While I love going to the gym with all its variety of equipment and being surrounded by like minded individuals for motivation, I don’t need it or rely on it for my success. I am a firm believer that intensity can be found anywhere. It resides in the person not the location. I highly recommend anybody with fitness aspirations regardless of goals to own a solid set of resistance bands. They can be used with weights at the gym, home workouts, or while traveling. Here is a quick home workout using resistance bands to target your core and cardio conditioning. Watch the video playlist here to see how I execute these movements, or follow each linked description below for each individual exercise. Do this workout and let us know how it went. Would you like to see more workouts like this from us?
Core Workout Tip: When in doubt with ab work do the movements even slower. Try to take out momentum and make the abdomen muscles work more.
1. Supersets: Do these two exercises back to back without rest for one set. Do three sets total. Rest 60 secs or less between sets. Stretch one medium gauge resistance bands between two sturdy objects for this ‘Set Up’. It’s also shown in the video.
1a. Banded Leg Raise: 3 sets of 15 reps
(Note: Lay on the ground flat with your legs straight out towards the stretched resistance band. Place your hands under your hips to relieve lower back pressure. Have the band run right across the top of your feet. Raise both legs as high as possible then lower right above the ground without impacting it. )
1b. Banded Tuck: 3 sets of 15 reps
(Note: Stay in the same position with your legs straight out right above the ground and the band right above your feet. Bring your knees in towards your upper body and contract your abs.)
2. Banded Bicycle Crunch: 3 sets of 30 reps (15 reps each side)
(Note: Use a single medium gauged band and wrap it around a sturdy object. Place a handle of the band tightly on each foot. Scoot back away from the anchor point so the band is stretched. Perform a bicycle crunch by bringing one knee in towards your upper body and crunch up towards it with the opposite elbow. Your legs should alternate coming straight in and out. Don’t make circular motions. Rest 60 secs or less between sets. )
3. Banded Side Leg Raise: 3 sets of 20 reps each side
(Note: This is a movement I picked up from the great Arnold Schwarzenegger. Then I decided to band it to make it even more intense. Use a single medium gauged band and wrap it around a sturdy object. Feed one handle through the other so you end up with one long band. Slip the one free handle securely on one foot. Lie on your side and scoot away from the anchor point so the band is stretched. Alternate bringing your nearly straight leg out in front of you and then straight up. Concentrate on activating your oblique muscles. Just go back and forth between sides without resting until all three sets are done.)
4. HIIT Banded Gorilla Half Burpees: 5 sets of 15 reps
(Note: Use a single medium gauged band and wrap it around a sturdy object. Place a handle of the band tightly on each foot. Stand facing away from the anchor point and carefully step away so the band is taunt. You will feel the band wanting to pull you back. Your legs should be wide in sumo position. Squat down and place your hands on the ground inside your legs. Thrust both legs back so you are in plank position then thrust them back in towards your hands. Stand up to flex your thighs and glutes then repeat. You can make this even more intense by adding a push up and/or jump. Rest only 30 secs between each set.)
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Michael Wittig, ISSA CPT
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