10-Minute Tuneups: The Mini-band Workout
Anyone can find 10 minutes for fitness. Try the mini-band workout for an inexpensive, portable way to get exercise
How it works
Warm up: The first two minutes of exercise will provide a brief warm-up and a first move to get your major muscles working.
Gauge the intensity: Use a stopwatch, the timer on your phone or a clock to keep track of the time. Your working muscles should feel ready to change to a new exercise by the end of each segment.
Customize moves to your needs: An easier option is provided for each of these moves. But do the tougher version for as much of the time as you can.
Cool down and stretch: You will do a less intense move, then stretch the major muscle groups you’ve just worked.
Warm up: 1 minute
Do gentle jumping jacks. Or simply march briskly in place while swinging arms to shoulder height.
Hip abductions: 1 minute
Works: Hip abductors (outer hips)
Place mini-band around ankles and stand with your left side approx-imately two feet away from a wall. Place left hand on the wall and lean slightly toward it. Keep thighs and shoulders in a straight vertical line, hips still and abs tight. Without letting the mini-band go slack, move your right leg out and slightly back from the left leg. Hold for one second, then return to starting position. Do 30 seconds of lifting right leg, then switch sides and do another 30 seconds.
Easier option: Switch sides every 15 seconds.
Lateral glute walk: 2 minutes
Works: Quadriceps, calves and hip abductors (outer hips)
Place mini-band around ankles, move feet shoulder-width apart and lift arms to shoulder height. Keep toes straight ahead and abs tight throughout. Lower into a squat position until knees reach as close to 90 degrees as possible. Step to the right with your right foot, and keep stepping to the right with both legs for 15 seconds while staying in the squat. Then walk to the left for 15 seconds. Repeat this sequence three more times.
Easier option: Do squat with knees at 45 degrees.
Cross-arm triceps push-downs: 2 minutes
Works: Triceps and biceps
Stand with feet hip-width apart, and place hands in mini-band. Grasping one end of band, move left hand across body to sit on right shoulder. Grasping other end with right hand, bring right hand to shoulder (as in a biceps curl). With control, straighten your right arm downward against the tension toward your right hip. Slowly move right hand back up to shoulder. Do this for 30 seconds, then switch arms for 30 seconds. Repeat sequence.
Easier option: Switch arms every 15 seconds.
Hip-opener squats: 2 minutes
Works: Glutes and quadriceps
Place a mini-band just above both knee joints, and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Keep toes straight ahead and abs tight throughout. While lifting arms to shoulder height, lower into a squat until knees reach as close to 90 degrees as possible. In a controlled motion, move knees away from each other and then back toward each other five times. Stand, then return to squat position. Repeat sequence for a total of two minutes.
Easier option: Do squat for 20 seconds; stand for 20 seconds. Repeat this sequence until two minutes are up.
Dynamic hand planks: 1 minute
Works: Abs and shoulder stabilizers
Place mini-band around wrists and get into a plank position balanced on your hands and toes. Keep feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, abs tight and hips as still as possible. Move right hand sideways four to six inches to the right, then return hand to starting position. Immediately move the left hand sideways to the left, then back to starting position. Repeat this sequence, alternating from right to left, for 60 seconds.
Easier option: Do hand moves for 20 seconds; rest in plank position for 20 seconds; do hand moves for another 20 seconds.
Cool-down: 1 minute
For 30 seconds, with mini-band around your ankles and breathing deeply, walk slowly around the room taking large diagonal steps. For the remaining 30 seconds, gently stretch the major muscle groups you’ve just worked: calves, quads, glutes, abs, triceps and shoulders.
10-Minutes: You’re done!
Brent Bishop (pictured) is owner of Think Fitness Studios in Toronto, and the regular fitness expert on CTV’s The Marilyn Denis Show.
These fitness moves demonstrated by Eva Redpath.
About our 10-minute Tuneups
Ideally, we should be getting 30 minutes of fitness a day. But when time is tight, doing 10-Minute Tuneups whenever you can fit them in still makes a difference. Have fun!