If you’ve spent much time reading my blog, you probably know how strongly I feel that the best exercise for PCOS is strength training.
If you are still not strength training because you just don’t want to part with the time and money, it’s time to ditch the excuses! This article is the easy, low-cost gateway to start strength training at home.
At the time I’m writing this post, my husband Colin and I are in the “other people’s weddings and babies” phase of our lives. Over the last few years, we’ve embarked on multiple whirlwind tours of the Midwest. Over an upcoming 3-day, weekend we will attend at least one wedding, one family reunion, and meet at least one sweet newborn baby. Don’t get me wrong – I love being a witness to all of the incredible changes taking place in our friends’ and families’ lives, but these trips are exhausting and wreak havoc on my routines.
I minimize the chaos by doing two things: packing light and never skipping a workout. The workouts keep me balanced, while packing light keeps Colin happy. That’s where these handy resistance bands come into play. Rubber resistance bands are cheap, easy to store, and so versatile! You can get a total body strength training session knocked out quickly with just three little bands. Thus, resistance bands are the perfect low-commitment strength training equipment for the reluctant trainee.
Strength training at home with resistance bands can deliver the benefits of a fancy gym weight room without the intimidation factor and the time-wasting process of going to and from the gym. All you need to get started is a $10 pack of rubber resistance bands and a sturdy anchor point to attach the band.
At-Home Strength Workout
As always, spend 5-10 minutes warming up. Don’t skip this! Seriously, if I have to warm up, so do you. For some guidance, can get my easy 5-minute warm-up guide sent to your inbox.Perform each of these exercises for a set of 8-12 reps before moving on to the next exercise.After you’ve completed one set of each exercise, repeat the circuit for a total of 2-3 sets.Rest just enough in between each set so that you can keep good form. Your heart rate should be elevated and your form should be good.The last rep of each set needs to be difficult to complete. If you can complete the 12th rep with ease, use a heavier resistance band for the next set.
Band Resisted Palof Press
- Attach the resistance band to an immovable object at chest level.
- Stand in line with the band so that your body is parallel to the anchor point.
- Hold the band with both hands and center it on your chest. Do not allow the band to rotate your upper body.
- Exhale, push the band straight out in front of you, brace your core and glutes to resist the urge to rotate or twist at the waist.
- Hold it in front for 3 seconds, then return the band to your chest.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body into a squatting position and place your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Brace your core and step your feet back so that you are in push-up position.
- Hop both your feet back to their original position in the squat.
- From the squat, spring up into the air while clapping your arms overhead.
- Repeat immediately.
Straight-Arm Resistance Band Pull-Down
- Secure a resistance band at a point that is fixed firmly above eye level.
- Hold the ends of the band or the handles and step away from anchor point until there is tension on the band.
- Keep your arms extended straight out in front of your chest, palms facing down.
- Engage the core to keep the torso stiff, relax the shoulders, and don’t shrug. Exhale and keep your arms extended as you press down until the hands are slightly past your hips.
- Return your arms to chest level.
Band Resisted Pull-Throughs
- Loop a resistance band around a sturdy object near the floor and stand while straddling the band with feet hip-width apart and face away from the anchor point.
- Keep your back straight, core engaged, and your shoulders down.
- Inhale as you hinge at the hip and press your rear behind you. Slightly bend your knees, feeling a stretch in the hamstrings. Do not round your spine.
- Exhale as you squeeze glutes and press the hips forward to stand back up, pulling the band through your legs.
- Imagine that you’re pulling from your hips rather than your arms or lower back.
- Get into a good push-up position: place your hands on the ground slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, engage your core to stiffen your torso, keep your feet together and your glutes firm.
- Inhale and lower your chest toward the ground. Keep your glutes and core strong and tuck your elbows close to your sides as you descend.
- Exhale and press back up to the starting position.
- Do as many as you can from your toes. If necessary to keep good form, come down to the knees.
- Step out with your lead leg, bend your knees and lower your hips. Keep your torso erect with your shoulder directly above the hips. Don’t let your lead knee extend past your toes.
- Inhale and keep the spine neutral as you rise up.
- Step forward with the back leg and lower back into a lunge.
- Executing this exercise on both legs completes one rep.
- As you perform additional reps, you will travel across the floor.
Keep in mind that resistance bands are just one of the many tools you can use to strength train at home. My favorite piece of equipment for working out at home is this suspension trainer.
Always remember the importance of warming up before a workout. Get my quick and easy warm-up guide to prepare yourself for strength training.