Last Updated on November 21, 2019 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
This post was sponsored by Amazon as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Let’s face it: the 5 week span between Thanksgiving and New Years can be chaotic. Between holiday parties, school functions, and visits with family, it can feel like every minute of every day is occupied. Inclement weather and holiday hours for everything (schools, work, gyms, etc.) only add to the holiday chaos. This time of year self care – especially our exercise routines – can plummet to the bottom of the priority list. The good news is: there are alternatives to keep you active, even when time is short. This full body resistance band workout for runners can be done anywhere. All you need is a resistance band, and 20 minutes or less.
How do Resistance Bands Work?
Similar to lifting traditional weights, with a resistance band, your muscles contract to generate force to stabilize and control throughout the exercise. They come in a variety of styles and resistance levels, and can be found anywhere from CrossFit gyms to physical therapy rehabilitation centers. Best of all, they are inexpensive, and easy to carry, so you can get in a workout no matter where you may be.
Where to Buy Them?
This workout will target every major muscle group in your body. Each exercise should be done at a controlled rate of one to two seconds per lift, one to two seconds per release. Don’t forget to breathe! Exhale during the hard part, inhale on the release.
For safety sake: always wear shoes. This will ensure the band does not slip off of your socks or bare feet.
Start with 5 minutes of cardiovascular warmup. If you have access to a treadmill, elliptical, or bike in your home, hop on! Or you can elevate your heart rate with jumping jacks, jogging in place, or even marching in place. The goal of the warmup is to increase blood flow to your muscles to prepare them for exercise. As such, your warmup doesn’t have to be terribly difficult: I recommend keeping your effort at “conversational pace”. In other words, you are increasing your heart rate and breathing, however, you are not so out of breath that you couldn’t carry on a conversation.
Repeat each exercise for 10 – 15 repetitions. Work your way through the entire list, then repeat 2-3 times, based on your available time!
Bent Over Row
Start with feet hip width apart. The middle of the resistance band should be under your feet, handles in your hands. Hinge forward at the waist, bending your torso to face the ground, while keeping your back flat. Then, squeeze your shoulder blades together as you row your elbows towards the sky, almost as if you are starting a lawn mower. Keep your elbows in close to your body!
With a controlled motion, return your arms to starting position.
Wrap the band behind your back, and bring it up underneath your armpits. You will want to grab the band closer to your body, rather than at the handles, to increase resistance. Bring your elbows up to shoulder height, almost as if you were about to do a pushup.
From there, push straight forward, stopping just before locking out your elbows.
Keep your arms raised as you return them back to the starting position.
Shoulder Front Raise
Standing on the center of the band, with feet about hip width apart, hold the resistance band handles in your hands. Your palms should be facing your body. Then, in a controlled movement, lift your arms to shoulder height. Again, avoid locking the elbows. Pause at the top of the movement, then use a controlled movement to lower back to start.
If your resistance band is too difficult to lift with both arms at once, you can alternate left and right arms.
Overhead Triceps Extension
Grab the resistance band by the center, with your hands about one foot apart. Bring one hand over your head, with the elbow bent at about 90 degrees. The supporting arm should be by your shoulder, providing resistance.
Holding the supporting arm still, press the arm over your head straight towards the sky. Again, stop at full extension just before your elbow locks.
Stand with your feet on the center of the band, hip width apart. The handles of the resistance band can be in your palms. OR, for added resistance, reach through the handles, and grip lower on the band. Palms facing up, elbows in close to your hips, curl towards your shoulders.
Now, carefully lower your arms back to starting position, next to your legs.
While you don’t need the resistance bands for squats, we’re going to add in a little shoulder and back workout with the resistance band. Fold the resistance band in half, and hold on to either end. Place your feet in hip width position, toes facing forward. Sink your hips down and back, almost as if you are sitting down into a chair. Your weight should be in your heels. At the same time, raise your arms overhead. Press outward with the resistance band.
Release the resistance in your upper body as you push through your heels to return to standing position.
Need Help Staying Fit this Holiday Season?
The Amazon Active Lifestyle Gift Guide has everything you need to keep you on track with your health and fitness goals this holiday season. Or, if you’re shopping for the active, athletic, or outdoor person in your life, Amazon has you covered. Trust me when I tell you: your fitness and running pals NEVER get sick of receiving new running clothes or workout gear! With the wide selection of fitness, sports, outdoor and health items and apparel (like all of these great outfits I’m wearing in this post, from RBX and 32 Degrees), there really is something for everyone on your list. Add in affordable prices, and fast shipping, and there is no doubt Amazon can help keep you moving despite the chaos of the holiday season.
Give this resistance band workout a try, and let me know if you liked it! And be sure to check out the Amazon Active Lifestyle Gift Guide while you are at it!
Disclaimer: The above resistance band workout is designed for educational purposes, and is not a prescribed training plan for any particular individual. While I am a certified exercise physiologist, and have designed this training plan with safety in mind, you should understand that when participating in any exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this workout you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, and assume all risk of injury to yourself. You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs.
Heather Hart is an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), UESCA certified Ultrarunning Coach, RRCA certified Running Coach, co-founder of Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching, and creator of this site, Relentless Forward Commotion. She is a mom of two teen boys, and has been running and racing distances of 5K to 100+ miles for over a decade. Heather has been writing and encouraging others to find a love for fitness and movement since 2009.