Hi my friends, how are you doing today?
I’m still kicking that funk I mentioned a few days ago … but I’m feeling good after a long walk with Skyler and Roadie around the park earlier this morning. Even a little bit of fresh air every day does wonders, am I right?
So. Let’s talk about workouts in this season of being quarantined. I shared a bit on the subject yesterday, and the reality of it is that working out exclusively at home (without childcare or a sense of a “normal” routine) can be tricky. I know I’m starting to feel it over here!
I’m definitely missing the little things that are easy to take for granted like an hour or so to work out solo and uninterrupted at the gym, and even access to more gym equipment than I have here at our apartment. That said, all we can do is our best and take it all one day at a time.
Fun fact, resistance bands are more effective than you might think. They provide plenty of functional strength and offer better injury prevention than other forms of exercise. If you have a set or even access to one that is collecting dust right now, it would be as good of a time as ever to break it out and join me for a workout!
Today’s band workout is in the form of Tabatas. You might have noticed that I’ve been all about them lately, and – in my opinion – it’s because they fly by!
Tabatas are 4-minute bouts of exercises. You follow a :20 work, :10 rest pattern and do the same exercise 4-8 times in a row before moving on to the next.
This workout splits the normal 8 sets of one Tabata into two different exercises, 4 sets each. For example, the first Tabata set calls for 4 rounds of jumping jacks (:20 work/:10 rest), and 4 rounds of grass grabbers (:20 work/:10 rest). This totals 8 sets, which is 4 minutes long.
Make sure to click over to my Tabata Training playlist to follow the :20 work, :10 rest pattern easily. There is a coach timing it all for you and cues you when to start and stop during the 4 minutes of each song.
Just like any workout, please make sure you’re cleared by a doctor to complete a new exercises, listen to your body, and rest between exercises or whenever it’s needed!
Now let’s get on to the cues and demos …
(catch the video, too!)
• jumping jacks
Jumping jacks are great for the entire body, including your heart and lungs. There’s no doubt in my mind that you have all done these before, so here two simple tips: your feet should land shoulder width or wider as your hands meet above your head, and keep your arms slightly bent. Complete in a pattern of :20 work/:10 rest, 4x.
• grass grabbers
Start standing with your feet wider than your shoulders. Push your hips back and lower into a sumo squat position while bringing your right arm to touch the ground right underneath you. Quickly stand up and jump your feet in together so that they land directly under your hips. (Land on the balls of your feet.) Hop your feet back out to the start position and repeat the squat and reach down again with the left arm, then back up. This is one rep. Complete in a pattern of :20 work/:10 rest, 4x.
• donkey kicks
Start by holding the band in each hand with your palms facing down. Get on the floor on all fours with your knees under your hips and wrists under your shoulders. Place your right foot in the band and lift your right knee off of the mat to a hover.
Tighten your core and push through your heel and extend your leg all the way straight. Hold for a second, then return to the starting position.
Focus on engaging your glutes throughout the exercise and keeping your back neutral.
• chest presses
Start standing and place your right foot down behind the left and on the center of the band with a handle in each hand. Bring the handles to your shoulders with palms facing forward. Your elbows should be slightly behind your body. Standing tall with your abs engaged, slowly press your arms straight out in front of your chest and shoulders then slowly pull elbows back, but keep them lifted. Repeat for :20 work/:10 rest, 4x.
• lateral raises
Start in a standing position holding the resistance band handles by your sides with your palms facing in. Step on the band with one or two feet, depending on the resistance you’re looking for. Begin with your arms on the outsides of your thighs and slowly raise your arms out to the sides. Try to keep your elbows straight. Make sure to keep your shoulders down and your body neutral. Repeat for :20 work/:10 rest, 4x.
• bent over rows
Start in a standing position holding the resistance band handles by your sides with your palms facing in. Step on the band with two feet, shoulder-width apart. Maintaining a braced core and flat back, bend slightly at the knees and forward at the hips.
Leading with your elbows, pull the handles of the band back and bring your shoulder blades closer together.
Hold this for about three seconds, then slowly release back to the starting position. (You can increase the resistance by grabbing the band under the handles.) Repeat in a :20 work/:10 rest pattern, 4x.
• high rows
Start by standing in the middle of a resistance band. Cross the band so that you are holding the right handle with your left hand and the left handle with your right hand. Palms should be facing you, and your shoulders should be over your hips with your knees slightly bent.
Keeping the band handles close to your body, raise them to your shoulders while you bend your elbows out to the sides.
Slowly lower them back down to the starting position. Repeat for :20 work/:10 rest, 4x.
• squat to leg raises
Start by holding the band and stepping onto it in a standing position with your feet under your hips, shoulder-width apart. Bring your hands up to your shoulders and face your palms towards you. Bend your knees to slowly squat down as if you were going to sit. (Your rear drops back as you lower.)
Keep your feet and knees neutral (pointed forward), and don’t let your knees go in front of your toes. Pause here for a second and then slowly shift your weight to the right to raise and straighten your left leg. Keep your core tight and hold this for a second, then come back to the starting position and repeat for :20 work/:10 rest 4x.
Switch sides and complete the same exercise with your weight shifting to the left, lifting your right leg.
• biceps curls
Start holding both handles and step on the band with one foot slightly in front of the other. Begin with your arms fully extended down by your hips and palms facing forward.
Curl your arms up to your shoulders and focus on only engaging your biceps to move your arm. Hold for a second, then slowly lower your arms to the starting position.
If it feels to easy, step both feet onto the band with your feet hip-width apart. If that feels to easy, bump up your band strength or hold the band lower than the handles. Repeat for :20 work/:10 rest, 4x.
• triceps extensions
Start by standing with one foot in front of the other and place the center of the band under the back foot. Bring the handles together for more resistance, or drop one handle for less resistance. Bring the handle(s) straight up above the top of your head.
Slowly lower the handles behind the back of your head until your elbows bend at 90 degrees, keeping your elbows close to the sides of your head.
Slowly press hands back up up overhead. Complete in a pattern of :20 work/:10 rest, 4x.
Put your resistance band around something stable to secure an anchor point. Grab onto each handle or one handle (depending on how you secure it) and bring your arms out straight in front of your chest. Your feet should be a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Take a slight bend to the knees and start by holding the bands in front of your left shoulder.
(If you don’t have a good anchor point, you can step on the band with the loop as demonstrated in the pictures and video.)
Pull the band diagonally across your body toward your right hip and allow your lower torso to twist with the motion.
Slowly control the band back to the starting position to complete one rep. Repeat for :20 work/:10 rest for 4 sets on the right, then 4 sets on the left.
• cardio bonus: froggers
Begin in a plank position on all fours, with your body in a straight line and your legs and arms shoulder-width apart. Make sure that your hands are under your shoulders. Quickly jump forward like a frog into a wide squat position. Your knees and feet should land just outside of your elbows. You can return back to the starting position from here, or add in an extra challenge of moving your hands off of the floor and in front of you with the jump. (This is what is demonstrated in the video.) Modify by stepping back and forward, one leg at a time instead of jumping. Complete in a :20 work/:10 rest pattern, 8x.
I hope you enjoy the workout if you give it a try, and get moving even if it’s just a little bit each day during the madness. Thank you for checking in today, and I’ll catch ya back here for a new set of Friday Favorites!
More Resistance Band Workouts:
More LIL Tabata Workouts:
Enjoy and take care out there!
Disclaimer: Although I am a certified personal trainer, I am not necessarily your personal trainer. The workouts I post are what work best for me, and might not be the right type of exercises for you. I always recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routine.