Mini-band Workout: This 10-Minute Tuneup Works Your Entire Body
Ideally, we should be getting 30 minutes of fitness a day. But when time is tight, doing a 10-minute tuneup whenever you can fit it in still makes a difference.
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. Make sure you know these 5 exercise strategies to help reduce your risk of injury.
Warm up for 1 minute
- Do gentle jumping jacks, or simply march briskly in place while swinging arms to shoulder height. (Read up on our top 10 fitness trends for 2019.)
Hip abductions for 1 minute
This exercise works: Hip abductors (outer hips)
- Place mini-band around ankles and stand with your left side approximately 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. (Want to get more out of your workout? Here’s what to eat.)
Easier option: Switch sides every 15 seconds.
Lateral glute walk for 2 minutes
This exercise 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. (Ever tried animal flow? Check out the ground-based workout that requires zero equipment.)
Easier option: Do squat with knees at 45 degrees.
Cross-arm triceps push-downs for 2 minutes
This exercise works: Triceps and biceps
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, and place hands in mini-band.
- Then, 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. (These are the 17 best arm exercises for women.)
Easier option: Switch arms every 15 seconds.
Hip-opener squats for 2 minutes
This exercise 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. (This is how many squats it actually takes to see results.)
- 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 for 1 minute
This exercise 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. (Here’s what to do when your motivation is seriously lacking.)
Easier option: Do hand moves for 20 seconds; rest in plank position for 20 seconds; do hand moves for another 20 seconds.
Cool-down for 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. Next, find out what a single workout can do for your metabolism.
These fitness moves are demonstrated by Eva Redpath.