The New Living Room Workout Routine

Get a total body workout with minimal equipment

Curtis Howden
Photo: Katy Whitt

Amidst the challenges we typically face to stay on a targeted fitness program, due to COVID restrictions, we now have the additional limiters of space and equipment. If you would like to start a new routine and develop a solid foundation in 2021, this full-body workout using only a band is for you.

Protocol

The reps, sets, and rest protocol chosen here may look odd to you. This is based on a Gironda protocol and works great for increasing density (work done in a given time) without needing a lot of load/weight. You can expect to work hard, notice some muscle shaping, and likely lose a bit of fat in the process.

Warm-up

A good warm-up will improve the way your muscles respond and give you an idea of your body’s readiness that day. For this workout, focus on the shoulders and hips and pay attention to the available working space / range of motion. Active mobility drills tend to be superior, and I typically would perform controlled articular rotations and progressive/regressive isometrics prior to lifting. Quality execution during your workout is the best way to protect joint function and allow you to target the right tissue.

1. Heel-Raised Squat

Quad focus
5 Sets, 12 Reps, 30 Sec Rest between sets
Complete all 5 sets consecutively
No band required

  • Stand tall with your heels raised, keep your chin down and your lower back in neutral.
  • Keeping your weight evenly balanced between your heel and toes, lower your body by pressing the knees forward.
  • The heel raise won’t target the muscles of the quads alone but pressing the knees forward, without being limited by the ankle will.
Curtis Howden
Heel-Raised Squat. Photo: Katy Whitt

2. Banded Skater Deadlift

Hamstring/glute focus
8 Sets, 8 Reps, 30 Sec Rest between Sets
Complete all 8 sets consecutively

Step on the band with your front foot and hold your lower back in neutral without allowing the pelvis to twist.
Initiate the movement by pushing your hips backward until they can no longer continue this path.
Keeping your weight focused on your front foot, squeeze your front glute to stand up tall while straightening your front knee.
Keep your pelvic position from changing and only go until your hips no longer move backward.
Focus on moving the hips rearward and keeping your back from tipping the spine forward.

Curtis Howden
Banded Skater Deadlift. Photo: Katy Whitt

3. Split Stance Lat-focused Row

Lat focus
6 Sets, 8 Reps, 0 Sec Rest

Complete 1 set of each side, no rest, move onto exercise #4

  • Stand tall with your front knee above your front ankle and your rear knee below your hip.
  • Start with your arm fully outstretched and the band anchored around shoulder height.
  • Initiate the movement by pulling your upper arm down and dropping the elbow/shoulder unit as if you are trying to pull the elbow to the hip.
  • Once you’ve pulled the elbow as far as you can towards the hip, slowly return the arm along the same path to outstretched. Focus on pushing the upper arm/elbow down, not back.
Curtis Howden
Split Stance Lat-focused Row. Photo: Katy Whitt

4. Banded Push-up

Pec focus
6 Sets, 8 Reps, 15 Sec Rest
Complete 1 set, rest for 15 Sec, move onto exercise #5

  • Lie on your stomach with the hips and chest off the ground and the elbows tucked into your sides and above your hands.
  • You will have the ends of the band situated under each hand and wrapping around your upper back. Press to full extension of the arms without allowing the lower back to arch.
  • The band will be stretched as you press yourself up, increasing its resistance.
  • Reach as long as you can through the arms and slowly lower.
  • If you want to make this easier, come up on the knees and down on the feet.
  • Adding a thicker band or removing the band will further challenge the exercise or remove the challenge, respectively.
Curtis Howden
Banded Push-up. Photo: Katy Whitt

5. Copenhagen Side Plank – Elbow & Foot

Adductor/oblique focus
6 Sets, Hold for 30 Sec each side, 15 Sec Rest

Complete 1 set of both sides, rest for 15 Sec, move onto exercise #3

Lay on your side with your elbow and top foot on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground and get the spine in a straight line, holding a neutral position, and squeeze your knees together with the bottom knee bent.

To make this harder, you can put your foot on a riser or support yourself with a hand instead of the elbow; to make it easier, you can put your top knee on a riser.

The ideal position would keep your body completely horizontal. Typically, a sofa or low bed works perfectly for this.

Curtis Howden
Copenhagen Side Plank – Elbow & Foot. Photo: Katy Whitt

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