Many of us spend endless hours on a computer or stuck behind a desk each day, but our bodies are meant to move! Exercise bands (especially the ones with handles) are a great way to take a break and do a whole body workout in 10-20 minutes. Twice a week is all it takes to build and maintain muscular strength, balance, and endurance. You can throw a resistance band in your suitcase when you travel so there is no excuse for not working out. Here are 10 easy band exercises to get a whole-body workout no matter where you are:
Fold your band in half and stand with your feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the band at each end, and take a deep breath in as you lift the band to the ceiling. REPEAT deep breathing 3 times before holding the band overhead and pulse-stretch the band 8 times. REPEAT 3 times.2. Bow and Arrow
Hold the folded band at each end. Extend one arm straight out, and stretch the band out with the other hand from the shoulder. Bring the extended arm down to the thigh 8 times, keeping the other hand overhead. Repeat on the other side. This exercise works the entire upper body focusing on the deltoids, triceps, and shoulders.
Stand in the middle of the band with your feet hip width apart. Take one foot out and bring the band together to the opposite side at your waist. Flex the un-banded foot, and lift the leg out to the side 8 times while you lift to the back corner 8 times. Squeeze the hip and glute muscles during each repetition. Pull up through the core and stand tall.4. Bicep Curls
Stand in the middle of the band with your heels together and your feet turned out. Hold each end of the band with your elbows glued to your waist, and lift up to the corner 12 times. Take it a little further by holding your arms out to the corners with elbows slightly bent, and lift 12 times with elbows away from the body.
5. Overhead Tricep Press
Standing in the middle of the band with knees slightly bent, bring the ends of the bands overhead, keeping the elbows close to the head. Press the handles up to the ceiling 12 times.
Sit on the floor with legs extended in front of you with the band wrapped around the bottom of your feet. Sit up tall, pulling the abdominal muscles in towards your spine as you hold the bands together in front of your chest. Tuck your chin into your chest, and roll down to the floor in a slow count of 4. Tuck in again, and roll back up to sitting position. REPEAT 4 times.7. Teasers
Lie on your back with your band around your feet. Tuck your chin in to your chest. Bring your knees into your chest, and sit up to a teaser position with your feet extended at a 45-degree angle from your hips. Roll back down and repeat 6 times.
8. Side Leg Lifts
Wrap your band around one foot, and lie down on your side with the banded leg facing the ceiling. Make a fist as you hold on to the band handles, and place on the floor in front of your chest as you lie on your side. Lift your leg 3 times, going a little further with each lift and lower. Repeat 10 times as you squeeze the leg muscles with each lift. Switch legs.
Give the band workout a chance - it will challenge every muscle in your body and takes a short time. Doing some sort of workout is better than doing nothing at all. To your good health!
Sherry L. Granader is a Sports Nutritionist, National Speaker and Spokesperson, Author of 2 healthy cookbooks, Writer, Ghost Writer, Nationally Certified Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer. She has shared the stage with such celebrities as Whoopi Goldberg, Suze Orman and the late Governor Ann Richards and served as the On-Air Nutritionist for QVC television in the United States and the UK. She has cooked for her favorite bodybuilder, Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk) and his family, shared her nutrition expertise with Chuck Norris on the set of his movie "Sidekicks" and appeared on 8-time Mr. Olympia, Lee Haney's Championship Workouts on ESPN. Sherry hosted her own "Healthy Living" show on PBS for several years. For more information on Sherry, visit www.sgfit.com or write to Sherry at firstname.lastname@example.org.