These days you can get fit and tone up without making a huge investment. Working out at home is becoming increasingly popular because it is convenient, creates a positive workout environment and is private. But there are a few tools you can use to increase the variety in your home gym and that includes a band. Band exercises are easy on the joints and they provide an easy way to challenge the muscles without using a whole lot of weight.

The following is an example of how you can shape up at home with a band.

1. Lunges with a Band

Purpose:

  • To strengthen the muscles of the hamstrings and butt with special emphasis on the quadriceps.

Execution:

  • Start by taking a big step forwards and place the middle of the band under your front foot.
  • Hold the ends of the band in each hand and bring them up near your chest.
  • Slowly bend your back knee towards the ground, keeping your back straight (inhale).
  • From there, extend both knees to bring you back up to the top (exhale).
  • For additional resistance, swing the ends of the band over your shoulder or hold them closer to your head.

2. Squats with a Band

Purpose:

  • To target the larger muscles of the legs.

Execution:

  • Stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart and place the band under your feet.
  • Get a good hold of the ends of the band in your hands and stretch it out over your shoulder.
  • Bend the knees, bringing your butt closer to the ground while keeping your back straight (inhale) until your knees are parallel with the floor.
  • Push your body back up to the starting position (exhale) feeling the resistance of the band in your legs.
  • For additional resistance, hold the ends of the band closer to your head.

3. Chest Press with a Band

Purpose:

  • To work the muscles of the chest (pectoralis major/minor).

Execution:

  • Sit down in a chair and wrap the band around your back, feed it through your armpits and grab hold of the ends.
  • Wrap the band around your hands a few times to ensure there is no slack when your hands are closest to your chest and then push your arms away out in front of you (exhale).
  • Slowly release the band back down towards the starting position (inhale) and then repeat.

4. Biceps Curls with a Band

Purpose:

  • To develop the muscles of the front/upper arm (biceps brachii).

Execution:

  • Stand up straight, shoulder-width apart, and place the band under your feet.
  • Grasp each end of the band in your hands with your palms facing forward, arms fully extended, and wrap the band around your hands if necessary to remove any slack left in the band.
  • Curl both hands up at the same time, keeping your elbows at your side pointing down at the floor (exhale).
  • Slowly lower your hands all the way down until your arm is fully extended (inhale) and then repeat.

5. Triceps Extensions with a Band

Purpose:

  • To develop the medial head of the upper-posterior arm (triceps brachii).

Execution:

  • Stand up straight and place one end of the band under your right heel.
  • Grab the other end with your right hand and extend it right up over your head until your elbow is fully extended (if this is too difficult, try it sitting down) and the band is running along your back.
  • Slowly bend the elbow (inhale) making sure to keep the elbow pointing up towards the sky at all times. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions and then switch hands.

6. Ab Tilts with a Band

Purpose:

  • This exercise strengthens the muscles on the sides of the abdominal (obliquus externus abdominis).

Execution:

  • Start by securing your band under your right foot and grasp the other end with your right hand.
  • Wrap the band around your hand a few times so that no slack remains when your arm is down by your side.
  • Slowly lower the right side of your body sideways towards the floor as low as you can without bending your back forwards or backwards (inhale).
  • Making absolutely sure that your back stays completely straight and both shoulders remain facing forward, return back to the starting position (exhale). Continue on to the left so that a nice stretch is created in your oblique muscle.
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