Don’t waste your time! These multitasking moves from Self help you see results fast.
Weights aren’t the only way to get sculpted: Resistance bands are powerful (and portable) tools for strength training anywhere. These low-tech| lightweight fitness props are perfect for at-home workouts or tossing into your suitcase. (Maybe that’s why so many celebs| including Jessica Biel and Sofia Vergara| use them when they’re on the road.)
Bands have other advantages| too. They’re great for targeting multiple muscles at once and give you a greater range of motion than other kinds of equipment. Plus| “by creating resistance in multiple directions| your core has to stabilize to maintain the correct movement pattern|” says Dennys Lozada| personal trainer and instructor at The Fhitting Room in New York City. As a result| your body builds more muscle fiber and burns more calories both during and after exercise.
Perhaps the best thing about resistance bands| though| is how adaptable they are to any fitness level. “You are the one who dictates how much tension there will be when you’re pushing or pulling|” Lozada says. A set of flat| looped bands of varying resistance levels (light| medium and heavy) will give you the most versatility| he adds; start with the light band and move up from there. Here are five multitasking exercises to try:
The Workout: Do 20 reps of each move| with a light-resistance looped band. Do 4 to 5 sets| 3 times a week.
- Squat & Press: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart| band under middle of feet. Hold band with palms up at chest level so band forms a rectangle between hands and feet. Keeping weight on heels| lower into a squat until thighs are parallel to floor. Stand and thrust arms overhead. Return to start.Leg Raise: Start on hands and knees with band looped around thumbs and right foot. Extend right leg straight back| foot flexed| toes to floor. Lift foot to hip level. Lower and repeat. Do reps. Switch sides; repeat.Band Push-Up: Start in a high plank| wrists under shoulders| band stretched across back (just below shoulder blades) and looped around thumbs. Bend elbows to lower toward floor. Press back to start.Bent-Over Row: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart| band under middle of feet| knees soft. Hinge forward| keeping back flat| and grab band on both sides at knee level. Hold elbows close to body as you pull hands to chest| squeezing shoulder blades at top of each row. Return to start.Core Twist: Securely loop one end of band around a door handle| the other around your hands. Stand a few feet from door with left side facing it so band is taut. Extend arms in front of you| palms together. Engaging abs| rotate upper body 45 degrees toward door| lessening tension. Twist back to start. Do reps. Switch sides; repeat.
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