In my opinion, the most underrated workout equipment are resistance bands. Some people pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars each year on gym memberships when practically the same results can be achieved using an inexpensive resistance band.
Here’s a total body workout you can perform in about 15 minutes. If you aren’t accustomed to using resistance bands, you’ll need to take time during this first workout to adjust them properly in order to feel the proper resistance. I recommend using a band with medium tension. It’s better to use a band that’s too long than one that is too short because with a long band, you can always increase the resistance by the placement of your feet. If you use a band that is too short, it may provide too much tension which could cause injury.
Okay, here’s the workout. Be sure to stretch before and after the workout.
Shoulders – Upright Rows
With one foot in front of the other, step on the resistance band using your forward foot. Make sure the tension on each side feels even. With arms in front, holding the band handles with hands together, lift both hands simultaneously up to your chin. Inhale when the arms are extended down – exhale when arms are extended upward. Repeat for a total of 10 to 15 reps.
Biceps – Standing Curls
With feet shoulder-width apart, step on the bands with both feet. Be sure knees are slightly bent and each side of the band has equal tension. With arms at your side and palms facing forward, curl the arms up toward your shoulders as far as possible. Drop the arms back to the first position slowly. Be careful not to move your elbows to the front and back. This will ensure you get the maximum benefit from this movement. Inhale when the arms are fully extended – exhale when they are pulled in toward your shoulders. Perform 10-15 reps.
Triceps – Standing Triceps Extensions
With one foot in front of the other, step on the band. Be sure the band’s tension is even on both sides. Lean forward toward your front foot. With arms at your side, holding the band handles with knuckles facing to the front, extend the arms to the rear. Keep the elbows stationary during the entire movement. Perform 10-15 reps.
Wrap the resistance band around a sturdy object such as a tree, stairway bannister, deck railing, etc. You should be facing the object and the bands need to be at the height of your torso, parallel to the ground or floor. Get the picture here? Stand far enough back so the arms are fully extended when gripping the band. Simultaneously pull both arms toward your torso. Increase the tension by stepping back – lessen tension by moving closer. Inhale when the arms are extended and exhale when they/re close to your body. Perform 10-15 reps.
After the back exercise and with the band still around the sturdy object, go right into this movement by simply turning around and begin pushing the arms out simultaneously to a full extension. Step forward to increase tension – step back toward the object to reduce tension. Inhale when the arms are close to the body and exhale when they are extended. Perform 10-15 reps.
This is the only exercise you’ll perform without resistance bands. For this movement, I recommend doing lunges. They work the entire legs and the buttocks. To perform this movement, place feet together, then step forward with the left leg and bend it to a 90 degree angle. Repeat with the right leg. Place your arms out to the side if needed for balance. Inhale when extending each leg – exhale when feet are together. Do 5-10 reps (lunging with both legs counts as one rep).
Repeat each movement 2X for a total of three sets. That’s the complete workout! If you don’t stop rest, you should easily be done in 15 minutes or less. No rest between movements and reps will also keep your heart rate elevated which means you’ll burn more calories.
To make this workout even more effective, changeout the movements with different ones. For example, do pushups in place of the chest movement above. This will keep the muscles engaged and confused providing you even greater results.
*Disclaimer: As with any exercise routine, consult with your doctor prior to beginning any exercise regiment. Perform the above exercises at your own risk.