You Only Need One Piece of Equipment for This 15-Minute Workout

You’re busy, you’re stressed, and you’re currently navigating how to make your home multi-task as a home, office, school, and any other number of spaces you need. The last thing you need is trip over bulky workout equipment you have no place to store or carve a full hour out of your day in order to get a quality sweat in — both of these hurdles add up to disaster, and might make you resent working out more than you’re inspired to do it.

Thankfully, the pros are here to dispel some key fitness myths: No, you don’t need a giant chunk of time to complete a solid workout, and no, you don’t need a lot of space or equipment to get the job done. Case in point: This simple (but deceptively challenging) 15-minute workout from Sweat trainer Kelsey Wells, which requires a yoga mat, a resistance band, and your body.

Resistance bands, which are often color-coded to approximate resistance intervals of regular free weights, are compact but mighty tools that will help you get stronger, no matter your current fitness level. Wells, who designs Sweat’s exclusive PWR and PWR at Home programs, is a fan herself: “They are also perfect for someone in an apartment or who doesn’t have a lot of space, as they are super easy to store and take up minimal space, which is a bonus,” she told Apartment Therapy.

The workout Wells designed exclusively for Apartment Therapy is easy enough to follow and features seven exercises that add up to a total-body workout. To complete one circuit, perform each exercise for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, then move onto the next exercise. Rest for 60 seconds once you reach the end of the second, and repeat the circuit one more time. The resulting workout will challenge your muscles and is over in 15 minutes — though if you’re aching for more, Wells just premiered a new installment of her PWR at Home program through the Sweat app, so members can access 46 weeks of unique programming and corresponding guides.

Be sure to give yourself a few minutes to warm up — this stretching routine can help if you have tight hips from sitting at a desk all day long — then dive in. You’ll be done before you know it, and ready to take on the next task in your day.

Step 1: Extend both legs in front of you, flex your feet, wrap the resistance band around the bottom of your soles, and hold the ends in both hands. (“You can also press your feet against a sturdy object to keep the band in place,” Wells notes.) Draw your shoulder blades down and back to push your chest out, and extend your arms in front of you with palms facing down, also known as an overhand grip.

Step 2: Exhale, bend your elbows back, and pull your hands toward your ribcage. Make sure your arms don’t flare out too far from your torso. “You should feel a small squeeze between your shoulder blades,” Wells says.

Step 3: Inhale as you return your hands to their starting position. Repeat this move for 45 seconds.

Exercise Two: Glute Bridge and Opening

Step 1: Loop the resistance band around your lower thighs and tie as needed. Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet hip-width distance apart on the floor. Your arms should rest by your sides, and make sure to keep your spine in a neutral position.

Step 2: Exhale, and as Wells notes, “draw your ribs to your hips to engage your core.” Raise your pelvis off the mat by pushing down through your heels, not by lifting up from your waist.

Step 3: Inhale, and push your knees apart, continuing to press through the floor with your heels.

Step 4: Close your knees, exhale, and return your spine and pelvis to the floor. Repeat this move for 45 seconds.

Step 1: Extend both legs in front of you, flex your feet, wrap the resistance band around your soles, and hold the ends in both hands, with palms facing down. Draw your shoulder blades down and back to push your chest out, and extend your arms in front of you. Make sure there is tension on the band to start — Wells suggests holding the band at a spot closer to your feet or crisscrossing the band if you need to.

Step 2: Exhale, bend your elbows, and and pull your hands toward your chin, making sure to keep your shoulders down.

Step 3: Inhale, and return to your starting position. Repeat this move for 45 seconds.

Exercise 4: Straight-Leg Deadlift

Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and on top of the middle of the resistance band. Hold the ends of the resistance band in each hand, with palms facing inward in a neutral grip.

Step 2: Exhale, and hinge at the hips to push them back behind you (you’ll feel a pull in the muscle at the back of your legs, known as your hamstrings). Your arms should naturally extend down your legs and toward your ankle and your back should stay straight. Keep your arms locked into your shoulder sockets to reinforce this posture.

