Today, in my at-home exercise series, Jennifer Nyp from Zen Girl Fitness tells us what to do with a resistance band. 

The resistance band has been around for a while in many forms and I’m a fan of most of them. Inexpensive and portable, I love to take these with me for park workouts and throw them in my suitcase when I travel.  Like machines or free weights, resistance bands provide a force for muscles to work against. As the muscles contract, bone is stimulated and muscles grow.

Bone density is incredibly important, especially as you age and studies show that weight bearing exercise can make up for a lack of calcium intake. Cardio is awesome, but you MUST strengthen your bones and build your muscles for the healthiest body possible.

As I’ve mentioned before, I think it’s really important to warm-up with at least 10 minutes of cardio before performing these exercises. The first few videos I’ve posted are more cardio-based. You can follow the order or mix in the “cardio” exercises with the more “muscular” ones.

12 Ways to Add a Resistance Band to Your Workout:

Move #1: Squat with Overhead Press

Same form as always! Sit back so your knees are behind your big toes and your shoulders are down as your arms press up (from your back, not shoulders). Lock your belly button into your spine throughout the movement. Do this for 60-90 seconds.

Move #2: Dead Lift with Tricep Press-back

Do 2 to 3 sets of 60 to 90 seconds.

Move #3: Split Lunge with Shoulder Lift

Do this for 1 minute on each side.

Move #4: Side Leg Lift with Upright Row

Try doing this for 2 minutes!

Move #5: Wood Chopper

Do 60 to 90 seconds on each side!

Move #6: Tricep/Bicep with Lunge

Don’t fall! Do 2 to 3 sets of 1 minute on each side.

Move #7: Side Bends

Turn out, stay low and work those obliques and love handles! Do 2 to 3 sets of 1 minute.

Move #8: Back Rows

This is a super simple and clean movement. Squeeze your butt and contract your shoulder blades and abdominals. Do 2 to 3 sets of 30 reps or timed sets of 1 to 2 minutes.

Move #9: Straight Leg Side Squat with Overhead Press + Balance Challenge

Big range of motion! Go as high and as low as possible while keeping your core tight and tucked. Do 1 minute on each side and 10 to 20 reps of the balance at the end. Go!

Move #10: Plié Squat with Upper Body Side Press

This is a great compound movement for inner thighs, glutes, lats and triceps.

Move #11: Glute Kick with Arm Reach to Push-up

A familiar movement but the resistance band kicks it up a notch. You should feel the burn before you stop! Time this for 2 to 3 sets of 1 minute on each side.

Move #12: Low Teaser/High Teaser with Wide Arm Press

Now that’s a mouthful! It’s also a super efficient and effective move, so get to it! As always, pull your abdominals in and up and control your movement.

Stay tuned for next week when Jen will teach us how to incorporate another piece from her list of recommended home gym equipment, which you can find here.

You can follow Jennifer Nyp on Instagram at @zengirlfitness for more daily exercise ideas or if you live in Manhattan and want to work out with her private SOHO studio, you find her contact info here.