For those of us who work from home, exercising and staying active can be very challenging. After the Coronavirus pandemic about 71% of Americans are now regularly working from home. This makes it more important than ever before to find ways to move our bodies during the work day. It’s not good for us to stay seated at our desk for long periods of time.
So how can we combat this? Resistance bands are the perfect solution for remote workers. Get inspired by a range of different exercise options, which will have you up from behind the desk and moving your body again in no time.
Let’s talk about resistance bands
So what are resistance bands exactly? They are a type of stretchy, elastic band which are great for strength training at all levels and ages.
Here’s a few reasons to give them a go:
- They are incredibly versatile and are suited for all fitness levels.
- There are literally thousands of different exercises you can try, which target all areas of your body.
- You will never get bored of the “same old workout”.
- They are cheap and don’t take up much room. You could literally pull them out of your desk drawer to go do your workout and then back in, out of sight, after you’re done.
You now know that there are many positive reasons for using resistance bands when working from home. So how do you use them exactly? Let’s dive into 5 simple, beginner-friendly exercises to try out today.
Exercises to try
When trying these exercises, don’t worry too much about the number of repetitions or sets you complete. Work on practicing each exercise with the band to build confidence and proper technique. As you become more comfortable you can create a mini workout plan and build up resistance and duration for each exercise.
At first try this exercise using a light resistance band and gradually increase as your fitness improves.
- Secure your resistance band around your legs, and slide it up so it sits just above your knees. This will create slight tension between your thighs and make your squat just a little bit harder.
- Place your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, your toes pointed slightly outward and your hands on your hips.
- Slowly push your hips back, while bending your knees, as if you were sitting in a chair. Lower yourself so your thighs are parallel to the floor and push back up to standing.
2. Chest press
To help target and strengthen your upper body, try a chest press using your resistance bands. You should feel a slight tension in your upper arms and chest region as you perform this exercise.
- Start by lying on the ground and place your band under your shoulders.
- Grab one end of the band in each hand and have your upper arms in contact with the floor at 90 degrees.
- Now extend both arms out until they are straight, pulling your band up with you. Lower back slowly to the starting position and repeat.
3. Bicep curls
Another easy, beginner exercise to try is a bicep curl with your resistance band. When performing this exercise focus on bringing the band up quickly, and then using slow and controlled movements on the way back down.
- Simply stand on your resistance band, using one foot as an anchor, and grip the end of the band securely in each hand.
- Now perform a bicep curl like you would with a regular dumbbell. Be sure to tuck your elbows in by your side, keep good posture through your back and maintain a slight bend in your knees.
4. Back rows
Working on your back doesn’t require any fancy gym equipment. All you need to do is grab your resistance band and have a seat on the floor.
- Place your legs out straight in front of you and put the band around the bottom of your feet as an anchor.
- Grab both sides of the band tightly in each hand. Sit up nice and tall, and simply pull both hands back towards your body in a rowing motion. This is a great exercise to help with flexibility, strength and overall endurance.
5. Lateral shoulder raise
Using your resistance band you can target both your shoulder region as well as your abdominals in this exercise. Be sure you lock on your core region whilst performing this move, to put more load on your abs, instead of your back.
- Simply stand on your resistance band in the centre, using just one foot as your anchor.
- Now raise both arms out until they are parallel to the ground, creating a T shape with your body.
- Next, lower the band down nice and slow, with good control.
Things to remember
- Test the level of resistance for each exercise. As the bands come in different resistance levels, it is important to work out what is the right load for you in each exercise. Don’t overdo it in the beginning!
- Keeping good form is really important. For all the exercises, ensure your core is engaged to help protect your spine. If something doesn’t feel quite right, then check your form. Youtube is great for demonstrating these exercises!
- Experiment with different exercises as you become more confident with your resistance bands. Find out what feels good for you! This will keep you from quitting prematurely because you are bored.
It can be difficult knowing how and where to start when exercising at home. Resistance bands are a cost-effective and easy to use solution.
In the beginning, the main goal should be consistency. Aiming for 10 or 15 minutes of exercises each day is a great start. As you increase your fitness and confidence, you can build up your duration and intensity.
This will help you to combat the challenges of sitting at a desk all day and help your posture, fitness and overall outlook.