Out of all of your muscle groups, two share the spotlight when it comes to bettering your posture: your core and your back. You don't need to hit the weight rack and go heavy to strengthen these muscles, all you really need is a resistance band.
As proven by Simone De La Rue, January's Trainer of the Month and creator of celeb-beloved Body by Simone, a simple band can be used in many different posture-building exercises that target your abs and your back. In fact, three of the four exercises she recommends can be done sitting down, which goes to show that strength training doesn't have to mean that you're running all over the weight room floor.
De La Rue's resistance band exercises for core and back strength only take 13 minutes, so grab your band (or dumbbells if you don't have a band) and head to your mat. If you're a beginner, you can even start by doing one set (rather than three), and just work your way up to three sets of 10. Whichever way you go, you'll be standing up straighter once you're finished. Follow along with De La Rue in the video, and stay tuned for next week's workout, which is going to be all about the arms.
Try these four resistance band exercises for core and back strength
1. Seated row: Sitting on your mat, flex your feet in front of you and wrap your band around the soles of your feet. If you're using a band, make sure there's good resistance so that you're challenging yourself. While holding the resistance band handles, sit up straight with your navel pulled toward your spine, shoulders rolled back. Squeeze your elbows and drive them all the way back, pause, and release. Keep your arms narrow to your sides and be sure to keep your neck relaxed and spine straight the entire time. Do 10 reps, up to three sets.
2. Wide seated row: Cross your resistance band in front of you, and from the same position, pull your arms back into a wide row. Keep your elbows nice and upright, not tucked in at the waist. Pull and hold at the top, making sure not to have any strain or drooping of your muscles. Do 10 reps, up to three sets.
3. Roll up, roll down abs: With your legs out straight in front of you and your resistance band around your feet, roll down slowly, one vertebrae at a time until you are flat on the mat. Then roll back up—don't pull yourself up though, use the strength of your abdominal wall. Don't go too fast. Do 10 reps, up to three sets.
4. Plank with resistance leg raise: Come into a traditional plank, but place one of your feet through the band and hold the handles in the position. As a modification, you can remain in the plank and hold. For more of a challenge, pull against the resistance band and raise your leg up and down while keeping your back straight and your core engaged the whole time. Do 10 reps on your left side, then 10 on your right, and switch.
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