The Resistance Bands I Wear Around My Apartment to Turn Everything into Easy Exercise

Shop $ 49, urbanoutfitters.com; shopbala.com


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Working out sucks in the stay-at-home age. Without gyms and peer pressure, we end up half-assing it. Those of us who’ve never gone through extensive training have a tough time without machines to cradle us. We spend hours with YouTube fitness videos and still feel like we barely challenged ourselves. No judgment from me; I get it. And I know it’s remarkably nice to up my exercise counter by simply sliding a weighted resistance band on.

Resistance training goes through phases (one of the most offensive being the ugly weights worn by mall walkers in the early ’90s). But it works, and Bala brought it into this decade with its weighted Bangles, which not only look much cooler than most workout gear but also integrate into any fitness routine. I find them to be both comfortable and wildly versatile. Wearing them adds a little extra oomph to every lift of my hand or foot, so I can’t cheat my way through.

bala bangles

Velcro straps hold the Bangles on tight.

Allie Holloway

You literally just put them on to get a workout. That’s it.

Most exercise equipment requires hours of reading, building, or researching. Bala Bangles require that you know how to put on a bracelet. The Bangles range from one to two pounds, and using them is as easy as strapping them onto your ankles or wrists and wearing them during a home workout—whether that’s yoga, P90X, or body weight training. Hell, wear them as you’re cleaning up your space. The extra weight works as a bonus form of resistance training. Simple as that.

Shop $ 49, urbanoutfitters.com; shopbala.com

bala bangle

They look much nicer than your average ankle or wrist weight.

Allie Holloway

They don’t rub or irritate skin.

Working out is already extremely uncomfortable, and any item of uncomfortable clothing or equipment makes it even more miserable. But Bala Bangles are remarkably soft, so much so that I’ve avoided any type of skin burn. As someone with perpetually irritated skin, it’s a huge relief to have no redness, even after I wear the Bangles for hours at a time, through a ton of movement. Wearing weights is always going to take some getting used to, because the extra resistance is naturally challenging, but I’m almost able to forget these are there.

bala bangles

Black is one in a range of colors the Bangles come in.

Allie Holloway

They make any activity more intense.

Ultimately, what makes these so damn good is that you can use them with whichever workout you prefer. Sure, wearing them while boxing may be trickier. But pilates, yoga, body weight circuits, running, biking—all of it rises to the next level of difficulty with some resistance. Even if you haven’t come up with a home workout routine, the fact that you can use them on your walks, while doing laundry, or when cleaning your living room to feel a little extra muscle burn is crucial. They’re really accessible to everyone.

Shop $ 49, urbanoutfitters.com; shopbala.com


Photography and prop styling by Allie Holloway

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