It’s that time of the year again! Book bags are coming out of storage, stress levels are increasing, and the excitement of a new school year awaits. The other week, my energy levels were reminiscent of going back to school after summer vacation since I traveled for 3-weeks last month. At first I was super motivated to get back in the gym, to my regular eating habits, and to work. However, after a week back, I started to feel a bout of normal fatigue that comes with getting back into the groove. It happens to the best of us!
When I start to feel my body slowing and my mind going blank, I listen to my body. This doesn’t mean I set fire to the wind and stop working out or eat whatever the hell I want. Instead, I concentrate on restorative workouts, eating well and frequently, enjoying some down time, and getting enough sleep (that last one is huge!).
This is when I break out the resistance bands for one of my favorite types of restorative workouts. I like to train in a way that activates my muscles without bringing them to exhaustion when I’m tired and need a lower-intensity workout. It keeps me on track and still gives me the post-workout energy boost I need to get through a busy day when I just want to go on a Netflix binge. Resistance bands are the perfect solution to working up a sweat without putting to much stress on my body (or mind).
This Back to School Recovery + Sculpting Resistance Band Workout is designed to target your body from head to toe when you may need an active rest day! The exercises are also quiet and don’t take up too much room so you can do them in your dorm room or apartment when you don’t have the time to go to the gym. Not a student? You can still do this workout when you need a more low-key sweat. Students, believe it or not, life is just as hectic after graduation! 😉 Choose a resistance band that challenges you on the last couple of reps. You should be able to feel a moderate “burn.” If you or your gym doesn’t have a resistance band, I highly recommend you invest in one. They are so versatile and fit easily into a suitcase or bag for when you’re on the go!
Back to School Recovery + Sculpting Resistance Band Workout
Complete 2-4 sets of the following exercises back to back . Rest for 30-60 seconds between sets.
1. Squat to press
Targets: thighs, glutes, core, shoulders
Place the resistance band under both feet and place one handle in each hand, palms facing towards your body. Stand with your feet hip distance, parallel, abs engaged. Weight is back on your heels as you lower down into a full squat keeping your back as straight as possible, knees tracking over your toes. (Don’t let your knees come over your toes, though! Keep them stacked over your ankles.)
Stand back up, squeezing your glutes. Bring your arms overhead, twisting your hands so palms face forward. This should burn in your shoulders! Bring you arms back down. This is one rep. Do 10-15 reps.
2. Bent over row
Targets: core, shoulders, back
Place the resistance band under both feet and hold one handle in each hand, arms at a 45-degree angle, palms facing towards each other.
Engage your core and use your back lat muscles to pull your elbows straight back behind you, arms glued to your sides. Come back to your starting position for one rep. Complete 10-15 reps.
3. Triceps kick back
Targets: core, triceps, back
Place the resistance band under both feet and hold one handle in each hand. Bring your arms behind you, elbows above your hips at a 90-degree angle, palms facing each other. This is your starting position.
Use the back of your arms, or your triceps, to straighten your elbows. Come back to your starting position for one rep. Complete 10-15 reps.
4. Lunge to biceps curl
Targets: thighs, glutes, core, biceps
Place the resistance band under your right foot, hold one handle in each hand, palms facing in towards your body. Stand with your right leg forward, left leg back on the ball of your left foot. Make sure your feet are wide enough so when you come into your lunge your front knee doesn’t come over your foot and your weight is evenly distributed between both legs.
Come down into a lunge position making 90 degree angles with both knees, abs engaged.
Straighten your legs driving the weight into your right heel and squeezing your glutes. Keep your elbows in towards your body as you come into a bicep curl, bringing your palms up towards your shoulders. Lower arms back to starting position for one rep. Do 10-15 reps and then switch sides.
Targets: core, chest, triceps, shoulders, back, gluten, thighs
Come into a push up position with one end of the resistance band under each hand. You can choose to do a modified push-up by placing your knees on the ground and bringing your heels up towards your glutes. The resistance band should feel tight at the top of your push-up position.
Pull your abs in, belly-button to spine, and squeeze your booty. Lower down as far as you can towards the ground, bending your elbows, keeping good form. Make sure your neck stays neutral! (Look down at the ground and a little bit in front of you). Push back up against the resistance band for one rep. Complete 10-15 reps.
6. Glute kick back
Targets: thighs, glutes, core
Start on all fours on your mat, knees under hips and wrists under shoulders. Place the resistance band behind your right foot and one handle under each hand. Lengthen your right leg long behind you. This is your starting position.
Keep your abs engaged as your squeeze your glutes and lift your right leg up as high as you can keeping your hips square. Lower back down to your starting position. Do 10-15 reps before switching sides.
Start in a seated position, legs straight out in front of you, place the resistance band under both feet and hold one handle in each hand, elbows bent in towards your sides. Lift your legs a couple of inches off the ground. This is your starting position.
Bring your legs up as high as you can, pulling your belly button into your spine, keeping your chest lifted, and shoulders relaxed away from your ears. Lower legs back down to starting position. Try not to let them touch the ground! This is one rep. Complete 10-15 reps.
What are your best forms of active recovery when your body needs a rest? Tell me in the comment box below!
Health and happiness,