A resistance band is like having a mini-gym — you can use it to work your whole body (or do a lower body workout, like this one) and then conveniently stash it in your sock drawer when not in use.
It’s also a low-impact alternative to weights for getting your strength back after an exercise hiatus (like, welcoming a beautiful bundle of sleep deprivation into your life. Love ‘em, but being a new mom is hella challenging!).
The continuous tension in the band makes it easier to control your movements in both the lifting and lowering phases of the exercise, reducing your risk for injury. Training with a band also allows you to get hyper-specific with the muscles you target — which is why resistance bands are such a favourite of Pilates instructors and physios for strengthening the smaller muscles that often get neglected in the big, impressive-looking lifts that make it to the ‘gram.
HOW TO DO IT: This lower body workout by trainer Alicia Krige is designed as a circuit. Starting with exercise one, do all reps as indicated, rest, then move on to the next exercise. Once you’ve done all the exercises, take a longer rest and then start again at the beginning for another round. Do 4 rounds in total.
You’ll need: A resistance band.
Mycore Hevia Resistance Band
These bands are slip-proof and won’t snag on your clothes. They come in different strengths, from light to heavy resistance.
Reebok Lux Strappy Sports Bra
Angled side seams bring stability while the straps are adjustable for our ever-changing bodies.
Reebok Lux High-Waisted Leggings
A high-rise, thick waistband hugs your waist and stays in place through burpees and core moves.
The Joint-Friendly Lower Body Workout
Standing lateral lifts
12 reps per side
Stand tall, feet hip-width apart, band around your legs a few centimetres above the knees. Keeping your torso upright and forward facing, raise your right leg straight out to the right. Lower to start. That’s one rep. Do all, then switch legs.
Stand tall, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Keeping your chest upright, sit your hips back, like you’re sitting in a chair. Squeeze your bum to return to start. That’s one rep.
12 reps per side
Start on all fours — hands in line with shoulders, knees and hips bent 90 degrees and band around your thighs. Pushing through your hands, lift one leg behind you, keeping your knee bent and foot flexed. When you feel your bum squeeze on that side, lower to start. That’s one rep. Do all, then switch legs.
15 reps per side, alternating
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, band around your thighs. Keeping your chest upright, step your right leg back, crossing behind your left leg and lower so your knees are at 90 degrees. Push back to start, then repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.
Single-leg resistance deadlift
15 reps per leg
Stand tall with feet staggered, band looped securely under the front foot, the other part in both hands. Hinge forward at the waist, with a slight bend in your knees. This is your start position. Now, squeeze your bum to stand, keeping your back flat. Lower to start. That’s one rep.
12 reps per side, alternating
Lie on your back, band around your legs above the knee, hands behind your head and elbows wide. Raise your legs, knees bent and shins parallel to the floor. Keeping your lower back glued to the floor, extend left leg and twist left elbow to right knee. Reverse the move back to start, then repeat on the other side. That’s one.
12 reps per side
Lie on your side, legs stacked, knees bent, band around your thighs and upper body propped up on your elbow. Keeping your upper body still, raise your top knee, keeping your feet together. Return to start. That’s one rep.
Downward-Facing Dog straight-legged kickbacks
Do 12 reps per leg
Start in Downward-Facing Dog, back straight, hands and feet flat on the floor (use a block or folded towel under heels if necessary), band around your legs, above the knee. Keeping hips square, raise your right leg straight out behind you. Lower to start. That’s one rep.
Do 20 reps
Lie on your back, band around your shins, hands behind your head with elbows wide and legs raised with knees bent and shins parallel to the floor. Keeping your lower back glued to the floor, squeeze your abs to raise your head and
shoulders. Lower back to start. That’s one rep.
12 reps per leg
Lie on your back, legs bent, feet flat on the floor, arms at your sides, band around your legs above the knee. Raise one leg straight up, foot flexed. Squeeze your bum, then lift your hips so your body forms a straight line from shoulders to hips. Lower back to start. That’s one rep.