4 Minimalist Moves for Do Anywhere Workouts

Did you know that 3 in 4 Americans claim their schedules are too packed for exercise? Not exactly an earth-shattering revelation though, since most of us have used that fallback when unavoidable time commitments‚ÄĒor urgent Netflix binges‚ÄĒhappen.

But, among¬†the¬†self-described “Super Busy,” about 60% indicated they’d exercise more often if they could do so at home.¬†Well, sure….makes sense. I mean, half the battle is¬†finding motivation to (a)¬†invest in a gym membership then¬†(b)¬†get your money’s worth from said membership.

I’m no stranger to the price tag of¬†staying in shape. Lemme tell you‚ÄĒPure Barre classes cost a pretty penny! Fitness is an expense I’ll willingly take on…but just once a week, thanks. My twenty-something budget can’t handle much¬†more! So, what’s a girl to do those other 6 days?

Enter: the TKO Ab Stretch 4-Way Resistance Band.¬†This affordable‚ÄĒwe’re talking $12.99‚ÄĒtwist on gym-quality equipment makes strength training accessible for anyone¬†who can’t spare gym-quality payments.

4 way resistance bands

With adjustable tension to customize your resistance level and a portable design for on-the-go convenience, low maintenance finally meets effective. TKO Ab Stretch targets the core, arm and back for a full-body circuit that develops muscle tone, promotes strength and increases flexibility.

Courtesy of¬†this gotta-have gadget, your home‚ÄĒor anywhere, for that matter‚ÄĒworkout¬†regimen can be as simple and straightforward as the¬†examples below (thanks¬†to my sister Victoria for being a topnotch fitness model)!

Deltoid Raises

resistance band arm exercise 1

  1. Place 2 of the resistance band loops around your feet, and grip the other 2 loops with your hands.
  2. Stand with your legs about shoulder-width apart, or wide enough to create tension on the cord.
  3. Engage your abdominal muscles and keep them taut throughout the remaining steps.
  4. Lower your arms to each side then, with a slow and controlled motion, raise them outstretched into a T-position.
  5. Hold this stance for 5 seconds, while keeping your shoulders relaxed, then lower your arms back down.
  6. Complete 20 more repetitions of steps 1-5.

Bicep Curls

reistance band arm exercise 2

  1. Place 2 of the resistance band loops around your feet, and grip the other 2 loops with your hands.
  2. Stand with your legs about shoulder-width apart, or wide enough to create tension on the cord.
  3. Engage your abdominal muscles and keep them taut throughout the remaining steps.
  4. Stretch your arms into a low V-position, with your elbows facing down, then curl them upward toward your shoulders.
  5. Hold this stance for about 5 seconds, keeping your shoulders relaxed, then lower your arms back down.
  6. Complete 20 more repetitions of steps 1-5.

Forearm Extensions

resistance band arm exercise 3

  1. Place 2 of the resistance band loops around your feet, and grip the other 2 loops with your hands.
  2. Stand with your legs about shoulder-width apart, or wide enough to create tension on the cord.
  3. Engage your abdominal muscles and keep them taut throughout the remaining steps.
  4. Lower your arms to each side then, with a slow and controlled motion, extend them parallel in front of your body.
  5. Hold this stance for about 5 seconds, keeping your shoulders relaxed, then lower your arms back down.
  6. Complete 20 more repetitions of steps 1-5.

Deltoid Pulses

resistance band arm exercise 4

  1. Place 2 of the resistance band loops around your feet, and grip the other 2 loops with your hands.
  2. Stand with your legs about shoulder-width apart, or wide enough to create tension on the cord.
  3. Engage your abdominal muscles and keep them taut throughout the remaining steps.
  4. Lower your arms in front of your body then, with a sweeping motion, raise them outstretched into an inverted V-position.
  5. Move your upper arms in small pulses, while keeping your shoulders relaxed, for about 5 seconds then lower your arms back down.
  6. Complete 20 more repetitions of steps 1-5.

So, now I wanna hear from YOU. Ever tried a resistance band circuit? Know any more¬†“minimalist moves,” involving this equipment? Comment with your¬†favorite¬†strength training tips!


