Whether you’re on the road, on vacation, or simply spending a bit more time than usual at the office, this do-anywhere workout–designed by exercise physiologist Amy Dixon, creator and star of the Breathless Body and Give Me 10 workout DVD series–will tone you up from top to toe with the help of a simple resistance band. Go through the series once, making sure to keep the band tight throughout each move. Keep the band in your suitcase, carry-on or purse and do the workout as often as you’d like, wherever you are, making sure to leave at least a day’s rest in between to allow your muscles time to recover. So easy!
Squat with Shoulder Press: Tones quadriceps, hamstrings, butt, shoulders
How-to: Stand on top of the band with feet a little wider than hip-distance apart, hands gripping the handles at shoulder height with the band behind your arms. Squat down, driving your hips back and bending your knees–keep them behind your toes–to 90 degrees (A). Return to standing as you extend your arms overhead (B), then return to starting position. That’s one rep; do 3 sets of 12 reps.
Standing Narrow Row: Tones upper back
How-to: Loop the band around the leg of a sturdy chair or table. Stand with feet hip-distance apart (facing the furniture) and arms extended, knuckles to the outside. Bend your knees, sitting back into your heels and bracing your core (A). Bend your elbows as you draw them back, squeezing your shoulder blades and letting your arms “shave” your ribs as you pull the handles toward your hips (B). Straighten your arms. That’s one rep; do 3 sets of 12 reps.
Tube Walking: Tones quadriceps, hamstrings, butt, hips
How-to: Stand on top of the band with feet a little wider than hip-distance apart, hands gripping the handles. Cross the band in front of you and place hands at your hips (A). Step your right foot next to your left foot. Keeping your leg straight, lift your right leg out to the side (B), then lower it. Return to starting position and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep; do 2 sets of 15 reps.
Lunging Biceps Curl: Tones quadriceps, hamstrings, butt, biceps
How-to: Stand with feet hip-distance apart with the band under your left foot. Have one handle in each hand, palms forward, arms straight. Step your right foot back and bend both knees to 90 degrees as you lower into lunge position (keep your left knee behind your toes); at the same time, curl your hands up toward your shoulders (A). Straighten your legs to rise up (keep right heel lifted) as you simultaneously straighten your arms back down (B). That’s one rep; do one set of 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Standing Chest Press: Tones chest
How-to: Loop the band around the leg of a sturdy chair or table leg. Stand facing away from the furniture, feet wider than hip-width apart, a handle in each hand with palms down. With your arms out to the sides, keeping elbows and shoulders back, bring the handles up to shoulder height (A). Straighten your arms and squeeze your chest muscles, bringing the handles toward each other in front of your chest (B). Return to previous position. That’s one rep; do 3 sets of 12 reps.
Triceps Extension: Tones triceps, upper back
How-to: With a handle in each hand (palms back), loop the band under your left foot and step your right leg back, bending your left knee to come into a runner’s lunge. Your back leg should be long with heel on the ground (or as close as you can come); your left knee should be over your left ankle. Draw both hands back, bringing the handles to the sides of your hips (A). Keeping your arms straight, engage your triceps and reach your arms as far back as you can (B), then return to previous position. That’s one rep; do one set of 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Standing Wood Chop: Tones whole body, especially abs and lower back
How-to: Knot one end of the band firmly around the leg of a sturdy chair or table; hold the other end with both hands. Take a wide stance with your right side toward the furniture and shift your body weight to your right foot. Bend your knees and hinge at the hips, bringing your hands to the outside of your right (A). Keeping arms straight, powerfully chop your arms diagonally up and over your left shoulder, pressing up through your heels as you straighten your legs and pivot on the right leg. Return to previous position. That’s one rep; do one set of 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Connect with Amy at www.amydixonfitness.com, on Facebook at Amy Dixon Fitness, and on Twitter at @amydixonfitness.