The best total-body exercises to try with different types of resistance bands

Variety is important, especially when you’re exercising.

These total-body exercises require different types of resistance bands to keep you, literally, on your toes.

Get ready for a full-body work-out that you’re going to love!

Warmup 1: Banded Walk

This exercise is a gentle way to warm up by waking up the muscles in your legs and hips.

For this exercise, you’ll need a mini or hip circle band.

Place the resistance band around your thighs, and start walking forwards. Rather than straight steps forward, put each foot slightly to the side (on a diagonal).

Go 30 steps forward, then 30 steps backward.

You’ll want the resistance band to stay around your thighs. Don’t let it slide down to your knees while you move. It’s essential to protect your knees while you exercise.

Note: If your knees are a concern for you, you can age-proof them!

Warmup 2: Banded Star Jacks

Star jacks increase your heart rate, boost your levels of oxygen, and get your blood flowing.

With a hip circle band

Put the hip circle band around your thighs, stand with your feet hip-distance apart.

Do jumping jacks, raising your arms not higher than shoulder-height. You should feel the burn!

With a pull-up band

These are longer resistance bands that are useful for a lot of different exercises, such as a Victorem pull up band.

Step on the band. Hold the other end in your hands, pulling the band taut. Jump as you would for jumping jacks, making sure your knees stay in line with your feet.

Lower body exercises

Glute bridges

You can do this exercise with a hip circle band or a mini band.

This exercise works your glutes, hips, and hamstrings.

Get a mat and lie down, facing the ceiling (or sky, if you’re outside!). Have the band around your thighs (again, not around your knees). Place your feet on the ground, a foot away from your backside.

While the band stays taut, lift your hips so that your lower back and shoulders are off the ground. Squeeze your glutes as you do this. Hold at the top, then come back down.

Note: To add difficulty for your core muscles, you can place a weight on your stomach.

Standing squats

With a hip circle band

Put the hip circle band around your thighs, and stand with your feet hip-distance apart so that the band is taut.

Move down into a squat while leaning slightly forward, keeping the band taut the whole time. If it’s too easy, move your feet further out to the side.

Note: Make sure your knees are in line with your ankles.

With a pull-up band

Standing up straight with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, stand on the band. Make sure the band is underneath the middle of your feet. You don’t want it to snap up at you in the middle of exercising.

Get into a squat position, bringing the band up and behind each shoulder so that it’s across your upper back.

Now rise into a standing position, making sure your knees are over your toes. The band should be taut the entire time.

Sink back down into your initial position, and repeat.

Hip abduction

You can use either a hip circle or mini resistance band for this exercise.

Lie down on your side on a mat, with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle, and your lower arm stretched out along the floor.

Put the resistance band around your thighs, above your knees. While contracting your glutes, lift the top leg without straightening your knee. Pause at the top and then come back down. Do all your reps on that side, then switch sides.

Press-ups

You’ll need a longer resistance band for this exercise: either one with handles, or a pull-up band.

Get into a plank position, with the band wrapped behind you, around your upper back. Hold one end of the band in each hand. The band should be taut.

Do press-ups as you normally would. With the added resistance, you’ll definitely feel the difference!

Upper body work-outs

Bent over row

For this exercise, use a pull-up band or a resistance band with handles.

With your feet hip-distance apart, loop the band under the middle of your feet and grab the other end with your hands.

Now straighten up so that you are leaning slightly forward with your upper body straight. Bend at the waist and stick out your backside. Pull the band up towards you, making sure your elbows stay close to your body.

Squeeze your shoulder blades together while doing the exercise. You should feel all the muscles across the front of your chest working.

Return slowly to the beginning position, then repeat.

Bicep curls

This exercise works with a pull-up band, a band with handles, or any other long resistance band.

Put your foot on top of the band. Loop the other end of the band around the hand that’s on the same side as your foot, and do bicep curls as usual. Be sure your elbow stays close to your body as you move.

Repeat the same thing on the other side.

Variation: To make it harder, stand with both feet on the band to increase the resistance further.

Resistance bands have many benefits, so you’ll want to make the most of them. I hope you enjoy these full-body work-out exercises!

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