Resistance bands are the only gear you need to stay in shape this summer

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Want a workout you can do on the go? The summer season is a popular time to travel. But being on vacation doesn’t mean you have to take a vacation from your healthy habits.

Whether you’re spending time on the coast, road trip to the Poconos or jet set abroad, you want a pump up routine that’s quick, easy and accessible. And one of the most portable pieces of exercise equipment that you should never leave home is a versatile resistance band.

Resistance bands are inexpensive and lightweight, making them the perfect travel companion. And with a little creativity, this small but mighty muscle maker is the only toning tool needed to power through endless workout options, from strength training to stretching those sore spots. Another advantage of resistance bands is that they are gentler on sensitive joints compared to heavier fitness equipment or free weights.

Here are my three favorite total-body resistance exercises to include on your summer excursion. You will need a long resistance band and a loop band. Both can be purchased from Amazon, Target, or Walmart.

  • Start by sitting down and wrapping your long resistance band around the center of the feet so that it is the same length at each end.

  • Straighten the legs and keep your back straight as you pull both sides of the band straight back until the elbows graze the ribs. Squeeze the shoulder blades together for a count of two and then release. Repeat 15 times.

  • Start by placing your long resistance band behind your back so that it rests on the shoulder blades. Hold one end with each hand. Set the feet in a stationary lunge position with the knees forming a 90-degree angle, with the front knee over the ankle.

  • Extend the arms out to the sides of the body at shoulder height. As you stand from your lunge, bring the arms together until they are parallel. Repeat this sequence 10 times, then switch legs.

  • Place the loop strap on the legs, just above the knees. It should be smooth and even.

  • With your weight on your heels, hinge back at the hips to lower the body into a squat. Stay low as you sideways two large steps to the left and then two large steps to the right. Repeat for 30 counts (15 per leg).

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