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5 Effective Exercises for an Intense At-Home Workout Using Mini Resistance Bands

One person's definition of Intense to another can be different. No need to worry, you can find what your intensity is where you are at in your fitness journey.

In a recent research study titled: "Effects of training with elastic resistance versus conventional resistance on muscular strength: A systematic review and meta-analysis" by Jaqueline Santos Silva Lopes et al of Brazil, she and other faculty concluded that band resistance training with elastic devices provides similar strength gains when compared to resistance training performed from conventional devices. This means you can take what you learn from your Physical Therapist and use a resistance band with your home exercise plan. It improves accessibility and lowers costs for you.

High-intensity interval Training (HIIT) has grown in popularity, not only due to the strength training benefits, but it is also a great way to get a workout in with little time. In our time-pressed culture, you can get aerobic and strength training and complete a workout in 30 minutes. HITT is interval training at high-intensity movements at 80% of one's maximum heart rate. A formula to calculate your maximum heart rate is 220, minus your age. For example, A 30-year-old would have a maximum heart rate of 190.

This training method is not for everyone, some need to be closely monitored by their physician and Physical Therapist. The American College of Sports Medicine provides screening tools that can be used to identify risk factors using the HIIT format, to lower the risk of adverse events. These include medical conditions that are contraindicated to performing HIIT workouts (e.g., uncontrolled heart rate such as with arrhythmias, uncontrolled diabetes, retinopathy) and symptoms to watch for to end a HIIT workout early, such as a significant rise or drop in blood pressure during the workout.

Here is an example of a HIIT workout using mini resistance bands and a timer.

Warm-up 5 minutes walking or marching in place. For each exercise, you will want to work at your 80% maximum effort going faster or slower depending on your fitness level.

Exercise One: mini band above knees squats

You will do this for 30 seconds then do slow marching in place for 15 seconds

Exercise Two: mini band above knees back lunges

Place your hands on your hips take a step back and lower that knee. Then return to the start and alternate legs for 30 seconds. Then do slow marching for 15 seconds.

Exercise Three: Standing mini band around wrists raise and lower arms

Place the mini band around your wrists. Push outward and raise your arms up and lower down to the starting position. You will do this for 30 seconds then slow marching in place for 15 seconds.

Exercise Four: Push up plank position push up then single arm row

You will place the band under your hands. Do a push-up (if unable to modify knee push-up) then do a single arm row pulling the band on that side while the band is anchored under the other and return to the push-up. Switch to single arm row on the other side. You will do this for 30 seconds. Active rest with slowing marching in place for 15 seconds.

Exercise Five: Side plank mini band above knees with modified knee bent position lifting top knee or mini band above ankles for straight leg side plank with top leg raise

Do this for 30 seconds and switch sides to do the other side. Active rest with slow marching in place for 15 seconds.

Make sure you give 5 minutes of warm-up and cool-down time. This means you will be doing the HIIT for 20 minutes. You will want to make sure you are doing these exercises correctly which means you need a professional to assess for proper mechanics and take you through the HIIT process.

Contact me to get started with time-saving workouts for your health and fitness. Please go to

Karen Baltz Gibbs, PT, DPT, CSCS, CMP, LMT, Owner Garage Training & Rehab Gym

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