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Firm, Baby, Firm: The Tone-Every-Inch Resistance Band Workout

  • James Farrell

    About This Workout

    One direction may work for naming a hot boy band, but it's a bad policy for bringing it at the gym. "Multidirectional movement is definitely the special ingredient in crafting the best, most fit bodies out there," says Alonzo Wilson, founder of the new Tone House New York studio, which mixes fun, sweaty sports drills with sculpting to make one take-no-prisoners session. Wilson, a former pro football player, is a total fan of the band -- resistance, that is -- because it allows you to tone from every angle as you cut from side to side, punch or crunch. Complete his allover circuit twice -- use a resistance tube with handles or a band you can knot to make loops -- to wake up your shape-up.

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  • Turn-and-Burn Squat

    Targets shoulders, arms, abs, butt, and legs

    • With one end of band secured to a stable post like a couch leg, hold other end in right hand and stand with feet shoulder-width apart so that right side is facing the post (step far enough away so there is tension in the band).
    • In one motion, jump up and rotate body in midair toward left, landing in a squat facing away from the post, as you extend both arms forward at shoulder level.
    • Jump up, rotating back to start position.
    • Do 10 reps, switch sides and repeat, switching band to left hand (and starting with left side of body facing post). Do 3 sets.
  • Crawler

    Targets shoulders, abs, obliques, butt, and legs

    • Secure one end of band to post and hold other end in right hand; start on floor in plank position facing away from post with band handle in right hand (move forward if the band is slack; band should be alongside body).
    • Press hips diagonally backward toward left, bending knees (as if sitting sidesaddle).
    • Return to plank, then lift extended right arm forward at shoulder level; lower arm to return to plank and repeat sequence.
    • Do 10 reps, switch sides (hold band in left hand, press hips back toward right) and repeat. Do 3 sets.
  • Roborunner

    Targets abs, obliques, butt, and hamstrings

    • Loop center of band around a stable post like a couch leg. Start on floor in plank position facing away from post, feet placed in handles like stirrups.
    • Alternately bring right and left knee in toward chest, not allowing toes of bent leg to touch floor.
    • Repeat for 1 minute and rest 20 seconds. Do 3 sets.
  • Resist-a-Punch

    Targets shoulders, arms, and abs

    • Loop center of band around post. Stand facing away from post with feet staggered, left foot in front of right, holding ends of band in each hand.
    • Punch forward with right hand, pivoting on right foot; retract arm.
    • Punch forward with left hand, pivoting on left foot.
    • Do 50 punches, then switch footing and repeat. Do 3 sets.
  • Mad Cycle

    Targets abs and obliques

    • With center of band looped around post, put feet through handles; lie faceup on floor, knees bent, shins parallel to the floor and feet flexed, about two feet from post or until you feel slight tension in band.
    • With hands touching ears, elbows out to sides, crunch up, bringing knees in toward chest. Lower legs and torso, without touching either on floor and repeat. Do 3 crunches.
    • With knees still lifted in air, bring right elbow and left knee in toward each other as you extend right leg. Switch sides and repeat. Do 3 reps to each side.
    • Repeat knee tuck/bicycle combo for 1 minute and rest 20 seconds. Do 3 sets.
  • Row Combo

    Targets shoulders, biceps, abs, obliques, butt, and legs

    • With center of band looped around post, stand with feet shoulder-width apart facing post, holding ends of band in each hand, palms facing each other.
    • Squat down then stand up, driving both elbows behind you.
    • Return to squat then stand, twisting torso to left and pulling both ends of bands toward left ribs. Return to squat, then repeat twist to right side.
    • Return to squat and now do a high row, driving elbows up and out to sides at shoulder level.
    • Repeat entire series 15 times. Do 3 sets.