The best way to make your workout more efficient is to incorporate compound exercises into your program. Combining two exercises together means you can get your resistance training done twice as fast. Working multiple major muscle groups at one time also increases the intensity of an exercise, and challenges your body in new ways. It is a great way to start progressing your workout routine without adding time to your exercise sessions.
This simple but effective routine can be done anywhere: at home, in the gym, or in a hotel on vacation. All you need is a resistance band and enough space to for a lunge.
1. Lunge with Chest Press:
Lunge — Keep your front knee stacked over top your ankle. Avoid letting that knee creep forward over the toes. Keep your spine long and your chest tall, centering your weight between your front and back leg as you drop down into your lunge.
Chest Press — Concentrate on keeping your elbows squared and parallel to your shoulders, and your knuckles facing forward. As you straighten the arms out in front of you, avoid locking your elbow joints. Try to keep a slight bend in the elbows.
2. Tricep Extensions:
Keep your knees bent, and a slight tuck of your pelvis, to avoid arching your lower back. Also, tuck your upper arm in nice and close to the side of your head, almost like you are trying to cover your ear with your arm.
3. Squat with Bicep Curl:
Squat — Keep both knees lined up over the ankles, and focus on hinging back from your hips as if you were sitting back into a chair. Press down through the heels as you straighten back up for more engagement through the hamstrings and glutes.
Bicep Curl — Keep your wrists flat and your elbows tucked close to your sides. Avoid swinging the arms or leaning back as you curl up. Lower the arms slowly with control out of the curl.
4. Abduction with Shoulder Press:
Shoulder Press — Start with your elbow about 2 inches below shoulder height. Keep a slight bend in your elbow as you press up so you don’t lock the joint.
Abduction — Flex your foot and keep your toes pointed forward throughout the exercise. Soften the knee of your balancing leg, and move slowly as you abduct to help keep your balance.
5. Plié Squat with Lat Pulldown:
Plié Squat — Step your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. When you squat your knees should stack over your ankles, not your toes. Try to open from your hips as wide as comfortable, angling the toes out toward the corner of the room. Unlike a regular squat, you want to drop straight down, rather than sitting your bum back.
Lat Pulldown — You will need to choke up on the band rather than hold it from the handles. As you pull down, concentrate on tucking your elbows in towards your ribcage, and sliding your shoulder blades down the back and in towards the spine. Bring the band to about collarbone height.
With these five exercises, you can complete a thorough and efficient work anywhere. Aim for between 10-15 reps of each exercise and from 1-3 sets of each. To adjust the resistance of the band, choke up on it to increase the resistance and give more slack to decrease it.