I thought my home workouts were good—then they got even better
When the pandemic cut my spinning and barre memberships short, I wasn’t worried about the quality of my workouts decreasing. In fact, it was a welcome return to my default form of exercise: home workouts. Having grown up as an overly weight-conscious chubby kid, I’ve been following along to YouTube routines since I was in high school. Warm-ups, cardio, HIIT, stretches, you name it. Under the guidance of an overly supportive significant other, I began to incorporate heavier weights into my workouts in the thick of the quarantine, working my way up from three-pounders to five, and then to ten.
After almost a year of doing purely at-home workouts, I was certain I’d unlocked the optimum state of my quarantine exercise. I was seeing changes that I’d never seen before: a cut in my bicep, defined shoulders, the shadow of a muscle on my thigh where dimples used to be.
And then, I tried a nifty (and aptly named) exercise tool. Enter: Wonder Bands.
I’ll be honest: Wonder Bands weren’t the first strap-on weights I’d come across and, the first time I saw them on Instagram, I gave them a moment of consideration before scrolling right past them. The equipment itself—made with an iron cast core and coated with medical grade silicone—is certainly useful, but I just didn’t think I would need them. After all, I’d graduated to five and ten-pound weights. What good would half-pound and one-pound weights do me?
It’s been a hot minute since the last time I was happy to be proven wrong.
Wonder Bands are traitorous in the best way. They look and feel like they won’t add much strain to your already-polished routine. However, that first impression is immediately shattered when your workout begins. Even the tried-and-tested videos that I could perform from memory were upgraded. I ordered a casual exercise routine, but somehow got a sweat-drenched session that required me to wipe down my yoga mat between moves.
These things make you sweat—yes, in italics, because they’re that good. I love a classic jumping jack and burpee, sure. But doing them with Wonder Bands leaves me huffing and puffing in half the time. Plus, there’s an added factor of a gentle tone, a great bonus I won’t say no to.
I’ve found that the half-pound Wonder Bands are best for HIIT and high-impact cardio. It goes without saying, but these are also the best choice for first-timers unfamiliar with weighted workouts. After a week of using my Wonder Bands, I'm proud to share that I've transitioned to using the one-pound bands for HIIT, too. Sometimes, I use them in combination with hand weights (but only when I’m feeling brave!).
Some cardio and HIIT favorites I do with my half-pound Wonder Bands!
On the reg, I reach for my heavier Wonder Bands when I do videos that involve laying on my mat. These are obviously my favorite days.
Leg and butt workouts + one-pound Wonder Bands = a recipe for muscle isolation and suffering
Besides the added difficulty they provide, my favorite thing about the bands is the ease of use. Unlike dumbbells, you can fasten them and get your sweat on, no adjustments needed. As long as they’re secured above the wrists and ankles, they can enrich workouts without putting unnecessary strain on your joints.
The Wonder Bands website states that the equipment is designed for fitness and fashion. I wouldn’t take that as a signal to wear these outside, but the minimalist design and smooth-as-butter texture give that same sense of motivation as a pair of cute workout leggings or a punchy colored yoga mat. And for as long as our workouts are homebound, who are we to refuse a little boost?
Wonder Bands retail for P1,699 for half-pounders and P1,799 for one-pounders. Shop for your pair own pair online via their official website!
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver