just about anything you would do with a cable machine in the gym can be replicated with a resistance band and a door.

  • Scaption

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    What's 'scaption'? It's a great exercise for shoulder strength that minimizes risk of injury for your rotator cuff. Basically, scaption is a cross between a forward straight-arm raise and a lateral straight-arm raise. For this move, step on the band, and with your opposite arm, raise in a straight line, thumb facing up, at an angle halfway between straight and to the side.

  • Lateral Lunge

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    Grab your looped band again, and with the band above your knees, lunge out to one side. Try to keep your torso upright and away from your lunging thigh.

    If you happen to have dumbbells at home, you can add an overhead press or a biceps curl to this exercise to make it a full-body move.

    Do lunges bother your knees? Take this move down to the floor -- lie on your side, with the band just above your ankles, and legs straight. Raise your top leg as high as you can against the resistance, then return to the floor.

  • Squat

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    Using the looped band for a basic squat is a great way to ensure your knees are tracking in a straight line throughout your squat movement. Have the band above your knees, and with feet about shoulder-width apart, push your hips back as if you were reaching behind you to sit in a chair. Make sure the resistance of the band around your legs doesn't change, so your knees stay the same distance as you squat down and stand back up.

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