If you are looking to invest in your next piece of workout equipment, you should consider buying a pack of mini resistance bands for resistance band exercises. They’ve become my number one tool that I use regularly for myself and my clients. Mini resistance bands are becoming increasingly popular and for a good reason too. They are light weight and do not take up much room, which makes them ideal for travelling. I always keep a pack in my bag wherever I go. They allow me to get an effective workout in without needing much space or any other equipment. One of their best features are that they’re relatively inexpensive. You can easily find them in most fitness stores for around $10-$20.
The versatility is almost ridiculous. Depending on my goals, I use them for mobility, strength training, abs and even cardio. Since there is no specific way to use them, the options are endless. One example would be using them during your warmup to help target and activate specific muscles or muscle groups. I’ll either use them to activate my glutes before leg day or to properly engage my lats and shoulders for upper body. They are not exclusive to one area; they can be used for resistance band exercises to workout any part of your body.
A pack typically comes in three different levels of resistance. As you begin to build strength you can switch out the band to continue to challenge yourself. I also love the “burn” you get while using them. Since resistance bands do not rely on gravity, your muscles are constantly under tension. For example, if you perform a squat with a band placed on your thighs the legs are working against the band even at the starting position. As you begin to lower down, the band continues to force the leg muscles to engage. The constant tension on the muscles will eventually lead to the “burning” sensation in places you didn’t even know existed! Below are a few of my favourite exercises with the mini bands.
This is a fun circuit that will target your core and lower body while bringing your heart rate up for that extra calorie burn. Make sure to properly warm up for 5 minutes before starting and cool down once the workout is complete.
- Set of mini resistance bands
- Yoga mat (optional)
- Completed as a circuit
- Take minimal breaks in between each exercise.
- Once you complete all 6 exercises rest for 60 seconds
- Repeat the entire sequence for 4 rounds
Curtsy lunge to leg abduction
For this variation of resistance band exercises, place the band above the knees on your thighs. Begin with your hands on your hips and feet hip-width apart. Step back with your right foot placing it behind and outside of your left foot. Lower your hips until your right thigh is parallel with the floor. The right knee should hover slightly above the ground. Keep the shoulders back and core engaged.
Come back to the starting position without touching the right foot on the ground and abduct the right leg out to the side. Return into your curtsy. That’s one rep. Repeat for 12-15 reps before moving on to the other side. **Try to perform this exercise without having to tap your foot on the ground to add extra balance.
Low squat hold with hip abduction
Keep the mini band above your knees, bring your feet hip-width apart. Begin to bend your knees and shoot your butt back and lower into a squat. Keep your core engaged, shoulders back
Stay in your low squat position and lift your right heel up. Rotate the right knee out to the side while pivoting on your toes. Return the knee the starting position. That is one rep. Repeat for 15-20 reps before switching to the other side.
Start with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Turn the right foot out while keeping your left foot facing forward. Loop the resistance band around your right foot and grip the band with the right hand. to complete these resistance band exercises
Keeping your legs straight, arms extended into a “T” begin to lift yourself back up into an upright position using the strength of your core. Pause at the top before returning down slowly. That is one rep. Repeat for 15 reps before moving to the other side.
Bear crawl hold with quick toe taps
Return the mini band above your knees on the thighs for this resistance band exercise. Begin on all fours in a tabletop position with your shoulders directly above your wrists and hips above the knees. Maintain a neutral neck and spine. Lift your knees slightly off the floors.
Keeping your knees slightly hovered, tap the right foot out to the side then quickly switch to the left foot bringing it out. Continue alternating between each foot for a total of 20 reps.
Single leg bridge into cross crunch
Keep the band above the knees on your thighs. Lay on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring your arms behind your head with elbows bent. Lift your right leg up into the air foot flexed. Pushing through your left heel lift your hips up into a bridge position.
Slowly lower your hips down while keeping the right leg extended. Once your hips are on the floor bend the right knee and begin to twist from the torso bringing the left elbow to knee then lower your shoulders back onto the floor. That’s one rep. Repeat for 15 reps on the same leg before moving onto the left leg.
Plank with donkey kick
Begin in an elbow plank with the mini band above your knees on your thighs. Shoulders should be directly over the elbows, abs engaged towards the spine and neck neutral. Lift the right leg off the ground and bend the knee with the foot flexed.
Try not to twist your hips as you lift your right heel up towards the ceiling. Squeeze your glute at the top then slowly lower the bent leg down. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions before moving on to the left leg.
By: Megan Brezinski – 4 Points Health and Wellness