If you have done any type of physical therapy, chances are you have used some type of resistance band. As mentioned in an earlier post, I am using one to rehab my fractured ankle. I have also used them for helping out an impingement on my shoulder, sprained ankle, and overused gluteus maximus. Yup, I will get to that. The great thing is physical therapy facilities will usually have enormous rolls of these bands, and they will cut you a piece to bring home so you can do the same exercises at home. They travel well! So even if you aren't in PT anymore, or have never injured yourself (God Bless you), bands are are a great way to intensify a very simple workout.
Resistance bands take up practically no room in your suitcase and won't tip your suitcase over the weight limit. Heck, just put in your carry-on and you are good to go. This way, you can do all your workouts from the comfort of your own hotel room. You can tie a knot in the band and close a door in front of the knot and boom!, you have your own little workout station.
Of course, I am not traveling much these days thanks to a pandemic so I am using them in my living room. I can get a great workout in while my daughter does virtual school in the next room.
I admit my favorite use of the band is to do leg work. Let's hear it for leg day! Let's have this post just be about lower body and I will save upper body and core for another day. Now if you don't have an infinity band, feel free to use a long one and tie it in a knot...but remember...untie it when you are done or bad things will happen!
Here is my overused glute story mentioned above. A few years ago I was doing too much running and not enough strengthening and I developed an overuse injury of my glute muscle. Yup, I overworked my butt. I am not even kidding. My daughter was about 5 or 6 at the time and I remember taking her to Great Adventure and she ran ahead of me and I realized I couldn't run after her. I was in too much pain. Thank goodness I was with my husband and sister to make sure she didn't get too far ahead. After that, I knew I needed to do something. I knew I was way to young to LITERALLY not be able to chase after my child.
I went to physical therapy for a few weeks and in no time I was as good as new! The first two of these exercises I did for PT so you know they are legit! I still use them today along with some other fun ones I list below. I used these bands for my workouts. It comes with five different level bands so you are bound to find one to fit your needs AND it has a cute little carrying case which it makes it easy to pack.
Make sure you do a little warm up. My PT had me do the elliptical for 7 minutes keeping my heels down. But a quick walk outside will do the trick. Enjoy!
Fun name right? This really works the booty and outer thigh. It's actually better than that machine you see at the gym because it a functional move. What? It just means it simulates movement you would do in everyday life. Ever have to side step your way through a crowd? (Ok, maybe not lately, but you know what I mean). Here's how to start:
Put the band around your legs above your knees. Keep you feet and hips parrallel. Sit back in a squat with your weight in your heels like you are about to sit in a chair.
Now take a step to your right keeping your feet parallel and bring your left foot in toward the right while holding this squat position. Do 10 steps and then repeat to the left. If you don't have enough room just step side to side and perform 10 in each direction. Booty should be burning!!!
Lie down on your back with your knees bents. Keep pelvis still (there's some core work on this one) and rotate your right hip dropping the right knee to the side. Do your best to keep the opposite hip down. Repeat 10 times and switch to the other side. Don't be shocked if you notice one side is easier than the other.
Standing tall holding on to a chair or something steady. Wrap band around your legs and then bend your right knee and bring the right side of the band under your right foot. If the length/size/resistance of your band doesn't allow you to put the band under one foot, just keep the band around your thighs. No worries, you will still obtain a great workout. Bend your standing knee slightly and keep your right knee behind your left and flex your right foot. Now send your right foot behind you like you are trying to put your footprint on the wall behind you.
Let's try one more shall we?
Second position plie with a Twist!
Stand facing a a chair or something steady with band around legs above the knees. Turn 90 degrees to your right and step out so your hips and feet are turned out into a second position. Your toes should be pointed to 10 and 2 o'clock. (11 and 1 possibly if you were a ballerina in a former life). Then turn back to starting position. Do this ten times on each side.
Feel free to repeat this entire sequence 2 more times for a nice booty workout. If you have never used a resistance band before, maybe give these moves a go without the band the first round and see how it feels. And please....stretch when you are done. Remember my lack of stretching????