Joyful strong man stretching his arm with a resistance band

From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

When access to the gym isn’t possible or you simply crave some variety for your workouts, mini resistance bands – or loop bands – are a good go-to. They are easy to use, affordable, super versatile and offer a great addition to at-home yoga, stretching and Pilates routines.

Try these three resistance band exercises to tone your body from head to toe:

Lat Pull Down

Works: Back, Shoulders and Core

  1. Loop a band around the middle of your hands and bring both hands above your head.
  2. Keep the left arm in place, squeeze your back and pull your right arm down and to the side, toward the ribcage.
  3. Slowly return to start and repeat for 10 reps.
  4. Switch sides and repeat.

Bicep Curls

Works: Biceps, Forearms

  1. Kneel on a yoga mat with your right leg planted at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Slip the resistance band over your right foot and press it firmly into the ground.
  3. Grab the resistance band with your right palm facing up. Pull the right hand with the band up toward the shoulder into a bicep curl, and release down.
  4. Repeat 10 times
  5. Switch sides and repeat.

Squat-to-Side Kick

Works: Glutes, Hips

  1. Begin by looping your band around your legs just above your ankles.
  2. Stand with your feet hip-width apart (keeping tension in the band), engage your glutes and push your hips into a squat.
  3. Push back to standing.
  4. Immediately lift your right leg out to your side, flexing your foot and keeping your toes pointing forward.
  5. Bring the leg back to the starting position. This is one rep.
  6. Repeat for 10 reps, never letting the tension leave your band.
  7. Switch sides and repeat.

VEBA offers a virtual Yogalates class Tuesdays at 8 am. Yogalates is a fusion of yoga and Pilates which blends the mindfulness and body awareness components of yoga, with Pilates techniques to strengthen and align the body. Register here.