Banded travel workout
Here is a workout series only using bands that I love for traveling! I filmed this on a misty morning in Switzerland on the shore of Lake Geneva, such a great place for a little outdoor workout!
I love elastic workout bands because they are lightweight and small, so they are great for traveling (or for keeping in your bag at work/school if you ever want to do some exercises in downtime), but they can really add a lot of challenge! If you are looking for a set of resistance bands, Blogilates makes them in cute colors and patterns with varying resistances (ie light, medium, heavy) that are designed to be comfortable and not pinch skin.
This first part is all upper body, and the second part is lower body! I recommend a light or medium band for the upper body part, and a medium or heavy band for the lower body moves. For the upper body moves, the movements will generally be pretty small, but still challenging. Do 8-16 reps of each move (16 for smaller movements, and 8 for the larger movements), and feel free to repeat it 2-3 times if you like!
Part 1 - Upper body
1) Bring the band around your hands. Start with your arms straight in front of you at shoulder height, with your palms facing in. Press out against the band - it will be a small movement, especially if your band has high resistance
2) Hold your arms straight, lift and lower
3) Flip your palms to face down, and repeat the series
1) Bring the band behind you around your hands, and lift your arms above your hips with palms up
2) Bend your elbows just slightly, then extend fully straight
3) Hold your arms straight, lift upward
4) Flip palms to face inward, repeat
5) Flip palms to face down (the hardest!), repeat
1) Bring one end of the band around your right thigh (or a bench, railing, etc), lift your leg to hip height. Hold the other end with your right hand, palm facing up and arm straight - keep tension on the band. Pull against the band for small bicep curls. Try to keep the leg still.
2) Flip your palm to face in and repeat.
3) Repeat on the other side.
Upper Back Rows
1) Loop one end of the band around your right foot and hold on to the other end with your right hand. Straighten your leg and lift it up.
2) Pull your elbow straight back in a rowing motion
Part 2 - lower body
For all moves, place your band a few inches above your knees - avoid putting it directly over your knee joints to avoid injury. If you don’t want to or can’t jump, I also included some options for low-impact.
Just starting with simple squats! Keep your chest lifted and weight shifted back towards your heels. Keep gentle pressure out against the band, but knees should track straight over your toes.
Keep the squat position, but add a jump at the top! Be sure to land with bent knees to minimize the impact. If you prefer low-impact, stick with regular squats.
A level up in difficulty from squat jumps - extend your arms and legs out to the side to make a star shape as you explode up in your jump, pressing out against the resistance band with your legs! Option to stick with squat jumps or regular squats.
Hold a low and challenging squat position, shoulders and chest lifted, weight shifted back into the heels. Drop down an inch or two and then lift back up only to where you started. Try to stay as low as you can!
Staying low in your squat, shift your weight and balance onto your left foot. Extend your right leg straight out to the side against the resistance band and tap the ground, without putting weight on the right foot. Return your right leg back to the squat position, and repeat. Then repeat on the left!
Alternating side squats:
A similar move, but this time you will transfer your weight onto the stepping foot! Step out with the right leg into a wider squat position, do a squat, then step back to the center for a squat. Repeat and the left side, and continue to alternate for the set. Challenge yourself to stay low even in between squats!
Banded kickbacks and pulses:
Balance on one foot with a soft bend in the knee, hinging forward slightly from the hips while keeping your core engaged and back as flat as you can. Extend the other leg back straight behind you with your foot flexed and lift up against the band. Lower to a hover above the floor, and repeat. Once you have done a set of full-range kickbacks, hold at the top and do tiny pulses to lift and lower your leg just a few inches. Then switch to the other side!
That’s it, congrats, you did it! You can repeat it 1 or 2 more times too if you want!