If staying in your cozy, warm bed for an extra 15 minutes sounds a whole lot better than putting on Spandex and trekking to spin class this time of year, here’s a super-effective workout you can do without a commute.
Ariane Hundt, the nutritionist-trainer-founder of Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp, and the immersive Slim & Strong program, is a “superfan of resistance bands” because she’s seen how effective they can be “trimming inches off” her clients’ waists.
Even though she loves weights, “you create muscle confusion much faster with resistance bands,” Hundt says, “because your muscles are always working at different intensity levels.” They also target areas that are hard to reach at the gym, like that muscle on the side of your butt (thank you, Baywatch swimsuit) and love handles, she says.
The real magic of resistance bands? It’s simply the fact that you can use them anywhere. “If you have something that challenges your body right where you are, then you have no excuse not to work out,” she says.
See Hundt’s nine head-to-toe strengthening, sweat-producing band exercises…. —Molly Gallagher
(All photos: Stefan Grey)
The nine moves will only eat up about 7 minutes of your time and still be a super-effective workout, Hundt says. “Or you could add a cardio move between each one, like 50 jumping jacks or 50 mountain climbers—and then it’s like a mini bootcamp, which would be more ideal.”
1. Upright Row (15-20 reps)
Step on both sides of the band, gently bent your knees, and hold both ends of the band. Pull the band towards your chin with your elbows pulling towards the ceiling (or sky!). Hold for one second and then slowly release.
Hold the band taught, overhead, with both arms straight. Then pull the band out until its in front of your chest. Hold for one second, then slowly bring back overhead. Keep your shoulders dropped and squeeze your lats (outside back muscles) while you’re doing the move.
Hold the band taught, with both hands, straight out in front of your chest. Pull the band apart equally until both arms are out by your side like a cross. Hold for one second, then slowly release.
“Clients with resistant muffin tops swear by this move to lengthen their waist (along with a clean diet to drop body fat),” Hundt says.
With your feet hip-width apart, hold the band overhead. Stretch your hip out to the side until you feel a stretch in your obliques (your side stomach muscles). Draw your navel towards your spine and pulse slowly, working in the range of motion that engages the obliques the most.
Lean over with a flat back and slightly bent knees. Step on the band, with a wide step, and grab the band with a wide grip. Row the band up towards your chest while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold for a second, then slowly release.
Wrap the band around your ankles. Lift your right leg to the front (you should be able to move it at least 10 inches), hold for one second, then slowly release. It should be a lift, not a swing—you want to engage the front of your thighs without using your lower back.
Standing upright with your short band wrapped around your ankles, bend your right knee to a 90 degree angle and push your heel against the band. Push back with the right leg until you feel strong resistance. Hold for a second, then slowly release.
Keep the band wrapped around your ankles. Step your right leg to the right into a deep squat, then bring it back towards the left leg. Repeat on the left side.
Wrap the band around your ankles. Sit on your butt and lift your legs, while slightly bent. Pull the band apart until you feel the tension in your hips, obliques, and thighs. Hold this pose for 30 seconds, while drawing your navel in.