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5 Resistance Bands workouts to sculpt your body

5 Resistance Bands workouts to sculpt your body
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Looking to up your game when working out? Grab some resistance bands and use them to get the lean and sculpted body you’re yearning for. They’re the perfect exercise tool: light-weight, easy to travel with, and they offer diverse ways to train your muscles.

If you plan on doing a resistance band routine at the gym, start by getting two different bands, a lighter one and a medium to heavier resistance. They’re often color-coded to let you know what the resistance level is. For example, yellow typically denotes a light resistance level. If you want to exercise at home and don’t already own bands, you can easily buy them online or at your local sporting goods store. Make sure you buy ones that come with a door attachment that will hold the bands in place while you do a variety of moves. Here are 5 of my favorite ways to incorporate resistance bands into your workout:

Squat to Overhead Press

What it works:

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Abdominals

How to do it:

  1. Begin by standing on your resistance band, holding a handle in each hand with elbows bent and palms facing away from you at chest level.
  2. As you inhale, sit into a squat (the bands will become slack), and as you exhale, come to standing while pressing your arms straight up in the air to complete an overhead press.
  3. You can control the resistance by manipulating the tension of the band. If the exercise begins to feel easy, use the same resistance band but hold the band itself to make it shorter.

Safety tip:

Press through your heels to stand up from the squat, and keep a strong core as you press overhead.

Lat Pulldown

What it works:

  • Back
  • Shoulders
  • Biceps
  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps

How to do it:

  1. Begin by hooking your resistance band at the top of a door or around a high fence.
  2. Sit in a low squat as if you’re resting in an imaginary chair.
  3. Hold a handle in each hand with palms facing away from you and arms straight overhead.
  4. On an exhale, pull the handles down to either side of your chest by pulling your shoulder blades down towards your hips and bending your elbows to engage your biceps.
  5. For more resistance, squat further away from the door, creating more tension in the band.

Safety tips:

Keep a long, extended spine throughout the exercise. Focus on scapular (shoulder blade) depression, shrugging your shoulders away from your ears as you pull on the bands.

Chest Press

What it works:

  • Chest
  • Triceps
  • Shoulders

How to do it:

  1. Begin by looping your resistance band around a pole or in a door slightly higher than chest height.
  2. Stand facing away from the band in a staggered stance with a handle in each hand, elbows bent at 90 degrees, and palms facing the ground.
  3. Extending both arms on an exhale, pressing the handles forward and away from you, aiming both hands towards the center.
  4. As you exhale, return to your starting position with elbows bent. Maintain a strong core throughout the exercise with hips squared to the front.
  5. For more resistance, stand further away from the door, creating more tension in the band.

Safety tip:

Keep your elbows level to or slightly higher than your wrists.

The Row

What it works:

  • Back
  • Shoulder
  • Biceps
  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps

How to do it:

  1. Begin by looping your resistance band around a pole in a door at slightly higher than chest height.
  2. Sit in a squat as if resting in an imaginary chair.
  3. Squat facing the resistance bands with a handle in each hand and palms facing each other.
  4. As you exhale, squeeze your shoulder blades together and bend your elbows to pull the bands back to either side of your ribcage.

Safety tip:

Ensure that you are pulling from your mid-back and rear shoulder blade and not creating tension in your neck. Think of pointing your elbows down towards the ground as you pull.

Lateral Raises with Resistance Band

What it works:

  • Shoulders
  • Triceps

How to do it:

  1. Begin by standing on the resistance band with a handle in each hand and arms by your side, palms facing each other.
  2. Lifting both arms to the side just past parallel on an exhales. Contract your deltoids and use your back muscles to stabilize.

Safety tip:

Maintain a feeling of scapular depression (pulling your shoulders away from your ears) to keep tension out of your neck.

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