Home workouts are fantastic if you are short on time, don’t fancy the gym or prefer to focus on your own. However, if you are wanting to increase the intensity it can be difficult with body-weight exercises alone.
The answer- resistance bands!
Resistance bands can be inexpensive, come in different levels of resistance and don’t take up any space in your home or travel bag- if you want to take your workouts on the road!
Try these exercises with a resistance band and see how a resistance band might just be the answer for ramping up your workouts.
Place the band under your feet (make sure this is secure) and then over your head so it hangs almost like a necklace.
Start with the feet just over hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand, held at the shoulders. Bend at the hips and the knees, drawing the hips back as if you are going to sit on a small stool behind you. As you come back up to standing, think about squeezing the hips forward, the resistance band will increase in tension giving you more resistance for your squat.
Just like the squat, loop the band under the feet, making sure its secure. Stand up straight and hold onto the sides of the band until you find a comfortable but challenging resistance. Keep the knees soft and bend at the hips, drawing them back and keeping your hands close to your legs. Keep the core engaged and the spine neutral. Then return to standing by squeezing the glutes and drawing the hips forward.
This time we are looping the band under one foot, then over the head much like in the squat. The foot with the band underneath stays in front, the other foot is placed further back in a split squat (or static lunge) position. From here bend both knees to a 90 degree angle, try to keep your torso central to both legs with a slight forward tilt. Think about squeezing the glutes (butt cheeks) both on the way down and on the way up. Keep the feet in the same position and repeat the movement until all reps are completed.
Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, place the resistance band across the hips and loop each end underneath your heels. Tilt your pelvis under as if trying to tuck in your bum before you start to lift the hips, squeezing the glutes until your hips are in line with your shoulders and your knees. Then lower the hips while maintaining that squeeze in the glutes. If you start to feel it in your quads (front of the thighs) then play around with your foot position and think about gently lifting the toes off the floor.
Firstly, twist your resistance band in the middle to double loop it (see video below) and get yourself into a table-top position. Place one foot through the band so it is looped around the lower leg (shin), then loop the other end of the band around the other foot. The foot with the band around it will then be lifted behind you with the knee bent. From here think about squeezing that glute to lift the knee (lower leg along with it) and lower until the thigh is in line with the body. Repeat and feel the burn!
Try performing each exercise for 10-12 repetitions for 3-4 rounds for a great lower body session! Give yourself no more than 30 seconds rest between each exercise.