5 Exercises to Maximize Your Down Time

Try these five low-impact, low-intensity exercises to make the most of your down time.


Down time is rare in the life of an athlete, and when you find some, you might feel like taking a nap. Sleep is good, but there are other ways to make the best of your free time. Those odd five or 10 minutes throughout your day can be great to sneak in some pre-hab and recovery exercises. Whether you're out with an injury, killing time in the locker room, hanging out in the hotel or just not involved in practice at the moment, here are five low-impact, low-intensity exercises you can do to make the most of your down time.

These exercises focus on two typical problem areas for athletes, the posterior chain and the hips. Strengthening them will make you more flexible and more explosive. Each exercise can be done for either 20 reps or continuously for between 60 and 90 seconds. Knock out 2 sets of each exercise and you just dominated your downtime workout.

Lying Band Clam Shells

  • Place the resistance band around your knees.
  • Lie on your side with your knees pointed forward and bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Lift your top knee up 8-12 inches; the top foot stays in place against the bottom foot.
  • Lower your top knee back down to the bottom knee. This completes one repetition.
  • Repeat for repetitions or time, as prescribed.
  • Switch to the other side of your body and repeat the motion.

Band Lateral Hip Raise

Place the resistance band around your feet.

  • Lie down with your knees straight and ankles bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Lift your top leg 8-12 inches while keeping your bottom leg straight.
  • Lower your top leg back down to the bottom leg. This completes one repetition.
  • Repeat for repetitions or time, as prescribed.
  • Switch to the other side of your body and repeat the motion.

Band Hip Flexor

  • Place the resistance band around your feet.
  • Lie down with your knees straight and ankles bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • Drive one knee up until it is at 90 degrees or higher, while keeping the other leg straight.
  • Lower your leg back down to the floor. This completes one repetition.
  • Repeat for repetitions or time, as prescribed.
  • Switch to the other side of your body and repeat the motion.

Band Body Curl

  • Place the resistance band around your knees with your shoulders on a slide board or furniture movers.
  • Begin in a glute bridge position.
  • While pushing your knees outward, drive your heels into the ground to move your shoulders 8-12 inches.
  • Maintain pressure on the band, drive your heels into the ground and pull your body back to the start position. This completes one repetition.
  • Repeat for repetitions or time, as prescribed.

Banded Hamstring Curl

  • Using a slide board or furniture movers, place the resistance band around a stable object (e.g., bench, goal post, etc.) and around your heels.
  • Begin in a glute bridge position.
  • Pull your heels toward your backside as far as possible.
  • Return back to the start position. This completes one repetition.
  • Repeat for repetitions or time, as prescribed.
Editor's Note: Check out Coach Taylor's SMARTER Team Training Audio Interview Series here.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: EXERCISE | HEELS | SLIDE BOARD