We’re slowly returning back to normal and that means the gyms will be re-opening. You may have chosen not to work out while in lockdown without gym access, chosen to do some light exercise or simply not had enough space to workout. So, with that in mind, we'll give you some handy exercises to add to your routine to help you get back on track.
You may be tempted to return to traditional weights at the gym as soon as they’re available to you but consider switching, or sticking, to resistance bands. Bands put less pressure on your joints and are able to target large and small muscle groups at the same time, something you don’t get with dumbbells. Adding a resistance band
your gym workout could provide far better results.
A lateral walk is an effective, simple inner and outer thigh exercise that will get you feeling the burn. Using a resistance band to up the ante of this exercise can transform it from a simple warm-up exercise to a strong thigh and glute workout. To do the exercise:
- To begin, stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Loop the band around both of your ankles, the band should be taut but not stretched.
- Then slightly bend your knees in order to engage your glutes, with your weight evenly distributed on both feet.
- While in this position, take one large step sideways with your left leg, then return your left leg back to where it started.
- Repeat for 10-12 reps on each leg.
Push-ups are a classic exercise to perform for gaining arm strength. While they are excellent and effective on their own, there are ways to further their effectiveness and feel even better results. Use a resistance band to level up your push-ups. To use a resistance band with a push-up:
- Lower yourself into the push-up position.
- Grab the resistance band so one end is in each hand with the band going around your back. With your palms flat on the floor just below your shoulders.
- Lower yourself until you almost touch the floor with your chest and then push back up to your starting position.
The band adds more resistance for your muscles to work against when pushing back up to your starting position. The added level of resistance makes the exercise slightly harder but you will be far better at building the muscles in your arms. As you’ve made the exercise harder, start off with slightly fewer reps than you would normally achieve with a push-up and build up to normal. A good tip when performing this exercise is to keep your body as straight as possible throughout the exercise, including your head, in order to avoid strain and get the most out of the exercise.
Resistance Band Deadlift
This variation of a muscle-building exercise can work wonders for strength training. To perform this slightly different deadlift, switch out the weight for a resistance band. How to do it:
- Begin by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Stand on the resistance band, as close to the middle as you can, then grasp the band at the other end with both hands.
- Slightly bend your knees, holding the resistance band taut from under your feet for your starting position.
- Engaging your glutes, triceps and biceps, pull the resistance band with you as you stand up straight.
- Bend back down into your starting position to complete 1 rep.
Using a resistance band instead of a traditional weight has several advantages. As you stand up straight and pull the resistance band with you it gets harder to pull as you go up. This is because the resistance gradually increases the more you pull, forcing your muscles to engage further as you do the exercise. The natural increase in resistance is something you can’t get with traditional weights.
Hollow Body Roll
You need a bit more space for this one, and you may get a few strange looks at the gym but it will be worth it! To complete the exercise:
- Start by lying face-up, with your arms stretched out over your head.
- Loop the resistance band around your wrists, keeping the band taut.
- Lift your shoulders and legs slightly off the floor and hold in this hovered position.
- Use your core to roll your body to the right, staying in your position throughout.
- Rollback to finish 1 rep.
This exercise successfully engages your core for a fun but firm ab workout. The added aspect of the resistance band gives your arms an extra workout alongside it as they work against the resistance to keep the band taut. As an extra bonus, the exercise is probably a bit different to what you would normally include in your routine, keeping your workouts versatile and interesting.
See For Yourself
These exercises are superb at magnifying the intensity and results of your workouts. Add them to your normal routine and see for yourself. Resistance bands are easy to take to the gym with you and a great way to up your gym game. Even better, when you take your own equipment to the gym, you don’t need to wait for other people to finish using it!