Resistance Band Core Workout

Resistance Band Core WorkoutResistance bands are the easiest piece of workout gear to pack, and when I went to visit my parents on the Vineyard at the beginning of the month, I brought one along. I wanted to do a quick ab workout to pair with my morning run, and this totally did the trick. By adding the resistance band around my legs during some of these go-to core exercises you’ve seen a million times on the blog, it changed each move from strictly targeting the abs to incorporating some outer thigh work as well.

Resistance Band Core Workout

Equipment I Used:

This workout is broken up into three parts. For each part, you’ll do three rounds of three exercises for 30 seconds each. Go from one exercise to the next without taking a break. Between parts, you can rest for 30-60 seconds. I used an interval timer and set it to 9 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 0 seconds of rest so that it would just beep every 30 seconds.

Place a resistance band around your lower calf area. I used a long one so I looped it twice before tying. You’ll keep the band in this position throughout the entire workout.

Resistance Band Core Workout

PART 1

Complete three rounds of the following three exercises, doing each for 30 seconds. For this part, you’ll be keeping your legs straight the entire time, pressing them outward against the band. Don’t cheat yourself by not pressing outward! You want to feel your outer thighs and glutes engaged the entire time.

  • Resistance Band Toe Touches: Start laying on your back with arms outstretched overhead, feet straight up in the air, resistance band around your lower calves with your legs spread wide enough apart to engage the outer thighs—you should be pressing hard against the resistance of the band the entire time. From here, crunch up, lifting shoulders off the ground and touching the band or your toes with your hands.
  • Resistance Band Windshield Wipers: Start laying on your back, arms outstretched to either side for support. Legs are lifted straight up with a resistance band around your lower calves. Press your legs out to the sides so that there is tension on the band. You want to press this way throughout the entire exercise—never let the band go slack. From here, lower your legs to the right and then back up and down to the left, back and forth in a windshield wiper motion, twisting through the waist and hips.
  • Resistance Band Leg Lifts: Start laying on your back with your hands underneath your bum for support, resistance band around your lower calves. Spread your legs out to the sides until you feel tension in the resistance band—you want your outer thighs and glutes engaged, pushing hard against that band the entire time. Lift your legs up a couple inches so that they’re hovering straight out over the ground. This is your starting position. From here, lift legs straight up so that they’re perpendicular with the ground (and still pushing out against the band). Lower them back to starting. Your feet should never come to rest on the ground.

PART 2

Complete three rounds of the following three exercises, doing each for 30 seconds.

  • Resistance Band Side Plank Lift Pulses RIGHT: Start in a side plank position, resistance band around your lower calves. Lift the top leg high enough so that there’s tension on the band—don’t let that leg drop below this point the entire time. Press the top leg up against the band, pulsing up continuously while holding the side plank.
  • Resistance Band Frog Stamps: Start in a plank position with your feet spread wide enough apart so that there’s tension on the resistance band (have it around your lower calves). From there, jump your feet up towards your hands and out wide. This will need to be an explosive movement so that you can push against the band while your feet are in the air. You want to land with your feet at least as wide as your hands (preferably wider). Quickly jump them back to starting plank position.
  • Resistance Band Side Plank Lift Pulses LEFT

PART 3

Complete three rounds of the following three exercises, doing each for 30 seconds.

  • Resistance Band Seated Spread Pulses: Start in a seated position with fingertips lightly on the ground by your sides for support. Lean your torso back, core tight (think of pulling your belly button and spine together) and lift your legs about 6” to a foot off the ground, keeping them straight. Resistance band should be around your lower calves. Holding legs at this height the entire time, press your legs out wide to the sides. You want to feel tension in the resistance band the entire time, so legs should stay wide the whole time, pulsing them out to the sides continuously.
  • Resistance Band V-Ups: Start laying on your back, arms reaching overhead, resistance band around your lower calves, and feet spread wide enough apart so that they’re pushing out against the band. Hover feet a couple inches off the ground. This is your starting point. Exhaling and explosively crunching your abs, bring your legs straight up at the same time you lift your torso off the ground, bringing hands to meet your feet, balancing on the tailbone. Release, lowering back to starting point (never let your feet come to rest on the ground). Throughout this crunch, press out with your legs against he resistance band.
  • Resistance Band Boat Pose Spread Pulses: This is just like traditional boat pose, except you’ll be pushing your legs out against the resistance band with little pulses while holding the pose. Start sitting on your tailbone with the resistance band around your lower calves. Lift your legs straight up and wide in a “v” shape. Engaging your core (I think of trying to squeeze my belly button and spine together), hold your arms straight out, parallel to the ground. Hold this pose, and as you do, push your legs out to the sides in little pulses. You always want to feel tension on the band, so never let your legs come together (or close to it). To modify, bend your knees instead of holding legs up straight.

You might recognize the structure of this workout from the 15-Minute Ab Workout I posted last year. It was featured on BuzzFeed and became one of my most popular P&I workouts, so I figured it was worth revisiting! :)

Resistance Band Core Workout

WEARING | tank: H&M // shorts: Athleta

P.S. Just to clarify, despite my tank top, I am most definitely not a cat person. Team Dog for life.

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15-Minute HIIT Workout Using All My At-Home Fitness Equipment

15-Minute HIIT WorkoutThere’s nothing like a move to make you hate every piece of at-home workout equipment you’ve ever purchased! I’m in the process of moving into my boyfriend’s apartment, and this will be the SEVENTH time I’ve moved since graduating college in 2010. Woof. Luckily, I don’t have to be out of my house in Southie until the end of August, so it’s a gradual move and I can do a little bit at a time—slowly decontaminating his place (kidding…but not really), and bringing over small carloads of my stuff here and there. Still, the kettlebell collection, med ball, hand weights and rest of my at-home workout gear has been getting its fair share of dirty looks from me lately. To remind myself that it’s worth moving, I put together this quick HIIT workout last week using as much of it as I could.

