Bodyweight + Bands = Beautiful Results
Life gets crazy sometimes and hitting the gym gets hard. There’s no harm in relying on the weight of your body to get in a good workout, but if you incorporate resistance bands into your routine, you may never need the gym again. Check out the amazing ways that bands can amplify your bodyweight workouts.
Do you ever feel like the gym is the last place you want to be?
I know that you value your workouts, your health, and your fitness because otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. But there’s nothing wrong with admitting that there are days that you’d rather stay home instead of fighting traffic just to wait for your favorite cardio machine. Sometimes that commute just isn’t worth it.
Let me let you in on a little secret: a good workout doesn’t require the four walls of the gym.
More often than not, all you need is the weight of your body, some gravity, and a few of your favorite Beyonce songs to get in a good workout. But when air squats and pushups get a little monotonous, supplementing your favorite bodyweight exercises with some resistance bands can take your workout to the next level. Let’s explore a few awesome ways to introduce bands into some classic bodyweight moves.
1. Banded Air Squats
There’s an obvious benefit to putting a bar on your back and doing some squats at the gym, but it isn’t the only way that you can set your lower body on fire. Air squats done with good form and in high quantity can get you walking funny, too.
One incredible way to amplify the air squat is to implement the use of a band to create more tension between your legs. Without the band, the muscles in your legs are mainly working vertically. They are lowering you down and then exploding you back to the starting position. When you wrap a band from knee to knee, you introduce tension horizontally. With this small adjustment, you are improving your legs’ stability as well as their strength.
2. Banded Glute Bridges
If you are doing a decent job of getting to the gym, but are struggling to squeeze in some time to give cardio a go, incorporate some circuit training into your weight room routine.
By training in a circuit–working through consecutive exercises before resting at the end of the round–you can still give your muscles the workout that they’ve been craving with the added benefit of giving your heart a workout, too.
You can make your circuits a total body experience, or limit them to specific body parts if you wish. No matter which way you approach it, it’s the best bang for your buck when you’re at the gym.
3. Banded Push Ups
Now that we’ve shown some love to your lower body, it’s time to give some attention and focus to your upper body. Many women mistakenly bypass chest exercises because they don’t see the direct benefit of the work they put in, since their breasts will perceivably hide any progress or impact the exercises are making. But by building strong and healthy chest muscles, you are actually creating a sturdier foundation for your breasts to sit on.
The banded push up is a great place to start if you’ve already mastered the art of the traditional push up. For this exercise, you’ll place your hand at each end of the band and wrap the band behind your back. When in a push up position, the band should be held by the palm of your hand as it faces the ground and the entirety of the band should travel across the middle of your back. As you perform the push up, the band will create extra resistance on top of the gravity that naturally makes it hard to push yourself off the ground.
The beauty of the band here is that the resistance will increase the more that the band is stretched. So, as you make your way further and further away from the ground, the exercise will get harder and harder. This will make for an incredible burn at the peak of the movement.
4. Banded Squat to Shoulder Press
This last exercise will work your whole body and make you realize the power of bands and their resistance. To perform the movement correctly, you will step into the band with both feet, trapping it on the floor. You will then hold the top half of the band with both hands, palms facing the ceiling.
Once the band is in place, perform a squat with hands resting on your shoulders and holding the bands. As you reach the top of the squat, explode upward with your hands performing a shoulder press. The band will give extra resistance as you finish your squat, and then really make you work for that shoulder press. The best part of this, though, is that between the two major movements, your core will be working hard to control the movement from the bottom to the top, giving your entire body the opportunity to get involved.
The weight room and cardio machines aren’t required to work up a sweat and feel good about it. You can give your body an amazing workout in your living room or basement just by layering some resistance bands on top of your favorite bodyweight exercises. There’s no need to drive all the way across town every day when you have access to the power of resistance bands in the comfort of your own home. Let us know which move challenged you the most, we’d love to hear from you!