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—or urgent Netflix binges—happen.

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—Pure 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—we’re talking $12.99—twist 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—or anywhere, for that matter—workout 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.

 

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Don’t Wait for the New Year. It’s Never Too Early for a New You.

Yeah…Yeah…Yeah. You know the drill:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

…for working up a sweat, that is!

Wait, is that not how the song goes? Oh, well. Sorry to burst your bubble, but with the imminent threat of “holiday pounds” (dun! dun! dun!) looming on the horizon, now is an ideal time to kick your fitness goals into high gear. Why hold out until New Years to start acting on that — dare I say, predictable — resolution?

The following 28-day Interval Training circuit, courtesy of Girls Gone Sporty and CROSSROPE, will support you all the way through this festive, yet often diet-derailing season.

With a combination of high intensity tabata, cardio and strength conditioning exercises, you can count on this 4-week program to whip you into tip-top shape — just in time for debuting that brand new little black dress  at holiday parties or tongue-tying those hypercritical relatives into stunned silence.

These daily workouts can be done absolutely anywhere, anytime.  And, aside from your own body weight, the only equipment you’ll need is a jump rope.  (Any jump rope will suffice; however, if you wanna get uber legit, the masterminds behind this program suggest using CROSSROPE’s Double Under Domination Set. Check out my social media accounts to score a 5% discount code on CROSSROPE merchandise.)

So, without further ado…Tone your way through Thanksgiving and Christmas, then ring in the New Year with a fabulous physique and oodles of confidence to continue this healthy streak into 2015!

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***Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to any of these image slides or the 28-Day Interval Training circuit. All credit for this post goes to Laura Williams, founder of Girls Gone Sporty, in association with CROSSROPE.***

(Oh, and one more thing: Download the entire program here.)

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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