This Mini Band Workout Fits Perfectly Into Your Lunch Break
We all know that desk-sitting is horrible for our health for a multitude of reasons, but we can’t exactly up and quit our 9-to-5 jobs now, can we? So instead of cursing our luck, let’s make use of the main break the day has to offer — lunch. If you’re willing to work up a sweat during your 30-minute hiatus from your computer, then we’ll condone eating your midday meal behind the screen. Balance, right? It’s only fair.
To create this perfectly tailored lunchtime workout, we teamed up with body positive thought leader, personal trainer and #curvyfit Instagram influencer Morit Summers. Since her goal is all about democratizing fitness, she’s the perfect expert to guide us in using our lunch breaks in the most effective way possible.
This workout starts with a warm-up circuit (because you’ve probably already been sitting for hours today) and then moves into a second strength-training circuit, using a mini band. These infinite-loop style resistance bands are inexpensive, easy to carry in your gym bag and take your workout to the next level. But don’t stress — you can also perform these moves without a mini band if you prefer.
Complete both circuits two to three times before parking it back at your desk, feeling super awake, accomplished and productive for the rest of the day. (And if you dig this workout and want to try some more all-inclusive routines from Summers, check out her brick-and-mortar studio, FORM FITNESS, which just opened in Brooklyn, New York. Get it, girl.)
Warm It Up
The World’s Greatest Stretch
From a standing position, hinge forward at your hips and walk out into a high plank position. Then bring your right foot forward and place it to the outside of your right hand. Pick your right hand up off the floor and reach it toward the ceiling as you rotate your torso. Bring your hand back down to the floor, send your right foot back to your plank position, and repeat on the left side. Alternate sides 10 to 20 times.
Sit on your butt, put your hands behind you with your legs bent so your feet are on the floor and lift your hips off of the ground into a reverse table-top position. You should feel a big stretch in your shoulders and notice that your glute muscles are firing. Now, if you can, take your right hand off of the floor and reach over to the left as far as you can. Bring your hand back down to the floor and repeat on the left side. Alternate sides 10 to 20 times.
Back Lunge Reach
From a standing position, step your right foot back into a long back lunge, reaching your right arm toward the ceiling and reaching your left hand toward your right leg. Bring your arms back to center, step your feet together, and repeat the stretch on the left side. Alternate sides until you’ve completed 10 reps on each side.
Opposite Toe Tap Plank
Start in a high plank position. Lift your hips all the way up to the ceiling as if you were moving into downward-facing dog. As you pike your hips, reach your right hand back toward your left foot. Return to the high plank position. Lift your hips and reach your left hand back toward your right foot. Return to the high plank position and keep alternating sides until you’ve completed a total of 10 to 20 reps.
Work It Out
Place the mini band above your knees (or for less resistance, put it around your ankles). Step your right foot out into a squat position, driving through your hips and knees, tracking your knees behind your toes. Keep the band taught, creating additional tension for your leg muscles, and step your right foot back to the center. Step out to the left with your left foot and repeat the squat. Complete 20 squats, 10 on each side.
Don’t have a mini band? Perform the same squat exercise without the added resistance.
Mini Band Deadlift
Put the mini band under your right foot, and then step your left foot back behind you, balancing on the ball of that foot. Now grab the other end of the mini band with your left hand and stand up nice and tall. From here, hinge forward at the hips to lower your torso toward the floor in front of you, keeping your chest up and your hamstrings and glutes engaged. Return to the starting position, and complete 10 reps before switching sides.
Don’t have a mini band? Perform a standard single-leg deadlift with your back foot off the floor.
Mini Band Seated Row
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out straight in front of you, hook the mini band around your right foot and hold the opposite end of the mini band with your right hand. Sit up tall, pull the band back toward your torso by engaging your back and shoulder muscles, and then slowly release it to the starting position in front of you. Complete 10 rows on the right side and then slide the band over your left foot and complete 10 rows on the left side.
Don’t have a mini band? Focus on the isometric hold of sitting up straight with your legs stretched out in front of you for one full minute.
Mini Band Plank Reaches
Place the mini band around your wrists and move into a high plank position. Walk your right hand out to the right side, and then slowly bring it back to center, maintaining tension in the mini band the entire time. Then walk your left hand out to the left side, and bring it back to center. Alternate sides until you complete 10 reps on each side.
Don’t have a mini band? Perform the same arm reaches in your high-plank position without the added resistance. Keep those hips parallel to the floor and your core engaged.
Mini Band Dead Bug
Place the mini band over both of your feet, lie down on your back and bring your hands down by your sides. Lift your legs up so that they form a 90-degree angle with your torso, and maintain tension in the mini band the entire time. Slowly bring your right leg down as far as you can, and then lift it back up to meet your left leg. Then slowly bring your left leg down as far as you can, and then lift it back up to meet your right leg. Keep alternating until you’ve completed 10 to 20 reps on each side.
Don’t have mini band? Perform the exact same exercise without the added resistance. It’s all about using muscle control rather than momentum.
Now go revel in the fact that you have already kicked ass in your personal and professional life today, and it’s not even 2 p.m.