Free weights and kettlebells and pullup bars are all stellar pieces of equipment. But name a more portable and lightweight tool—that’s still powerful enough for a full-body sweat—than a mini resistance band. We’ll wait.
Is that crickets we hear? Thought so. The band, arguably one of the most underrated strength-training modalities, creates constant tension that increases as you stretch it, says Kelsey Sheahan, personal trainer, iFit instructor, and cofounder of Sweat Den. It also adds quality to movement. Do a squat with DBs and you may not notice your knees falling inward, she says. “Add a band above the knees and you have a feedback loop of where your form needs improvement.”
To that point: Resistance band training was not only deemed a great alternative to lifting free weights, in a study in the Journal of Human Kinetics; it also causes muscle fibers to fire even harder than they do with free weights, possibly due to the instability you’re fighting with a band.
Really, there’s no question why the mini band is the headliner for this year’s fitness challenge. Expertly crafted by Sheahan, the plan is a spicy workout that’ll condition you head to toe, improve muscular endurance and mobility, and enhance the mind-body connection. Each week, you'll also focus on a new mini goal as you progress through the 30 days.
Ready to build strength, enhance the mind-muscle connection, and work your way to a more confident you?
Sign up for a WH+ membership to access the challenge workouts below—and tons of other perks.
You'll get access to our members-only newsletter, a magazine subscription, and unlimited digital content. Now, snap to it.
Join our Facebook group for motivation from Sheahan, progress checks, and more.
DAYS 1–7: Train With Intention
Do the designated workout for each day at the links below, performing each exercise for 30 seconds, with 15 seconds of rest between moves. Repeat each circuit three times. As you kick things off, think about why you’re here—and where you’re feeling it with each move. The brain needs to be all in for the bod to follow.
DAYS 8–14: Course-Correct
For each workout, stick to performing the exercises for 30 seconds each, resting for 15 seconds between moves, and doing the circuit three times. Take inventory of where you felt off last week. Balance wonky in that airplane pose in the booty workout? Need to increase the tension on your upper-body days? Tweak your path accordingly.
DAYS 15–21: Up The Intensity
Try to power through each move for 45 seconds, with 15 seconds of intermittent rest, for, again, three total rounds. You’ve gotten the hang of the movements—so let’s take the energy and burn up a notch here.
DAYS 22–30: Go Out With A Bang
Bring all you’ve got to every single minute of every workout. You’re ready to push for 45 seconds of work, with 15 seconds of rest between moves, for four total rounds.
Track your progress: At the end of a workout (or week), jot down how many reps you did in the time frame and what level band you used. These notes act as benchmarks to help you witness growth and know when to level up.
Trainer tip: On cross-training days, mix it up. Take your favorite class, or move through a relaxing yoga flow—whatever your body craves.