Introducing a total-body strength training workout that uses a resistance band so you can tone up wherever, whenever
Maria Menounos has been called the hardest-working woman in showbiz. She’s also known for having a killer body, but a calendar full of commitments means less time to squeeze in exercise. “I may not have time for an official ‘workout’ many days, but I choose the harder, more physical option all the time,” says Maria. “I carry my own bags, take the stairs, and walk instead of sitting or riding. I make every second count.” She calls this strategy ABM, for “always be moving,” in her New York Times best-selling book, The EveryGirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness. [Tweet her tip!]
Her go-go-go lifestyle is one reason Maria likes using a resistance band for strength moves. “You can tuck it into your luggage or your desk drawer for on-the-spot exercise,” she says. To show you exactly how it works, we asked her longtime friend and trainer, Andrea Orbeck, to design a band-focused routine that targets your entire body in just 10 minutes (find more moves in Maria’s book). Use the band to firm up those large, calorie-guzzling muscles (legs, butt, abs and back) and nip your exercise excuses in the bud. That sounds very “everygirl” to us. When you're done, take your fitness to the next level with The Resistance Band Cardio Workout.
How it works: Two or 3 times a week, warm up for 5 minutes, then do 1 set of each move in order without resting; repeat the circuit once or twice.
Total Time: up to 15 minutes
1. Lateral Shuffle with Squat
Place a band around thighs and stand with feet hip-width apart (band should be taut). Step out to the left and lower into a deep squat.
Bring right foot in so feet are hip-width apart again; rise up and repeat to the right side on the next rep. Continue back and forth, keeping the band taut the entire time.
To keep the toning focused on your glutes, pull your knees wide against the tension of the band the entire time.
2. Seated Row
Sit tall with chest raised and knees bent in front of you, feet flexed. Loop a band around soles of feet and hold the other end with both hands, palms facing down and arms straight. Keeping legs still, draw hands toward rib cage.
Hold for 1 count, then return to starting position and repeat.
3. Four-Part Plank
With a band around your thighs, get in push-up position with legs straight and hands aligned under shoulders. Tighten abs so body is straight from head to heels, and make sure there’s no tension in the band.
Lift your left leg lower it, then repeat with right leg. Lower chest toward the floor, press up, jump feet wide, then back together to complete 1 rep.
Place a band around thighs, stand with weight on right leg, and raise arms in front of you. Extend left leg to the side, toes pointed on floor.
Lift left leg several inches, then tap toes lightly to the floor. Next, raise leg out to the rear diagonal and lower to complete 1 rep.
This is a very targeted hip exercise. To get the most out of it, keep your weight on your standing leg and avoid arching your back or leaning to one side (that's cheating!). When you lift your leg to the rear diagonal, rotate it out from the hip slightly.
5. Resistance Band Lat Pulldown
Stand holding an end of a band in each hand overhead, abs tight and shoulders pulled down. Using your large back muscles, pull the band wider as you lower hands toward chest.
Lift chest high as you bring the band down. Extend arms back to starting position and repeat.