Not everyone has the space and equipment required to set up a home gym. But that doesn’t mean that everyone can’t create a gym-quality workout at home or on the go. All it takes is one simple little tool: the resistance band. These stretchy bands are low in price but high in impact and wildly versatile. Use them to stretch, stabilize and build muscles with a series of bodyweight workouts.
Here are a few of our favorite resistance band exercises from the experts at Women’s Health.
How to: Wrap a resistance band around your forearms, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms overhead. Sit your hips back, bend your knees, and lower down until your thighs are nearly parallel with the floor. Push through your heels and rise back to start. That’s one rep.
How to: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Wrap a resistance band around your feet. Grab the top of the resistance band with both hands, and stand up straight. Hinge at your hips and lower down, with a slight bend in your knees, until your hands go just past your knees. Slowly return to start. That’s one rep.
How to: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Wrap a resistance band around your right foot, then stand on the other end with your left foot. Bend your arms and place your hands behind your head. Bend your right knee and lift it toward your right elbow. Slowly lower back down to start. That’s one rep. Complete all reps on your right side before switching to the left.
How to: Lie flat on your back, wrap a resistance band around your feet, and place your hands on the sides of your body. Bring your left knee toward your chest as you extend the right. Then switch sides. Keep your lower back firmly planted on the ground. That’s one rep.
How to: Get into a high plank position, with your shoulders stacked over your wrists. Loop one end of a resistance band around your left thumb, and hold the other end in your right hand. Keeping your core tight and hips stable, pull your right hand to your shoulder. Slowly lower back down. That’s one rep. Complete all reps on one side before moving on to the next.”
No home gym? No gym membership? No problem. A simple set of inexpensive resistance bands can set you up with a whole body workout regimen that’s easy to commit to and as versatile as it is effective.