Simply irresistible: Resistance bands – Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune

Side to side shuffle

( Brandon Thibodeaux, Chicago Tribune )

Standing on your band with your feet in a narrow stance, hold your resistance band with both hands. Step one foot to the right and then move the left foot to meet it. Make bigger steps for greater resistance. Repeat and alternate direction for each repetition.

Tip: Focus on keeping your upper body posture in alignment. Exaggerate side steps for greater resistance and isolating muscle groups.

Muscles used: Glutes and thighs


( Brandon Thibodeaux, Chicago Tribune )

Standing with one foot in front of the other, place your resistance band under your front foot, and reach the other foot back into a lunge position. Bend your elbows with your hands facing each other as they hold the resistance band. As you lunge, lower both knees so the front leg forms a 90-degree angle. Push back up to the starting position; alternate with your other leg.

Tip: The knee of your front leg shouldn’t go over your toes when you lunge. Keep your abdominal muscles engaged and your hands in a stationary position.

Muscles used: Glutes and quads

Bicep and squat combo

( Brandon Thibodeaux, Chicago Tribune )

Standing on the center of the band, feet shoulder-width apart, use both hands to hold the ends of the resistance band. Pull your elbows close to your body, palms facing up, pulling your hands up toward your shoulders and lower all the way down in a bicep curl. Once you’ve mastered this, add a squat movement during your bicep curl.

Tip: Keep your elbows glued to the side of your rib cage.

Muscles used: Biceps, glutes and quadriceps

Front shoulder raise

( Brandon Thibodeaux, Chicago Tribune )

Standing with both feet on your resistance band, hold onto each end of the band with your palms facing down. Your arms should be relaxed by your sides. Lift your arms and hands together forward, up to shoulder level. Lower and repeat. If this is too difficult, you may alternate your arms.

Tips: Pay attention to keeping your wrists and elbows firm while holding your core tight.

Muscles used: Shoulders

Butt blaster

( Brandon Thibodeaux, Chicago Tribune )

Get on your hands and knees, with the middle of the resistance band wrapped around your right foot. Your hands should be under your shoulders holding the handles of the resistance band. Extend your right leg and your right foot backward, pushing through your heel. Pause on the extension and hold to a count of two, then bring your knee in toward your belly; repeat. Alternate to your other foot and repeat the same movement.

Tips: Focus on squeezing your glutes, especially on the pause at the extension. Keep your body weight balanced with your hand position, and focus on engaging your core.

Muscles used: Glutes and abdominals

Bent-over row

( Brandon Thibodeaux, Chicago Tribune )

Holding your resistance band with both hands, stand on the band with your feet in a narrow stance, slightly tilted forward at your hips with your knees slightly bent. Extend your arms forward and pull the band up with both hands facing each other, bending your elbows and pulling back in a rowing pull-back motion. Row your arms back while squeezing your shoulder blades at the top of the movement. Then, return to starting position to repeat.

Tip: Keep your chest lifted, pay attention that you maintain your body posture and keep your knees slightly bent. Focus on the squeeze at the top of the movement.

Muscles used: Shoulders, lats and rhomboids (in your back)

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