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Sample Class: Band Blast!

Add a little rubber resistance to cardio intervals.

Band workout

If you want to keep participants engaged and challenged, this high-energy class will do the trick. Break out the exercise bands and add targeted strength moves to high-intensity intervals. This format includes three phases, each consisting of one Tabata round followed by four resistance exercises. Bands are safe, easy to use and portable, making this a great class to offer in any location.

Band Blast Details

Goal/Emphasis: to improve cardiovascular endurance and strength

Total Time: 45–50 minutes

Music: 132–140 beats per minute

Equipment: two types of resistance band: tubing with handles at each end and loop bands

Safety cues:

  • Check bands for tears before use.
  • Be sure bands are secured before applying tension.
  • If you’re exercising in pairs, ensure that your partner is prepared before you apply tension.
  • Do not release a band while it’s under tension.

Warmup (5–8 minutes)

Begin class with standard total-body moves. For example:

  • slow burpees
  • body-weight squats
  • arm circles and side steps
  • stationary reverse lunges
  • inchworms

 Perform 10–15 reps of each move, then repeat full sequence.

Work Phase (30–40 minutes)

Band exercise

Each work phase includes one Tabata round using a band, followed by four strength exercises.

Each 4-minute Tabata consists of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, for a total of eight intervals. Each round features two alternating high-intensity exercises. For strength moves, you’ll do 16 repetitions on each side.

Phase One

Tabata Round

  • Exercise #1: Band jumping jacks. Fold handled band in half, hold rounded end with one hand, both handles in other hand, arms in front of body. Pull band apart as feet jump together, then bring hands toward each other as feet jump apart.
  • Exercise #2: Side hops. Straighten handled band; place on floor. Stand on one side of band and jump to opposite side.

Strength Round

  • Squat + shoulder press: Start in lunge position, middle of handled band underneath front foot, hands at shoulder level, palms facing forward, one handle in each hand. Do stationary lunge followed by shoulder press. >>
  • Side lunge + lateral raise: Start with feet wider than shoulders, left foot on top of band, close to L handle. Hold right handle in R hand. Do R side lunge and then R lateral raise as you come out of lunge.
  • Bent-over row: Stand with legs hip-width apart, both feet on top of band. Hold L handle with R hand and R handle with L hand (for extra resistance). Hinge at hips and row band toward waist.
  • Pushup: Start in plank, band wrapped around upper back, hands placed over band (move hands farther away from handles for extra resistance). Do pushup.

Phase Two 

Tabata Round

  • Exercise #1: Squat jacks. Wrap loop band around ankles, feet together. Jump out until feet are slightly wider than hip-width apart and lower into squat. Explode up and bring feet back together.
  • Exercise #2: Plank jacks. Start in high plank position, loop band around ankles. Jump feet apart and together.

Strength Round

  • Partner triceps kickback: Face partner, center of handled bands wrapped around each other to create tension. Both partners hinge forward at hips and do triceps kickback. Increase distance for extra resistance.
  • Lunge + biceps curl: Start in lunge position, band under front foot, handle in each hand. Do one lunge followed by biceps curl.
  • Overhead triceps extension: Start with feet hip-width apart, handled band wrapped under both feet, arms raised over head. Do one overhead triceps extension.
  • Partner squat + woodchop: Stand 2 feet apart from partner, facing same direction. Wrap center of bands around each other and hold handles together. Squat while lowering hands toward partner (bottom of woodchop). Rise out of squat, reaching hands diagonally up and away from partner.

Phase Three

Tabata Round 

  • Exercise #1: Star jacks. Fold handled band in half, hold rounded end with one hand and both handles in opposite hand, arms in front of body. As you jump and kick legs out for star jack, pull band apart as far as possible. Land with feet and hands together.
  • Exercise #2: Skaters. Straighten handled band on floor, horizontal to body. Stand behind L handle, lift R foot and leap R, along band’s length, trying to reach opposite handle. Land
    on R foot, L foot lifted and slightly behind R. Leap in other direction. Repeat, trying to travel length of band with each leap. 

Strength Round

  • Leg extension: Start with loop band wrapped around ankles, feet hip-width apart. Slowly extend one leg back for leg extension. Hold lifted leg for 2–3 seconds, then lower foot. Repeat, other side.
  • Plank + mountain climbers: Start in plank with loop band wrapped around both feet (around shoelaces/arch). Slowly draw one knee toward chest. Hold for 1–2 seconds; return to starting position. Repeat, other leg.
  • Spinal balance: Start on hands and knees, shoulders over wrists, hips over knees. Place ends of band under R hand to keep ends locked between hands and floor. Place R foot in loop created by folding band in half. Slowly extend R foot straight back while simultaneously lifting L hand. Hold for 1–2 seconds and return to starting position.
  • Side plank: Start in side plank with lower hand holding onto middle of band. Hold handle with upper hand and gradually extend arm toward ceiling. Hold for 1–2 seconds and lower arm.

Cooldown (5–8 minutes)

Lead class through a series of total-body stretches that target all major muscle groups, using bands to facilitate the stretches. Sample exercises:

  • low static lunge/hip stretch
  • overhead arm stretch with band
  • supine hamstring stretch (loop band around foot)
  • chest stretch with band
  • quadriceps stretch

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