Special thanks to TKO for letting me test out this awesome product. Follow this dynamic fitness gear brand on Instagram @TKO_WhateverItTakes and use the hashtag #WhatEverItTakes.

 

Back-to-Barre Basics, Anyone?

Throughout these past several months,¬†I’ve become a Barre Believer. And why’s that? Well, because week after (grueling yet habit-forming) week, this fitness program¬†works its transformative powers on my entire body.

Based on scientific findings that small, precise isometric motions exert more effort on those hard-to-reach muscle groups, the Barre workout effectively develops a lean physique without the high intensity impact of other resistance training regimens.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Barre combines various elements from ballet, yoga and Pilates. Classes generally take place inside a dance studio, but with some ingenuity, you can practice without even leaving the house.

The following Barre-approved exercises sculpt noticeable full-body results, regardless of skill or activity level. All you gotta do is just lift…tone…burn.

Aaaaaand, go!
barre moves you can do at home

Tone the Arms:

*You’ll need 3- or 5-pound dumbbells to perform these exercises.

  • Elevated Hammer Curls¬†(targets¬†Biceps)
barre bicep exercise

If you’re too cheap for actual weights (like me!), improvise with water bottles

  1. Stand with your feet parallel, about shoulder-width apart, and bend your knees slightly.
  2. Keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed, core engaged and hips tucked inward.
  3. Raise your arms to shoulder-level and straighten your elbows, with both palms facing each other.
  4. Curl your right forearm back toward your shoulder, while keeping your upper arm stable at the elbow.
  5. Return your right forearm to its initial position, then repeat step 4 with your left forearm.
  6. Perform this move with  alternating arms for 20 repetitions, making sure they both remain steady and elevated.
  • Back Arm Lift (targets¬†Triceps)

barre tricep exercise

  1. Stand with your feet parallel, about shoulder-width apart, and bend your knees slightly.
  2. Hinge your upper body forward at the waist, so your back is inclined at a moderate angle.
  3. Keep your shoulders relaxed, core engaged and hips tucked inward.
  4. Extend your arms straight behind you and straighten your elbows, with both palms facing each other.
  5. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, while making sure both arms stay entirely stable.
  6. Keep your shoulders engaged and lift both forearms with controlled movements toward mid-level.
  7. Alternate repeating steps 5-6 for 20 repetitions, making sure your arms remain steady and elevated.

Trim the Thighs:

*You’ll need a chair or tall step-stool to¬†perform this exercise.

  • Parallel Pli√© Pulse¬†(targets Adductors & Quadriceps)

barre thigh exercise

  1. Stand elbow-distance behind the chair and position your legs parallel, touching at the knees and feet.
  2. Hold onto the chair back with a light grip and elevate to your highest tiptoe point.
  3. Bend your knees into a deep plié, keeping your hips tucked inward and inner thighs squeezed together.
  4. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then raise up halfway before lowering back into a deep plié.
  5. Repeat step 4 for 20 repetitions, making sure your thigh muscles remain tightly engaged.

Tuck the Butt:

*You’ll need a chair or tall step-stool to¬†perform this exercise.

  • Leg Bend Press (targets Gluteus)

barre glute exercise

  1. Cross your forearms, folded at the elbows, across the chair back, then rest your head on them.
  2. Tuck your hips inward until your back is flat and extend your right leg out behind you.
  3. Bend your right knee and flex the foot, squeezing your right glute to engage the lower muscle pocket.
  4. Lift your right leg with controlled movements, while making sure your back and hips remain stable.
  5. Return your right leg to its initial position and press it straight outward before bending your knee again.
  6. Repeat steps 4-5, alternating between lifting and straightening your right leg, for 15 repetitions.
  7. Switch to your left leg and perform this move on the other side for an additional 20 repetitions.

Tighten the Core:

*You’ll need a chair or tall step-stool to¬†perform this exercise.