GIVEAWAY! One workout aid that is not a burden to move is my Gymboss Interval Timer, and lucky for you wonderful readers, my friends over at Gymboss are letting me give away one! Enter using the widget below today’s workout tutorial (scroll down). I’ll pick a winner on Friday evening.

15-Minute HIIT Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • 25-lb kettlebell
  • 6-lb medicine ball
  • Jump rope
  • Stability ball
  • Power wheel
  • Gymboss Interval Timer
  • Exercise mat

Set an interval timer for 15 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. You’ll go through the following exercises 3 times. This workout will get you sweaty and out of breath, focusing especially on the core.

15-Minute HIIT Workout

  • Power Wheel Ab Roll Outs: Get on your knees and hold the power wheel centered on the ground. Your arms are going to stay straight throughout this. Slowly extend your arms, rolling the wheel out as far as you can go, lowering your torso. When you’ve extended as far as you can, slowly roll back to starting point. You’ll want to keep your butt down during these—think of your back, butt and hamstrings as one straight line. Try not to stick your butt up (I know it’s tempting on that tough roll-in).
  • Kettlebell Swings: Start with kettlebell on the floor between your legs and lift it up to starting position with both hands, flat back, using your legs to lift. With kettlebell hanging between your legs, use your arms as a pendulum, and swing the bell to chest-to-eye level by thrusting with your hips while keeping your core tight as you stand up straight. Swing back down and repeat. Your knees should remain slightly bent, but the main source of movement is hinging at the hips—not so much squatting. I use a 25-lb bell.
  • Med Ball Sit ‘n Toss: Lay on your back with arms stretched overhead, holding on to your medicine ball (it should be hovering a couple inches off the ground—don’t let it rest on the floor). Lift the medicine ball forward as you sit up, keeping arms straight, and lift it straight above your head as your body comes into upright sitting position. Bring ball into chest and toss up into the air. Catch and slowly lower to the ground, bringing ball back overhead behind you.
  • Jump Rope
  • Stability Ball Prone Oblique Twists:Get into a plank with your shins on a stability ball and your hands on the floor, directly under your shoulders. Draw your knees into your right shoulder, keeping feet on the stability ball, and then return to center. Repeat to the left.

15-Minute HIIT Workout

WEARING | leggings: Lululemon / tank: thanks to my friends at Game Plan! / sneakers: Nike

Since I usually get a lot of comments about whatever leggings I’m wearing in these workouts (that’s why I love you guys! haha), just a heads up that although these leggings look cool, the mesh across the knees makes them uncomfortable to workout in if you’re doing anything that involves kneeling.

Gymboss Interval Timer Giveaway

On Friday evening I’ll randomly select a winner. Use the widget below to enter—just leave a comment letting me know what piece of workout equipment you’d love in your home. I use mine all the time for HIIT workouts and during the Tone ‘n Torch class I teach at Btone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Isometric (No Noise!) Workout

Isometric Workout (perfect for apartment dwellers--no noise!)One of the most frequent requests I get when it comes to at-home workouts is for them to be quiet. Maybe you’re in an apartment unit on the fourth floor and want to respect your downstairs neighbor. Maybe you’ve got a little one at home taking a nap and want to squeeze in a workout without waking her. Whatever the reason, thuds and creaking floorboards from jumping around can be a nuisance and hindrance to working out at home. I ran into this problem all the time when I lived in an apartment building in the North End—I felt terrible working out before and after work because I knew it would bother the people below me (I did it anyway though because, well, I’m selfish).

So how do you exercise without the noise associated with moving your body? Well, you could simply not move it. I don’t know why it took me so long to think of this! Today’s workout is a series of isometric holds. Your muscles will burn, and your neighbors/roommates will thank you.

This is also a great one to do if you’re trying to workout on a lunch break or another occasion when you don’t want to get drenched in sweat. No shower required after this workout (well, this is coming from someone who will use any excuse not to shower haha).

Isometric Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • A pair of 5-lb hand weights (optional—you can just use bodyweight)
  • Exercise mat

You’ll hold each position for 30 seconds and then move right onto the next without taking a break. After you’ve held each one for 30 seconds, do the same thing, holding each for 60 seconds. Once you’ve completed the 30-sec round and 60-sec round, take a one minute break. Repeat for a total of 3 times through (6 total rounds). This workout will take you just under 40 minutes to complete. If you’re short on time or a beginner, eliminate a round, going through twice instead of three times.

You can hold a pair of hand weights as you go through these for an added challenge or simply use your bodyweight. These are basic exercises, so I haven’t included written descriptions, but leave a comment should any questions arise!

  • Lunge (right foot forward)
  • Lunge (left foot forward)
  • Squat
  • Side Plank (right)
  • Side Plank (left)
  • Plank
  • Superman Hold
  • Lateral Raise Hold

Isometric Workout (perfect for apartment dwellers--no noise!)

WEARING | leggings: c/o Ellie  (use code nicoleperr20 to get 20% off your first order!) // tank: Athleta

During the last 60-second rounds, I had to drop the weight during the superman hold. Oh man, it was brutal.

P.S. If you constantly find yourself with the workout noise issue, my number one recommendation is to invest in a kettlebell. KB swings are the BEST way to silently get cardio and strength benefits from an exercise. Your heart rate will rise and your muscles will burn, all while keeping your feet planted firmly (and quietly) on the ground.

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