Tight, taut, flexed – we’re talk­ing about this stretchy work­out won­der and your mus­cles if you know how to use it prop­erly

Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Get a full-body sweat sesh out of a re­sis­tance band

Feel­ing tense? Not as much as the rub­ber band you’re striv­ing to pull up over your head as you lunge, which is ex­actly why work­ing out with a re­sis­tance band has such great and var­ied pay­offs for your body. ‘This piece of kit chal­lenges mus­cle en­durance and sculpts toned limbs,’ says Abi Dew­berry, master trainer at Best’s Boot­camp, Lon­don. ‘Us­ing just one band in a state of ten­sion, th­ese five ex­er­cises will put all your ma­jor mus­cle groups to work.’ How? By mak­ing you strug­gle against the band while it’s stretched – shak­ing limbs ga­lore – which works deeper into your mus­cles to ac­ti­vate what’s al­ready there and build more of the same. It may be small, but you’ll feel the burn.

1 DEAD­LIFT WITH BENT-OVER ROW Tar­gets: Back, glutes, ham­strings

(a) Stand on the mid­dle of the band, feet hip-width apart, and hold the ends, wrap­ping any ex­cess around your hands so it’s taut. Keep­ing your back and your arms straight, slightly bend your knees and fold for­ward at the hips, stick­ing your bum back and out, un­til your hands are at shin height.

(b) From here, pull your el­bows up high, keep­ing them tucked into your body and end­ing with your hands at waist height. Slowly lower your hands back down, re­turn to the start­ing po­si­tion and re­peat.

2 LAT­ERAL RAISE Tar­gets: Del­toids, obliques

(a) Start hold­ing one end of the band in your right hand and stand­ing on the other end, with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides.

(b) Keep­ing your back straight, use your core and obliques to lift your right arm straight out to the side un­til it reaches shoul­der height. Then slowly lower.

BENT-OVER TRICEP KICK-BACK Tar­gets: Triceps, lower back, core

(a) Stand on the band, feet wider than hip-width apart, and hold the ends. Slightly bend your knees and hinge at the hips, keep­ing your back straight, un­til your hands are at shin height. Pull your arms back so your hands are next to your hips. This is your start­ing po­si­tion.

(b) Keep­ing your up­per arms still, straighten your arms with­out lock­ing your el­bows. Now re­verse back to the start­ing po­si­tion with con­trol, and re­peat.

BI­CEP CURL Tar­gets: Bi­ceps

(a) Stand on the mid­dle of the band, feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Hold the ends of the band, wrap­ping any ex­cess around your hands to make it taut. Keep your back straight and your arms by your sides.

(b) Curl your arms up, bring­ing your fists to your shoul­ders, then slowly lower your arms all the way back down. Keep your el­bows tucked into your body through­out and don’t let your shoul­ders roll for­ward. Re­peat.


(a) Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with your left foot on the mid­dle of the band. Hold­ing the ends in each hand, ex­tend your arms straight above your head.

(b) Step back into a lunge with the right leg, so your right knee is just above the floor and your left thigh is par­al­lel to the floor. Re­set to stand­ing, keep­ing your hands above your head through­out.

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