Step 3: Inhale, and return to your standing position by pushing through the bottom of your heels. Keep your hands close to your thighs throughout. Repeat this move for 45 seconds.

Exercise 5: Tricep Kickback

Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and on top of the middle of the resistance band. Hold the ends of the resistance band in each hand, with palms facing inward in a neutral grip. Bend your knees slightly, keep your back flat, and hinge from your hips so your torso is parallel to the floor. Keep your elbows at 90 degree angles so your fists are between your chest and thighs.

Step 2: Exhale and extend your arms behind you, keeping your arms close to your body.

Step 3: Inhale, and return to your starting position. Repeat this move for 45 seconds.

Step 1: Wrap the resistance band around your thighs by your knees, and kneel on your hands and knees Make sure your palms are directly under your shoulders and your hips are over your knees. Keep your spine in a neutral position.

Step 2: Exhale, and lift your right knee up and out. Keep your hips and shoulders parallel as you move, and try not to arch your back.

Step 3: Inhale, and return your knee to the mat. Repeat this move for 45 seconds, switching to the left leg halfway through.

Step 1: Ground your feet in a split stance, with one foot slightly in front of the other, though not in a straight line (keeping your feet about hip distance apart in width will help you balance). Wrap the resistance band around your back and hold each end in both hands, with your palms facing down. Extend your arms in front of you, parallel to your shoulders.

Step 2: Inhale, and pull your elbows back so they are in line with your shoulders. Be careful not to let your shoulders creep up to your ears throughout this exercise. There should still be tension in the band when you retract your arms — Wells recommends wrapping the resistance band around your hands if you need to shorten the length.

Step 3: Exhale and return your arms to the starting position. Repeat this move for 45 seconds.

Rest for 60 seconds, then repeat the circuit one more time.

Ella Cerón

Lifestyle Editor

Ella Cerón is Apartment Therapy’s Lifestyle Editor, covering how to live your best life in the home you’ve made your own. She lives in New York with two black cats (and no, it’s not a bit).

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Published at Tue, 16 Mar 2021 12:00:07 +0000

It’s Time to Give These Forgotten Kitchen Surfaces Some Much-Needed Attention

Horizontal surfaces get all the attention. It’s hard to ignore a dusty shelf or the splatters dotted across a countertop. But I promise, those are not the only places in the kitchen getting hit with the collateral damage from your cooking.

Sure, you probably wipe off the backsplash when it gets hit with a glob of tomato sauce (or maybe you don’t — no judgement here). But the backsplash, walls, and cabinet fronts around your kitchen deserve some love too.

So for day two of this spring cleaning adventure — and day two of our five days in the kitchen — let’s focus on those vertical surfaces…

Day 2: Clean the walls, backsplash, and cabinets in the kitchen.

There’s no right or wrong way to clean your kitchen’s vertical surfaces. But if it helps to have a system, I’d recommend you work clockwise around the kitchen, from top to bottom. So grab your favorite all-purpose cleaner and a rag, step into the kitchen, turn to your left, look up, and go.

You’re looking at the vertical surfaces, so you might see a cabinet front, or a piece of the wall, or part of your backsplash. Whatever it is, spray and wipe. Then work your way down. You can tackle the entire surface, or work in arms-length sections. I’m really over-explaining this, I know. The goal is just to get you thinking about the surfaces you often ignore. Just stay focused and look around your kitchen, wiping every inch of vertical surface you can see.

Your cleaner and rag should be enough to tackle most of the dirt you encounter, but if anything is especially grimy, try using a scraper-type tool (I love a simple razor blade), or introducing dish soap (nothing is better at beating grease and grime).

More ways to participate in the Spring Cleaning Cure:

Taryn Williford

Lifestyle Director

Taryn is a homebody from Atlanta. She writes about cleaning and living well as the Lifestyle Director at Apartment Therapy. She might have helped you declutter your apartment through the magic of a well-paced email newsletter. Or maybe you know her from The Pickle Factory Loft on Instagram.

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Published at Tue, 16 Mar 2021 11:03:04 +0000