Her resistance band routines—which she teaches weekly at buzzy fitness studios in New York City like Project by Equinox and Studio B—are butt-kicking occasions. Case in point: Several hours after attending a sweat sesh led by Donlan, I stood up from my desk only to discover that my body was the sorest it had been since my first SLT class—and that’s one of the hardest workouts in the Big Apple.
My point here isn’t to discourage you from trying the total-body circuit Donlan’s sharing below, but rather to encourage you not to, er, resist working out with resistance bands because of preconceived notions you may or may not have about them. Hey, if they’re good enough for Behati Prinsloo, Shay Mitchell, and Vanessa Hudgens….
Keep scrolling for Donlan’s 7-move circuit that, yes, targets your “cheeks.”
Sweat with Bec’s full-body burn workout
Grab a resistance band and get started. And if you’re in the market for a new one—Donlan makes her very own booty bands.
1. Curtsy lunge
Loop the resistance band above your knees and stand tall. Step your right foot diagonally behind you, lowering your right knee until it almost touches the ground. Do 3 sets of 15 reps on each side.
2. Banded pop squats
“Pop squats are a great way to add a little metabolic burst into your circuit,” says Donlan. “These will seriously get that heart rate up while working your entire lower body and core.” Start with the band around your ankles and feet together, jump out into a squat, and touch the ground with your right hand. Remember to keep your head up and core tight, and try to get that butt down low. Do 3 sets of 15–20 reps on each side.
3. Single-leg dead lifts
“These guys are a game-changer,” says Donlan. “So effective and such a great way to do a gym-free deadlift.” Wrap the band around your right foot and hold on to it with your right hand. Split your stance with your right foot forward, keeping all the weight in it, with the left leg positioned one foot behind, balancing on your toe. Remember to keep your back straight, engage your core, and keep the leg you are standing on slightly bent. Hinge forward with your hips, sticking your butt out as much as you can while keeping a flat back until your hand reaches mid-calf, then come back up. Work at a controlled pace, counting five seconds down and two seconds up. Just channel your inner Elle Woods (remember the bend and snap) with this move! Do 3 sets of 15-20 reps on each side.
4. Banded teapots
Stand up tall with your left foot facing forward and your right foot pointing slightly out to the side at a 45-degree angle. Take the band into your right hand and loop it around your right foot. Bring your left hand to your left ear, and start bending in a teapot motion all the way to the left and back to the right. Do 3 sets of 20 reps on each side.
5. Banded single arm row
Stand up straight and split your stance with one leg forward and one leg back. Extend your left arm in front of you, lock out your wrist, and loop the band around your thumb. Hold on to the other end of the band with your right hand and pull back (think of a bow-and-arrow type motion) so that your hand meets your shoulder, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the end of the movement. Do 3 sets of 15 reps on each side.
6. Single-leg kickbacks
Sit on the floor and place the band around the arches of your feet. Then, flip onto your hands and knees with hands under your shoulders and knees underneath your hips, with your back flat and head down. Extend your right leg all the way back, kicking it into the air. Do 3 sets of 15 reps on each side.
7. Banded bicycles
Lying down on your back, place the band around the middle of your feet. Start with your legs in a tabletop position with your hands at either side of your head, elbows bent. Bring one knee into your chest as you drive the other leg out, keeping the band under tension at all times. As you do this, bring your opposite elbow to your knee, twisting your upper body. Cycle back and forth for 45 seconds.
Phew. Now the recovery begins: Here are the best natural pain-relief products and how to turn your bathroom into a post-sweat R&R oasis.
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