Photography by James Patrick
When the sunny season is in full swing, the last place you want to be is in a dark, stuffy gym—but that doesn’t mean you’re prepared to totally abandon your fitness regime in the name of beaches and barbeques. Enter your have-it-all solution: a metabolic conditioning routine using a resistance band.
If you’re not familiar with metabolic conditioning (or “metcon”), it’s an incredibly efficient method for boosting calorie burn and increasing metabolic rate by combining multi-joint exercises with limited rest. When the muscles are undertaking intense exercise, the demand for energy production increases so the body draws upon its lipid stores (i.e. body fat) and stored nutrients. The icing on the cake? Metabolic training can increase the body’s metabolism and calorie expenditure for 24-48 hours after your last rep, thanks to Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC.
You can incorporate dumbbells or kettlebells into any metabolic conditioning workout, but for location flexibility and convenience—two keys to summer fitness success—this routine utilizes the mighty resistance band. Not only do resistance bands offer portability, but they also provide strengthening benefits while allowing for explosive movements and a full range of motion.
How to: Perform five reps of each exercise back-to-back without rest. Complete all five exercises, then go back to the beginning and repeat. Perform four rounds for a total of 100 reps.
The best type of band for this workout is a medium resistance full loop.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and the band underneath your feet. Place the loop over your head so the band goes behind your neck. Perform a regular squat (A), then explosively jump straight upwards (B). Land, immediately lower back into a squat, and repeat.
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Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with the band secured under your feet. Hold the other end of the band in both hands in front of your thighs (A). Leading with your elbows, pull the band up towards your chin (B). Slowly lower back down, and repeat.
Overhead Squat Press
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with the band secured under your feet. Hold the other end with both hands in front of your shoulders, palms facing out. Perform a squat (A). As you come up to standing, extend your arms and press the band straight overhead (B). Lower back down and repeat.
Get into push-up position with the band looped around your back and secured under your hands, making sure there is resistance in the band. Lower to the bottom of a push-up (A), press back up (B), and repeat.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with the band secured under your feet and the other end in both hands, extended above your head (A). Keeping your upper body stationary, brace your core and perform a squat (B). Press back up to standing, then immediately repeat.