This week’s Friday Fitness Challenge is going to tone your full body with a resistance band routine! This is a great routine to print out and keep with you while you’re traveling or when you want to get a workout in at work. This routine uses both compound and single-joint motions to maximize the effectiveness in each movement. The best part about this routine, besides the fact that it will tone your muscles beautifully, is it’s super accessible. Keep a resistance band in your car, in your purse, or in your desk at work and use it whenever you can!

Before you begin this routine, you need to make sure you have a band that’s right for you! Typically, the color of the bands insinuates the “weight” of the band in comparison to dumbbells. If your band is from a brand that does not utilize the color coding technique, consider the thickness of the band. The thicker the band, the more difficult it is to stretch and the “heavier” it is. Be sure to have a few different bands available, just as you have a few different dumbbells available in different weights, so you can vary the bands depending on the exercise. You can always add more resistance to your band, similar to adding more weights, by looping the band around your wrists or wrapping it around the anchor (discussed below) multiple times.

Complete this routine with little to no rest in between. For maximum effectiveness, repeat the routine a total of 3 times, resting briefly between each new start of the routine. If you don’t have time to repeat 3 full times, do as much as you can and come back to it when you have more time.

1. Squat Press – Stand on the center of the band, holding one handle in each hand. Place your palms facing forward and keep your feet hip-width apart. Squat down, keeping your back straight, your chest out, and your hands (holding each end of the resistance band) level with your ears. As you press back into standing position, drive the handles up toward the ceiling and squeeze. Release your hands back to starting position (level with your ears) and repeat for a total of 15 reps.

2. Chest Press – First, you need to anchor your band. If you’re indoors, loop the band around the doorknob on the opposite side of the door and shut it, so the band is steady for your to pull. If you’re outdoors, wrap the band around a strong, stationary object like a pole, sign, bench, etc. Facing away from your anchor, hold one handle in each hand, spreading your arms out wide and keeping your hands shoulder height from the ground. Take a big step away from the anchor with one foot. Now, bend your elbows and press elbow back until your hands are at your shoulders with your palms facing down. This is starting position. Drive your hands forward so they’re straight in front of you, parallel with the ground, and slowly bring back to starting position. Repeat for 15 reps.

3. Tricep Pulls – Stand on one end of the band, holding the other end in your right hand, behind your head with your right palm facing the ceiling. Straighten your right arm, pushing up toward the ceiling. Keep your right arm close to your right ear and your core super tight. Pause when your arm is fully extended then release back to tarting position. Complete 15 reps on your right side, then switch to left. To challenge yourself, try this exercise by lifting your left foot off the floor when working your right tricep and raise your right foot off the floor when working your left tricep.

4. Lunge and Curl – Stand on the center of the band with your right foot only, holding a handle in each hand and resting arms at sides. Take a big step back with your left foot. While keeping your upper arms completely still, curl the handles toward your shoulders. Hold this position with the band as you lower your body into a lunge. Don’t overextend your right knee over your toes. Pause, squeeze, and then press your right heel to raise your body back to standing position. Slowly lower your hands back to their starting position. Complete 15 reps on your right leg, then repeat for 15 reps with your left.

5. Core Rotation – Anchor the band on something that is shoulder height, and stand sideways to the anchor with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold the one handle with both hands, keeping your arms straight and at chest height. Rotate your shoulders and torso toward the anchor. This is starting position. Move your arms, torso, and shoulders in one motion, twisting away from the anchor, stretching the band as you pull it across your body. Keep pulling by engaging your core muscles until you’re facing the opposite direction. Slowly twist back to starting position. Complete 15 reps on one side, then repeat 15 reps on the other side.