Few workout tools beat the efficiency of the multitasking resistance band, which costs under 20 bucks and takes up less space in your bag than an iPod. "Plus, it works your muscles at a full range of motion, targeting parts that are often missed by free weights," says Hannah Davis, a personal trainer at Club H Fitness in New York City (bodybyhannah.com), who created the routine below.
Do this workout as a circuit: Complete 10 to 12 reps of each move without resting between the exercises. Rest for 30 seconds, then return to start and repeat. Do three sets per session up to five days a week.
BODY-SHAPING BANDFor this workout, Davis recommends using a set of resistance bands like the Thera-Band Latex-Free 3-Pack, which comes with three bands in varying levels of resistance. $11 and up, protherapysupplies.com
1. CURTSY LUNGE AND SWORD DRAW
Hold one end of the band in your right hand, the other under your right foot. Cross your left leg behind you and drop into a curtsy lunge. Lift your right elbow diagonally, fist in front of your shoulder (a). Without moving your upper arm, raise your fist (b). Pause, then slowly lower to start. That's one rep. Do 10 to 12.
2. SEATED ROW
Sit on the floor with your legs straight and loop the resistance band securely around your feet, holding an end in each hand, arms extended in front of you (a). Keep your back straight and shoulders square. Tuck your elbows close to your sides as you pull the band to each side of your torso, squeezing your shoulder blades together (b). Pause, then slowly return to start. That's one rep. Do 10 to 12.
3. PUSHUP WITH RESISTANCE
Start in a pushup position, with your legs extended straight behind you and your hands shoulder-width apart. Position the band across your shoulder blades with tight resistance, each end tucked under a hand (a). Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor (b), then push back to start. That's one rep. Do 10 to 12.
4. FROG PUSH
Lie faceup, bend your hips and knees 90 degrees, and loop the band around your feet, crossing the band to create an X. Hold an end in each hand just above your shoulders or hips (a). From this position, brace your core and slowly extend your legs into the air straight in front of you (b). Pause, then return to start. That's one rep. Do 10 to 12.