  • Elevated Plank (targets Obliques & Rectus Abdominus)
barre core exercise

a chair works better for this move than a stool

  1. Place your hands, palm-down, on the chair seat and lock your elbows to support the upper body weight.
  2. Flatten your back on a slight incline and engage your core to produce a standing plank position.
  3. Stretch your right leg straight out behind you along the same plane as your back, then point your toes.
  4. Raise your left foot onto its highest tiptoe point and tighten your thighs to keep the lower body stable.
  5. Bend your right knee into your chest, rounding your spine to scoop the abs deeply inward.
  6. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then extend your right leg straight out behind you again.
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 for 20 repetitions, making sure the core and thigh muscles remain tightly engaged.
  8. Switch to your left leg and perform this move on the other side for an additional 20 repetitions.

Let’s Get Down to the Core of It

Craving a dose of “fitspiration?”

No problemo!

The following ab exercises are my personal go-to’s for a simple, speedy, and straightforward workout program that you can easily knock out in less than 20 minutes, while carving out a killer core in the process. Just try these next time you catch yourself ¬†moaning “I can’t.” Because I guarantee…you CAN!


Crunch:

  • What it works:
  1. rectus abdominis – muscle that runs vertically down the entire length of the abdomen
  2. obliques – muscles that are located on both the sides and front of the abdomen
  • How it’s done:
  1. Lie face-up on a flat surface with your knees bent and feet grounded.
  2. Lace your fingers securely behind the base of your skull with elbows bent.
  3. Lift your head and shoulders so that your upper back is slightly elevated.
  4. Be careful not to strain your neck and keep the mid and lower back grounded.
  5. Hold this position for approximately 3-5 seconds then lower to the floor.
  6. Repeat 50x (beginners), 100x (intermediate), and 150x (advanced).
  7. Make sure to rest for 3-5 seconds between each repetition.

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Plank:

  • What it works:
  1. rectus abdominis – see above description
  2. transversus abdominis – muscle that wraps around the lower torso from ribs to pelvis
  • How it’s done:
  1. Position your body into a push-up stance with the spine flat and stomach tucked in.
  2. Bend your elbows and lower them to the floor so that they support your weight.
  3. Hold for 30 sec. (beginners), 1 min. (intermediate), and 1 min. 30 sec. (advanced).

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Bridge:

  • What it works:
  1. rectus abdominis – see above description
  2. transversus abdominis – see above description
  • How it’s done:
  1. Lie face-up on a flat surface with your knees bent and feet planted 8-10″ from the glutes.
  2. Tighten your abs and lift the hips until you form a straight line from the shoulders to knees.
  3. Be careful not to arch your back excessively while performing this movement.
  4. Hold this position for approximately 3-5 seconds then lower to the floor.
  5. Repeat 50x (beginners), 100x (intermediate), and 150x (advanced).
  6. Make sure to rest for 3-5 seconds between each repetition.

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Leg Lift:

  • What it works:
  1. rectus abdominis – see above description
  2. transversus abdominis – see above description
  • How it’s done:
  1. Lie face-up on a flat surface with your entire body straightened out vertically.
  2. Press your legs tightly together and raise them until they are perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Hold this position for 5 seconds then slowly lower your legs until they are 6″ above the floor.
  4. Hold this position for 10 seconds then lower your legs completely to the floor.
  5. Repeat 2x (beginners), 4x (intermediate), and 6x (advanced).
  6. Make sure to rest for 3-5 seconds between each repetition.

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Russian Twist:

  • What it works:
  1. obliques – see above description
  • How it’s done:
  1. Sit on a flat surface and lean backward approximately 30 degrees.
  2. Raise your legs until they are parallel to the floor and bend at the knees,
  3. Lace your fingers together in front of your body and bend the elbows.
  4. Twist your locked arms and upper body alternately from side to side.
  5. Repeat 30x (beginners), 40x (intermediate), and 50x (advanced).

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Jack Knife:    

  • What it works:
  1. rectus abdominis – see above description
  2. obliques – see above description
  • How it’s done:
  1. Lie face-up on a flat surface with your entire body straightened out vertically.
  2. Extend your arms above the head while still remaining firmly pressed into the floor.
  3. In 1 fluid motion, lift your arms toward the legs while pulling your legs into the chest.
  4. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds then lower to the floor.
  5. Repeat 10x (beginners), 15x (intermediate), and 20x (advanced).
  6. Make sure to rest for 3-5 seconds between each repetition.

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