Fitness

Tighten and Tone Muscles in 10 Minutes a Day With 4 Resistance Band Exercises (Designed by a Personal Trainer)

Every workout has a secret weapon.

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“No pain, no gain” is no longer true. Frankly, it never was. Smart exercises that support, strengthen, and slim your body — rather than strain it — are the goal. Fitness expert Kristin McGee, who works with A-list celebrities like Savannah Guthrie, uses a resistance band to do just that. Below are four of her favorite moves for toning muscles and melting fat quickly and safely.

Warrior lunges help trim thighs.

Lunges are one of the best exercises for burning fat and revealing the lean muscle underneath, particularly in the hips and thighs. Hold your resistance band taut to also engage your rear deltoids (for slimming and toning shoulders).

TO DO: Stand with your feet 3 feet apart, left toe turned to the side. Hold band in both hands, with hands 2 feet apart. This is your start position.

  • Extend left arm to side and pull right hand back to right shoulder.
  • Bend left knee, and lower into lunge.
  • Return to start position.
  • Do 10 reps on each side.
Warrior-lunges-mag-image
Alan Cox

Standing side crunches trim the waist.

This simple standing ab exercise will get you closer to your hourglass figure goals. It utilizes the obliques — muscles that run along the sides of the abdomen and cinch the waist like a corset.

TO DO: Stand straight with feet together. Hold band in both hands, with hands 2 feet apart. Lift band overhead and separate hands until band is taut. This is your start position.

  • Keeping shoulders faced forward, bend at waist to the left, popping left heel up, if necessary.
  • Return to start position.
  • Do 10 reps, then switch sides.
Standing-side-crunches-mag-image
Alan Cox

Seated rows slim shoulders.

Seated rows work double duty to tone your upper body. They engage the latissimus dorsi and the rhomboids to trim the upper back, as well as the pectorals and trapezius to perk up the chest.

TO DO: Sit on the ground, legs straight out in front of you. Place center of band around arches of feet, grasping end of band with hands and arms extended forward parallel to the floor. This is your start position.

  • Sitting up straight, pull band toward shoulders, allowing elbows to float back (pictured below).
  • Extend arms back out, returning to start position.
  • Do 15 reps.
Seated-rows-mag-image
Alan Cox

Tricep extensions sculpt upper arms.

This simple move will help you quickly sculpt wow-worthy arms. It utilizes the triceps and works to eliminate those pesky wiggles that happen when you wave hello.

TO DO: Hold one end of the band with your left hand, raise left hand straight overhead, and bend your elbow to a 90-degree angle. Reach your right hand behind your back and grasp the band where it’s hanging behind you. This is your start position (pictured below).

  • Keeping right hand where it is, extend left hand up until arm is straight, being careful not to move left upper arm. (It should remain close to your head, perpendicular to the floor.)
  • Return to start position.
  • Do 10 reps on each side.
Tricep-extensions-mag-image
Alan Cox

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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