WHEN YOU’RE squeezing in a gym session between meetings, making a beeline from your desk to the bench press is the go-to tactic. The inconvenient truth, though, is that skipping a warm-up is sabotaging your workout.
In your quest for total-body muscle, one move can make all the difference, so set aside five minutes and grab a resistance band. “During the windmill and press, your shoulder stabilises, your hips hinge and your spine rotates, priming you for heavy kettlebell swings, overhead pressing or deadlifts,” explains Third Space PT Lee Ryan. You’ll lift heavier for extra sets and reps, accelerating your progress.
And that’s before we get to the impact on your core. This move builds abs as effectively as a plank, but it’s far less boring. “The band activates your entire midsection when you rotate into the pressing position,” says Ryan. Shoot for two sets of 12-15 reps on each side to feel your abs work in places you never even knew existed and prep for a PB.
Tired of the same old presession stretching but not sure whether to stick or twist? Well, now you know exactly what to do.
1/ SOLID START
Stand with your feet at hip-width, secure the band under your left foot and stretch the other end overhead in your right hand. Start with your left hand at the band’s midpoint, just below your chest. You should feel it in your core already.
2/ LEAN INTO IT
Look up at your right hand and hinge into your right hip, pushing your glutes back so your right leg is straight and there’s a slight bend in your left knee. At the same time, rotate your torso. Ready to press your advantage?
3/ PUSH TO ACTIVATE
This is where you’ll really feel your core switch into overdrive. With your left arm, press the resistance band out to the right, making sure your arm fully locks out. Your right arm should stay overhead throughout. Keep steady, now.
4/ REVERSE FORTUNES
When you reverse the move, stay in control and don’t rush back to your upright position. This increases time under tension to maximise every rep. Perform your set on one side, then repeat on the other side for a full-body burn. How’s that for a band aid?